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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 70

October 15, 2006 at 6:00 PM

The 18-year-old Korean violinist Suyoen Kim from Germany has received First Prize in the Sixth Hannover International Violin Competition, more commonly known as the Joseph Joachim Competition, since the triennial contest is dedicated to the memory of the great violinist.

Kim captured the vote of the 11-member international jury with Brahm’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major op. 77. She wins a 30,000 Euro cash award, a Naxos CD production and a personal DVD production which includes her performances during the Hannover competition. In addition, the presenter of the competition, the Foundation of Lower Saxony, will secure unspecified concert and recital appearances for Kim.

The Second Prize went to the Korean Hyun-Su Shin, who will be awarded 20,000 Euros. The 10,000 Euro Third Prize went to Kana Sugimura from Japan.

The six finalists were Fanny Clamagirand, Nikita Borisoglebskiy, Zhijiong Wang, Suyoen Kim, Hyun-Su Shin and Kana Sugimura. member and favorite, American Celeste Golden, was eliminated in the semifinal round.


10/12/06 - Of course, there’s always another violin competition looming at this time of year. Next up is the 13th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition. This event, held in Poznan, Poland, kicked off last night and runs until Oct. 29. This competition carries a $25,000 cash award and numerous Polish recitals and performances. The next five finishers will also receive cash prizes.

The San Antonio Express-News ran a charming profile of competitor Nancy Zhou. Not only will the diminutive 13-year-old be the youngest competitor in the field of 49, she is the only American in the field.

Nancy studies violin with her father Long Zhou, a violinist in the San Antonio Symphony.

Read the complete story here:

Musician News

According to the American Symphony Orchestra League, Orlando Philharmonic Concertmaster Tamas Kocsis was recently knighted in three-hour ceremony in Budapest. The Hungarian-born Kocsis is now a member of the ancient Order of Knights, "The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem." The order was established in 1098, with a mission of serving the needy and the suffering. In more recent times, the order has built and maintained hospitals around the world and assisted victims of disasters. Currently, it is funding construction of a factory in Ghana that will produce HIV medications for those who cannot otherwise afford them. Kocsis was nominated by the Grand Prior of Hungary, whom he met at a concert in Budapest last year. Kocsis receives the title "Chevalier."

10/19/06 – Violinist Jaime Laredo will receive the 2006 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Vermont Arts Council. In addition to teaching violin at Indiana University, Laredo is the music director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and is deeply involved in the famed Marlboro Festival. The Vermont Arts Council released the following bio: “In addition to his work in Vermont, Mr. Laredo is a world-renowned conductor, soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He has won the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Violin Competition, the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize, a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, and Musical America's Award for Ensemble of the Year. He has served as Artistic Director of New York's renowned Chamber Music at the Y series, President of the Jury of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Artistic Director of the Brandenburg Ensemble, and Conductor of the New York String Orchestra Seminar.”

10/12/06 – People’s Weekly World News ran a review of a film at the Toronto International Film Festival that will be of interests to musicians: “In the elegiac The Violin, Plutarco is an aged and humble violinist with one hand missing. Every day he takes his son and grandson to town to play traditional Mexican music for the townsfolk where they make enough tips to get a few tacos. There is turmoil in the countryside as peasants are being driven out, tortured and killed by an oppressive government force. Plutarco finds a way to help his son, who is one of the leaders of the guerrilla force, by hiding bullets for the guerillas in his violin case. Forced to rent a donkey, which cost him his entire year’s crops, Plutarco quietly slips past the captain guarding the fields where he has hidden his stash of bullets. Plutarco lulls the captain with his enchanting violin music.
Shot in black and white, the film takes on a timeless nature, rooted deep in the history of people’s music. Plutarco is portrayed with great sensitivity by Mexican violinist, Don Angel Tavira, who lost his right hand in a tragic accident at the age of 13.”

10/11/06 –The Columbus Dispatch ran a Q&A with Itzhak Perlman in preparation for a local recital. Read the interview here:

10/11/06 – The Times of London sent a critic to hear the European premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s new violin concerto in Sweden. Dedicatee Lisa Batiashvili earned raves here as she did for the piece’s world premiere at the Mainly Mozart Festivals in New York in August: “This thrilling new addition to the violin repertoire by the 48-year-old Finn was certainly written with the company of Mozart in mind: only oboes, bassoons and horns join the small body of strings, and the music’s 25-minute continuum falls into three movements. The easy way out would have been to compose a postmodern, neo-classical concerto. But Lindberg, fiery and flinty of temperament, and sternly logical of intellect, has written a complex showpiece that scorches its way on to the platform. Lindberg also had the playing of the young Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili in mind. The music plays to her distinctive strengths, be it the almost spiritualised intensity of her fine, high playing — the concerto seems to be born out of the ether — or the fierce physicality of her virtuosity in the kaleidoscopic cadenza or the dancing finale….Don’t miss it when it comes to London.”

10/8/06 – The Wichita Eagle ran an interesting profile of violinist Chee Yun that contained several fun facts, including that she has sold 50,000 copies of her cross-over CD "Sentimental Memories," featuring violin versions of popular songs. Also, she is best known in her native South Korea as the star of commercials for Pantene shampoo. Read the article here:

10/8/06 – Violinist Jung Min Shin and violist Craig Bate have won the viola/violin Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante competition at Indiana University. They performed the work with the IU Symphony Orchestra. The alternate duo was violinist Shelby Latin and violist Marisa Bushman.

Orchestra News

11/5-11/17/06 - The New York Philharmonic will present a 10-concert tour of Japan and Korea. The orchestra will travel to Tokyo, Oita and Hyogo, Japan, as well as Seoul and Daejeon, Korea. While in Tokyo, the Philharmonic Education Department and the Performance Outreach Department of New England Conservatory will collaborate in a four-day symposium for musicians in Japan, exchanging practices in school-based music education.

10/13/06 – According to, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra board, management and musicians announced today that a two-year contract has been ratified, effective immediately. “The agreement, the result of negotiations held in early September, is valid for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons; terms will remain the same for both seasons, with the exception of a provision that will allow wage discussions to be re-opened in the second year. The contract guarantees 32 weeks of employment (the same as the prior contract); a 2.63% raise in musicians' base pay plus extra compensation for outreach performances; and health benefits that will cover a newly-hired musician's spouse or domestic partner in their second year with the orchestra. Other updated policies involve reucturing of musician rotation within performance sections, audition procedures and use of taping devices during a rehearsal.”

10/12/06 - Pittsburgh Opera has named Australian conductor Antony Walker as its next music director, beginning later this season, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Walker has worked closely with [Sir Charles] Mackerras on many opera productions in Australia and Europe, and benefited from his personal relationship with, and advocacy by, the world-renowned maestro."

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