Violinist Dan Zhu, now a protege of Christoph Eschenbach, won honorable mention in the 2000 Johansen competition, which takes place in Washington Friday and Saturday. (Photo by KK Fong) (Courtesy of Barrett Vantage Artists) (KK Fong/KK Fong)

The competition, established in 1997, has won praise from judges like the violinist Pamela Frank for the high level of play among the participants. Most recent winners have gone on to active careers, and some have hit the big time, like the cellist Narek Hahknazaryan, the first-prize winner in 2006, who won the Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 (and played a Washington recital in February), or the violinist Dan Zhu, who got an honorable mention in 2000 and is now a protege of Christoph Eschenbach (though our reviewer was not very impressed with his recital earlier this month).

This year’s judges are Hiroko Yajima, Michael Tree, and Ronald Leonard. Winners will be announced on Saturday.