Ishani launched the Haslemere String Competition in 2017 to give talented young string players a chance to gain significant solo concert exposure. Originally aimed at students living in the counties around London, it has since expanded greatly, and now draws talented youth from across the south and west of the UK. 


Judges have been chosen not only for their extensive experience but also for their ability to offer young players positive, constructive insight and encouragement. All finalists perform chamber music in a 'side by side' setting with professionals, giving students the opportunity to experience rehearsal and performance with professional musicians.


Side by Side concerts form part of the annual Haslemere Festival.


'The competition was a truly treasured experience in my journey towards music conservatoire’ 


Ketan Curtis, Winner, 2017


'The competition was a very positive experience with a friendly, supportive atmosphere and useful, detailed feedback.  I was thrilled to be selected as a finalist and I very much look forward to working with a professional musician for the forthcoming chamber music concert.  I have learnt a great deal through the Haslemere String Competition, it is a brilliant opportunity for young musicians like myself!'

Imaan Kashim, Finalist, 2019

Results of the Haslemere International Online String Competition 2021. 

philip brown violins
ishani bhoola

Senior Competition (ages 16 to 18)

First prize  £300

(not awarded)

Second prize  £150
Flora Clapham  - violin 


Third Prize £50

Paloma Barucha - violin


Senior Highly Commended

Nathan Perry - bass

Layla Ballard - cello


Junior Competition (ages 12 to 15)


Joint First prize  £300

Dawid Kasprzak Violin age 15:

Sophie Hayin Chung  Violin age 14:

Second prize £150
Hugo Svedberg  Cello age 12:

Chamberlain Bow Prize for Most Promising Young Musician

Third Prize £50

Jaren Ziegler - viola 
Aki Blendis -Violin 


Junior Highly Commended

Ophir Dahari - violin

Cody Conley - violin

Alfie Weinberg - violin


The Haslemere String Competition 2019 Finalists 'Side by Side' Chamber Music Concert

This is a side-by-side chamber music concert, with finalists from the competition in 2019 performing with professional musicians. This is a great benefit to the finalists and they see and experience what working in the profession would be.


The programme contains Mozart Violin and Viola Duo, and Schubert Trout Quintet.

Tickets: £5
St Bartholomew’s Church

Date - Thursday, 20/05/2021
7:00 pm






Will Duerden – double bass


Playing Eduard Tubin’s Concerto for Double bass

(Eduard Tubin 1905-1982 was an Estonian composer

You can read more about him here:




Jude Chandler – double bass


Playing Dittersdorf’s Double Bass Concerto Movement 1




Briona Mannion – violin



Harry Scott-Burt – Cello

Alex Heather – Double Bass

Imaan Kashim – Violin

Hannah McFarlane – Cello

Rachel Stonham – Violin


Ishani Bhoola (Chairman), Richard Crabtree, and Simon Blendis


The first rounds were held in Haslemere and Bristol and  the final was held on Thursday 16 May 16 2019 at St Christopher’s Church, Haslemere as part of The Haslemere Festival




The winners of the 2017 Competition were:


  • Ketan Curtis – Double Bass

  • Alinka Rowe – Viola, who performed with the Waverley Ensemble on 10 March 2018 at St Christopher’s Church Haslemere.

  • 2nd prize to Will Duerden, double bass


Other finalists of the Haslemere String Competition performed a side by side chamber music concert on Saturday May 26 2018 at St Christopher’s Church Haslemere.

Haslemere String Competition Winner 2019