Mihai Cocea, Romanian violist Mihai Cocea was named first principal viola of the St Gallen Sinfonieorchester (CH) from 2014 to 2016. He was appointed principal viola of Brussels Philharmonic in 2017. 

He has studied at the George Enescu High School in Bucharest with Dumitru Ene and at the Universität der Künste Zürich with Lawrence Power. Mihai took part in masterclasses with Yuri Bashmet, Maxim Rysanov and Maxim Vengerov.

Mihai is a prize winner of the Watson Forbes International Viola Competition 2009 and a finalist of the Yuri Bashmet Viola Competition 2013 in Moscow.  Mihai has been a winner of national and international awards including the Grand Prize at Icon Arts in Breaza in 2005, the second prize at the Delius Competition London and the Yuri Bashmet Special Prize at the Tertis Viola Competition in Isle of Man in 2013. 

He has participated in international festivals such as the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, England Intercultural Exchange in Beijing, Sampling in Bukarest, Melting Potes Musik Nimes (FR) and the SONORO-International Chamber Music Festival in Graz. 

Mihai Cocea has performed as a soloist with international orchestras such as: Nova Russia, St. Andrews Youth Orchestra, Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra and Moscow Soloists. 

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If I was not a musician I would be… a neuroscientist

Chamber music means… creating magic

What motivates me in life is… its neverending musical possibilities