Ayana Tsuji may not have been the audience favourite at the Montreal International Music Competition, but she certainly impressed the seven members of the jury who awarded her the $30,000 first prize as well as five other special prizes, bringing her total winnings to $40,500.
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, watch her performance (below) of the Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47, by Jean Sibelius with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.
Tsuji, 18, is from Ogaki, Japan, and plays an 1850 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin. She's a student at the Toho Gakuen School of Music. In 2015 she won second prize at the Seoul International Music Competition. Her first prize at the Montreal International Musical Competition is her most important achievement to date.