Xiao Wang, a violinist from China, captured first prize in the Heida Hermanns International String Competition held Nov. 22 and 23 in the town hall auditorium.

Wang was awarded the $5,000 first place prize, topping a field of 20 emerging musicians who were invited to Westport to compete in the 43rd annual contest, the sponsors announced.

All 20 performed in the Nov. 22 semifinals, and six advanced to the finals on Nov. 23.

The competition is presented by the Connecticut Alliance for Music and is named in honor of Hermanns, the late concert pianist who lived in Westport for more than 40 years.

Currently a scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music, Wang is no stranger to international competition, according to the sponsors. He won first prizes in the 2012 Szigeti International Violin Competition and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artists Competition.

U.S. violinist Rachell Wong, a student at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, won the $2,500 second prize. Chensi Tang, a violist of China, won the $1,500 third prize,

Honorable mention prizes of $500 were awarded to Christina Bouey, a Canadian violinist, and You Kyung Kim, a cellist from Korea.

Three professional musicians judged the competition, cellist Avron Coleman, violist Laurance Fader and violinist Gino Sambuco.

The 20 semifinalists who came to Westport were selected from audition CDs submitted by university and conservatory music students and alumni around the world, sponsors said.