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Impressive line-up for violin competition

Impressive line-up for violin competition

The organisers of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition have announced an international line-up of 18 semi-finalists for the 2003 Competition.

The Michael Hill International Violin Competition, held in association with the Auckland Philharmonia, is open to violinists aged from 18 to 30; applications closed on 1 December. The pre-selection panel, comprising principal violinists from the Auckland Philharmonia, spent three days adhering to strict international music competition guidelines while assessing applicants from all over the world. The assessment process involved the adjudicators listening “blind” to tapes of the candidates performing works by Bach, Beethoven and Paganini.

The 18 semi-finalists are:

Korbinian Altenberger (Germany) Alissa Margulis (Germany) Amy Iwazumi (USA) Natia Mdinaradze (Georgia/USA) Min Jung Kang (Korea) Keisuke Okazaki (Japan) Oleg Kaskiv (Ukraine/Switzerland) Alexandra Osborne (Australia) Eung Soo Kim (Korea/Austria) Alexander Scherbakov (Russia/Switzerland) Nadezhda Korshakova (Russia) Naaman Sluchin (France) Yvonne Lam (USA) Ge Song (China) Elissa Lee (Canada) Marina Yakovleva (Russia/Switzerland) Natalia Lomeiko (Russia/NZ) Shanshan Yao (China/Canada)

Justine Cormack, the Auckland Philharmonia’s Concertmaster, served on the pre-selection panel and is also one of the jurors. She was highly impressed with the calibre of entries. “There is no question that the judges will be hearing some outstanding violinists. As with the inaugural Competition in 2001, we have another selection of extremely talented young violinists coming to New Zealand.”

The semi-finalists will be flown, expenses paid, to Queenstown to compete in the semi-final rounds, which take place from 31 May to 2 June. Three finalists will then be chosen to perform at the Auckland Town Hall on 6 June, accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia under the direction of Music Director, Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

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An honourable awards recital by top semi-finalists will be presented in the Auckland Town Hall on 5 June. The prizes have increased, with the winner receiving NZ$40,000 in cash, a CD recording contract on the Naxos label for worldwide distribution, a winner’s tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2004, and a diamond and jade pendant.

The panel of jurors, chaired by arts philanthropist and Auckland Philharmonia Vice Patron James Wallace, is also internationally representative and of extremely high calibre: Pierre Amoyal (France) – one of the greatest violinists in the world today Justine Cormack (New Zealand) – Auckland Philharmonia Concertmaster Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Peru/USA) – Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia Welz Kauffman (USA) – President and CEO of the Ravinia Festival Simon Morris (United Kingdom) – Managing Director of internationally renowned violin experts and dealers, J & A Beare Ltd Takako Nishizaki (Japan/Hong Kong) – leading international violinist and recording artist Dene Olding (Australia) – recognised as one of Australia’s most outstanding instrumentalists; Co-concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony

Competition Director, Anne Rodda, says the inaugural Competition in 2001 set a high standard and put New Zealand in the spotlight internationally. “The quality of entrants and jurors is again extremely high, with a number of familiar faces returning,” she says. “By the end of the 2003 Competition we trust we will have satisfactorily met the strict criteria for acceptance into the prestigious World Federation of International Music Competitions.”

All Competition rounds are open to the public.

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