Global fashion brand Fendi has launched a music award to support emerging young Korean musicians, Fendi Korea announced Monday.
The award, created in tandem with the string ensemble Sejong Soloists, is to be presented to talented individuals who show excellence in classical music. Candidates are recommended by 15 music experts and the winner is selected by a panel of four judges led by Jaap van Zweden, the current music director of the New York Philharmonic who will lead the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra for five years from 2024.
Cellist Choi Ha-young was announced as the first winner of the Fendi music award in Korea, and will receive financial support of 20 million won ($15,200) from the brand.
Fendi is running a similar program in the US with the Fendi Vanguard Award given to students of the Juilliard School.
In June 2022, Choi, 25, won the Queen Elisabeth Competition for the cello, becoming the first South Korean cellist to receive the top honor. In 2018, she won first prize at the Krzysztof Penderecki Cello Competition and in 2011 she won first prize at the Johannes Brahms International Competition.