Skip to main content

Premio Paganini at the Louvre


The winner of the 57th edition of the Premio Paganini competition, Simon Zhu, will perform on Tuesday 23rd January in the prestigious venue at the Louvre Museum. Accompanying him will be the Dutch pianist of South Korean origin, Gile Bae. The musical programme will include: Johann Sebastian Bach, Sonata in A major for Violin and Keyboard BWV 1015; Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata in F major Op.24 (Spring); Niccolò Paganini, Caprice nos. 5, 7 and 24; Frédéric Chopin, Rondo in E flat major Op.16; Frédéric Chopin, Variations in A major B.37 “Souvenir de Paganini”; Niccolò Paganini, “La Campanella” Rondo from Concerto no. 2 in B minor for Violin and Orchestra. It will be possible to listen to the concert, which will be broadcast by Radio Classique on Saturday 10 February 2024 at 8pm.

Before the exhibition, a visit will take place to the renovated Cour Puget and the 18th century sculpture rooms, where the curators will comment on the renovation of the spaces and the new works on display. The Museum’s key figures will participate at this special event, which will be a testament to the historic artistic and cultural links between Italy and France, and Genoa and Paris. Most notable attendees will include President-Director Laurence des Cars, the mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, the president of the Prize, Giovanni Panebianco, and members of the concert “Honorary Committee”, together with Renzo Piano, the Italian ambassador to France Emanuela D’Alessandro, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Princess Martine Orsini, Dr. Francesco Micheli, the Maestro Salvatore Accardo and Dr. Sylvain Bellenger. The initiative, the result of the collaboration between the Prize and the Amis du Louvre, is part of the Museum’s Cercle des Mécenès Gala which this year is celebrating the artistic and cultural influences in nineteenth-century Europe with the inauguration of the new Cour Puget exhibition and the collection of neoclassical and romantic sculptures. The concert will be preceded by a visit to the rooms with the curators of the Louvre Sculpture Department.

The presentation event at the concert will be held on Monday 22nd at the Italian Embassy in Paris. On this occasion, after the welcome by Ambassador D’Alessandro, the ceremony will take place to award the titles to the new “Paganini Ambassador” with participation from mayor Bucci and president Panebianco. Receiving recognition will be Princess Irene Cantacuzene, Prof. Emanuel Ducamp, Mrs. Fernanda Giulini and Countess Daniela Memmo.

The Premio Paganini prize returns to Paris comments the mayor Marco Bucci – for the first of the international concerts by Simon Zhu, the amazing violinist who won the 57th edition of the Competition with a truly incredible performance last October at the Teatro Carlo Felice. On 23rd January, he will perform together with Gile Bae in the splendid setting of the Cour Marly at the Louvre Museum and I believe that this is truly the best way to celebrate the historic friendship between Paris and Genoa, to honour the greatest violinist of all time, Niccolò Paganini, in the year of the 70th anniversary of the first edition of the competition. We are proud of this result and will continue to work towards the internationalisation of the Prize and the image of Genoa all over the world.”

After the presentation of the 57th edition of the international violin competition, in November 2022 – Ambassador D’Alessandro stated – I am very pleased to host this new prestigious “Premio Paganini” event. It is the result of Italian excellence which through this collaboration initiative with the Louvre provides an important contribution to strengthening cultural cooperation between France and Italy, and demonstrates a significant growth in the important artistic panorama of the French capital.” 

I am particularly proud of this initiative, which marks another unprecedented goal of our ambitious programme to renew and relaunch the Prize - stated President Panebianco - and I am pleased that Simon Zhu is opening his international performance programme in such a prestigious setting. Everyone will be able to listen to the concert: it has been agreed that it will be broadcast by Radio Classique. The project is also guaranteed to have wide visibility due to the newsletter that Amis du Louvre distributes among its members all over the world. I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the Louvre Museum and the Amis, but also to the Italian Embassy which is again hosting an important occasion for us, the presentation and ceremony for the new Paganini Ambassadors.”

Useful information and videos about Simon Zhu and Stefanie Deschamp-Tan, the curator of the Louvre Sculpture Department, are available on the website.


Simon Zhu Louvre

Programme of 23 January 2023 at the Louvre

6.45 pm

reserved entrance to the Louvre Museum via the Pyramide, place du Carrousel.

from 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm – Cour Puget

walk through the renovated Cour Puget and the 18th century sculpture rooms, where the curators will comment on the renovation of the spaces and the new works presented.

from 8:00 pm to 8:45 pm – Cour Marly

concert by Simon Zhu, winner of the Paganini Prize 2023, accompanied on piano by Gile Bae

Music Programme

Simon Zhu, violin, Gile Bae, piano

Johann Sebastian Bach, Sonata in La maggiore per violino e tastiera BWV 1015

Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata in fa maggiore “La primavera” op. 24

Simon Zhu, violin

Niccolò Paganini, Capriccio n. 5, 7 e 24

Gile Bae, piano

Frédéric Chopin, Rondò in mi bemolle maggiore op.16

Frédéric Chopin, Variazioni in La maggiore B.37 “Souvenir de Paganini”

Simon Zhu, violin, Gile Bae, piano

Niccolò Paganini, “La Campanella”. Rondò dal Concerto n. 2 in si minore per violino e orchestra


To follow: flûte of champagne at Cour Marly

Tickets and all further information to attend the concert are available at