Printer-friendly version
Yixi Zhang

Menuhin Competition in Beijing --The Senior Finalists

April 11, 2012 at 2:46 PM

BEIJING -- Here are the Senior Finalists, and what they will play in the final round (click on their names and it will go to their performance videos from the competition):

1. Siyan Guo (China), 20 - Tchaikovsky violin concerto
2. Alexi Kenney (USA), 18 - Sibelius violin concerto in D minor
3. Ji Eun Anna Lee (Korea), 16 - Shostakovich violin concerto No 1 in A minor
4. Kenneth Arthur Renshaw (USA), 18 - Sibelius violin concerto in D minor

Here again is the live web stream, if you'd like to tune in and see some performances. Also, here is a cool page that allows you to choose individual contestants and to watch each of their completed performances, on demand: http://www.menuhincompetition.org/competitors-2012.html

The semi-final attracted so many audience members that the music hall was just not big enough for all of them. It must be tough for the jury to pick only four out of these outstanding semi-finalists. I thought Eunice Kim and Ke Zhu were both very strong, although Zhu at one point missed some notes due to the flying broken bow hair landed on the fingerboard. The sympathy in the audience was audible.

Here is Chinese violinist Ke Zhu playing Paganini Caprice 17:

Everyone I talked with loves Ji Eun Anna Lee. I’m not sure if you guys who have been watching the liveeam have noticed, but she had to wait for a few seconds before starting her second piece because someone in the audience sneaked in a toddler, who inevitably cried, so they had to be let out in middle of the concert. There are guards at the outside doors, and many volunteers (music students from the Central Conservatory of Music) at the inside doors to keep things in order, but there are just so many people coming in and out during each mini-break. It’s quite amazing that the whole thing has been running so smoothly.

Tomorrow will be a full-day masterclasses given by the jury, and then the jury will give a concert in the evening. My kind of day.

Here is American Alexi Kenney (one of the senior semi-finalists), playing the Gavotte and Rondo form Partita No. 3 in E by Bach:


From Joe Hague Jr
Posted on April 11, 2012 at 6:49 PM
Tchaikovsky VC in d minor? Small typo, I think.
From Paul Deck
Posted on April 11, 2012 at 6:53 PM
I can't comment on the accompanists but I do think it is the responsibility of a competition to provide astoundingly good pianists that have the competition pieces easily in their repertoire and have performed them before. If an organization cannot afford such pianists then they shouldn't hold the competition or restrict the music to unaccompanied works.

My goodness -- those videos are nice. Both those young men are wonderful violinists, no?

From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM
Fixed the Tchaik thing
From Cesar Ribera
Posted on April 11, 2012 at 10:25 PM
One question, I´m not following competition lately, but I remember that some countries had a lot of participants.

Shouldn't competitions consider to limit the competitors per country, to get more countries involved in the finals?

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Cesar, I'm sure your questions is on many people's mind. I've noticed that there are more Chinese competitors in this years competition. My limited understanding how the selection works is it is based on merit rather than nationality or ethnicity.
From Paul Deck
Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:44 AM
Hmm, I'm reminded of the days when they used to limit the number of Soviet chess players that could enter certain high-level tournaments. That was of course a complicated matter. But if droves of amazing Norwegian violinists were flooding the major competitions, would we be having this conversation? On the other hand the Olympic Games have rules that are designed to ensure broader participation.
From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 12, 2012 at 2:46 PM
It's funny Paul, I was thinking the same thing after I wrote my earlier answer, but then participation cannot be mandatory. I mean if the individuals from certain country don't apply or applied but do not reach the standards, then we don't see the name of the nation on the list of competitors. Selecting violin competitors is more like graduate school admission process in this sense.
From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 13, 2012 at 6:11 AM
Thanks SY Chao! Would you be interested in doing the translation yourself? I'm sure it will be much appreciated by everyone. I'm having a short vacation in China and would do more if I can, but my schedule is really full here right now to the point that I'm stealing my sleep time to blog and communicate with my family and friends as much as I can.
Cheers.
Yixi
From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM
SY Chao, excellent translation and comments! I'm afraid it gets buried here and not getting much notice by people. I think you should post it at a separate blog if you want more people to read it.

I met and chatted with the author Xuyao at the competition, very nice guy. Will look for more of his work in future.

From Simon Streuff
Posted on April 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Sad story! The list of finalists is always the biggest disappointment and surprise in every competition. You can listen to all but youll never understand what the jury thinks, because they have their own business running!!

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Our Kokopelli
Please support Violinist.com
through your
one-time donation or
sponsorship campaign.

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

The Potter Violin Company

Coregami Performal

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Zhuhai International Mozart Competition - Apply by April 30, 2017

Connolly Music

Corilon Violins

Meadowmount School of Music

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Heifetz International Music Institute

Long Island Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop