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Russian violinist Sergey Malov wins Violin Competition

Media Release: For immediate release
RUSSIAN WINS MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION


Russian violinist Sergey Malov has won the prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2011.

Sergey was named the winner following the final round of the contest at the Auckland Town Hall accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on Saturday night (11 June).

For Sergey it was an early birthday present – he turns 28 next Saturday – and a hat trick of wins as he scooped the top prize along with the inaugural J. Paul Anderson Award for best chamber music player and the Audience Award won by text voting
.

"I just feel absolutely amazing," he said afterwards. "It's fantastic. I think winning was a sum of so many things - I was the oldest competitor and everything came together at the right time for me."

Sergey said he was looking forward to returning to New Zealand next year and touring with Chamber Music New Zealand. "I've had a fantastic time here and it will be wonderful to return."

Runner-up was Richard Lin (19) of Taiwan/USA followed by third place getter Xiang Yu (22) of China. Nadir Khashimov of Uzbekistan/United States was awarded fourth place with Eric Silberger (United States) in fifth place and Stefani Collins (United States) in sixth place. Second through sixth place getters receive from NZ$10,000 to NZ$1,000.
As winner, Sergey receives a cheque of NZ$40,000, a recording with Atoll, and a winner’s tour with Chamber Music New Zealand in 2012. Sergey also picked up the inaugural Julian Anderson Award of NZ$2,000 as best chamber music player and the Michael Hill Audience Prize won by text voting.
The prize for the Best Performance of the NZ commission work (John Psathas’ Gyftiko) was won by Richard Lin during the semi final rounds in Queenstown last week. As a special award, Anastasia Agapova of Russia has been loaned a contemporary Cremonese violin by master craftsman Riccardo Bergonzi for the next two years.

Christchurch musician Ben Morrison was also acknowledged and was awarded the competition’s NZ Development Prize and has spent the past week accompanying and observing the competition’s proceedings, participating in the masterclasses given by the international judges, and performing with 2009 winner Josef Špaček at a special recital in Queenstown.

Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson congratulated all contestants in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition and shared his dream that "one day we will have a young classical violinist from Otara on this stage and winning this contest".

Mr Finlayson said the recent launch of the El Sistema youth orchestra programme in Otara is a stepping stone towards this dream.

“To realise the dream we are dependent on cultural philanthropy and Sir Michael and Lady Christine Hill and Sir James Wallace are the real heroes and heroines of New Zealand.”

A total of 18 leading young violinists world competed in the prestigious contest which began on June 4, with the semi-finalists performing demanding programmes of solo and piano-accompanied works in Queenstown, followed by the chamber music round and final in Auckland. The competition is judged by an international panel including Michael Dauth (Germany/Australia), Boris Garlitsky (Russia/UK), Mark Kaplan (USA), Cho-Liang Lin (Taiwan/USA), Tasmin Little (UK), Vesa-Matti Leppänen (Finland/NZ) and Lara St John (Canada). The panel is chaired by New Zealander Dr Robin Congreve.

The contest originally drew entries from 136 applicants representing 29 nationalities from which the 18 semi-finalists were selected. The competition provides the semi-finalists with airfares to New Zealand and accommodation in private homes.

The Michael Hill Violin Competition is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (Geneva).

MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION: BACKGROUND
The Michael Hill International Violin Competition aims to promote young violinists from all over the world who are launching their professional solo careers and are aspiring to establish themselves on the world stage. The competition wishes to recognise and encourage excellence and musical artistry, and to expand performance opportunities. All competition applicants are aged between 18-28 years.

The competition is judged by an international panel including Michael Dauth (Germany/Australia), Boris Garlitsky (Russia/UK), Philippe Graffin (France), Cho-Liang Lin (Taiwan/USA), Tasmin Little (UK), Vesa-Matti Leppänen (Finland/NZ) and Lara St John (Canada). The panel is chaired by New Zealander Dr Robin Congreve.

The winner of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition receives $NZ40,000, a CD recording through Atoll, and a winner’s tour in 2012 with Chamber Music New Zealand. Second through sixth prizes receive NZ$1,000 to NZ$10,000. A new prize offered by Julian Anderson will award the best chamber music player NZ$2,000 and the Michael Hill Audience Prize will be determined by audience texting.

The Michael Hill Violin Competition is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (Geneva).

The Competition gratefully acknowledges support received from its array of sponsors including Michael Hill International, ANZ, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, McCann Worldgroup, Villa Maria Estate, Hotel DeBrett, and the British Council.

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