Live from China: Coverage of the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition

The Week in Reviews, Op. 146: Baiba Skride, Pekka Kuusisto, Gil Shaham border=0 align=

The Week in Reviews, Op. 146: Baiba Skride, Pekka Kuusisto, Gil Shaham

August 29, 2016, 11:37 PM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Baiba Skride performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 4 with the West Australia Symphony Orchestra.

In addition, Violinist.com editor Laurie Niles reviewed the semi-final round of the inaugural Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition. Keep reading...


Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition

Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition: Thirty top violinists from around the world will gather August 14th to September 2nd for the inaugural Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition. Watch our live web stream and follow along with behind-the-scenes coverage on Violinist.com! shcompetition.com (Ad)

Last day of Semi-Finals: Violinists Get Creative with Their Mozart Cadenzas in Shanghai border=0 align=

Last day of Semi-Finals: Violinists Get Creative with Their Mozart Cadenzas in Shanghai

August 29, 2016, 8:52 AM · SHANGHAI -- The results may already be in, but there was plenty of wonderful music Monday in the second day of the Mozart semi-finals at the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition.

All semi-finalists were required to play Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major - but the catch was that they had to write their own cadenzas for all movements. Nine of the semi-finalists played on Sunday, and the remaining nine on Monday. Here are some impressions from Monday's performances, which you can find by clicking here (though everything is in Chinese!)

Zeyu Victor Li of China, a former student of Aaron Rosand at Curtis, began the day with an excellent performance that kept getting better as it went along. The first-movement cadenza was clever and virtuosic -- I'm pretty sure I heard some Ysaÿe -- perhaps even the Dies Irae -- in there! He managed to work that in without taking things too far afield from Mozart. The second movement had tasteful rubato, and he took a solid and consistent tempo in the third movement (which is all too easy to rush!)

Andrea Obiso of Italy played interesting cadenzas that had bariolage, harmonics, and even a few Paganini-like flourishes in the first movement, and a sensitive and artful cadenza in the second movement. But his violin was noticeably sharp in comparison to the orchestra for the entire performance, and this unfortunately distracted from otherwise excellent playing. Keep reading...

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Finalists Announced in the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition border=0 align=

Finalists Announced in the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition

August 29, 2016, 4:02 AM · SHANGHAI -- Congratulation to the Finalists named Monday in the inaugural Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition! They are:

The finalists were chosen from 18 semi-finalists. Violinists are required to play a major concerto and a virtuoso piece for the Finals which are on Sept. 1 and 2. Listen to the live stream and archived performances by clicking here.

Besides the record-breaking First Prize of $100,000 USD; other prizes include a Second Prize of $50,000, Third Prize $25,000 and Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Prizes $5,000 each. Another $10,000 will be awarded for the best performance of "The Butterfly Lovers" concerto; and a $10,000 Isaac Stern Human Spirit Award will go to a non-contestant "in any field and from any part of the world - who is deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of humanity through the medium of music."

Jury members for the competition are Zakhar Bron, David Cerone, Martin Engstroem, Daniel Heifetz, Emmanuel Hondré, Boris Kuschnir, Elmar Oliveira, David Stern, Maxim Vengerov, Jian Wang, Zhenshan Wan, Vera Tsu Weiling and Lina Yu.

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