Sihao He (G18), a doctoral cello student of Hans Jørgen Jensen, won third prize and €5,000 in the 2019 ARD International Cello Competition in Munich, Germany.

Open to cellists of any nationality born between 1990 and 2002, the 68th ARD International Music Competition will also award prizes in the categories of clarinet, bassoon, and percussion.

A total of 166 applicants entered this year’s cello competition and 64 cellists advanced to the first round, including Bienen School alumna Riana Anthony (G17). Sixteen musicians progressed to the second round, which narrowed to six semi-finalists.

He was one of the three finalists remaining who performed Friday, September 13, with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. His final round performance of Robert Schumann’s Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in A minor, op. 129, can be viewed below.

Sihao He

Born in Shanghai, China, Sihao He began playing cello at the age of 10 with Shihong Ni. The following year, he was accepted to the Middle School affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music as a student of Professor Meijuan Liu’s. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, where he studied with Hans Jørgen Jensen and Julie Albers, and Master’s Degree from the Bienen School of Music.

He has had many successes in numerous competitions over the years, including the title of laureate at the inaugural Queen Elisabeth Competition for Cello in Brussels, Grand Prizes at the 3rd Gaspar Cassado International Violoncello Competition in Hachioji, ASTA National Solo Competition in New York, Concerto Competition at the Shanghai Conservatory Middle School (2011), National Cello Competition for Young Cellists in China, the International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition in Croatia, and placed fourth in the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians.

As a soloist, He has performed with many orchestras around the world with highlights including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Orquestra Sinfônica de Piracicaba, and the Xiamen Philharmonic, under world-renowned conductors such as Stéphane Denève, Frank Braley and Kazufumi Yamashita. He has performed in chamber groups with Joseph Silverstein, Pinchas Zuckerman, Wu Han, Donald Weilerstein, Hsin-Yun Huang, Robert McDuffie, and Calidore Quartet. In June 2015, he performed for the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society along with violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, and in 2017, he performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

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