Australian cellist Rachel Siu has taken out the top prize at the David Popper VIII. International Cello Competition in Hungary. Siu, who graduated from the Juilliard School in New York earlier this year, and recently made her Carnegie Hall debut, won equal first with South Korean cellist Hayoung Lee in the most senior category of the competition in Várpalota, Hungary, open to contestants born between January 1, 1996 and December 31, 1998.

Rachel Siu Rachel Siu

The win was “quite unreal,” Siu told Limelight. “This has been an achievement that I have been striving for and dreaming of, for as long as I can remember, and now that it has happened, I’m not sure how to feel! Having the opportunity to participate in and perform at international competitions in new countries this year has just been a joy on its own, so to receive the gold medal for one is just pure excitement!”

Across the competition, Siu performed music by Cassado, Beethoven, Bach and Elgar –as well as music by David Popper, the cellist and composer for whom the competition is named. “Popper is a composer of music that I had pretty much pushed away...

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