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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 2, No. 26

May 11, 2006 at 10:36 PM

In the “better late than never” category, I thought it would be fun to share the complete results of the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists 2006, which concluded April 8th in France.

The winners are:

Hrachya Avanesyan (Armenia), First Prize
Robin Scott (USA), Second Prize
Shuai Shi (China), Third Prize
Sulki Yu (Korea), Fourth Prize

Sunao Goko (Japan), First Prize
Fumiaki Miura (Japan), Second Prize
Yu-Chien Tseng (China), Third Prize
Robyn Bollinger (USA), Fourth Prize
Stella Chen (USA), Fifth Prize
Sirena Huang (USA), Sixth Prize

The competition is divided into two sections: A Junior Section, with 22 candidates under 16 years of age, and a Senior Section with 20 candidates under 22 years of age. More than 120 candidates from around the world submitted their applications, which were reviewed by a selection committee led by Competition Director Gordon Back. Here is a list of contestants:

Juniors: Robyn Bollinger (USA), Stella Chen (USA), Sunao Goko (Japan), Victoria Goldsmith (UK), Amelie Lied Haga (Norway), Sirena Huang (USA), Thomas Huntington (USA), Zenas Hsu (USA), Tomohiro Ishii (Japan), Harriet Langley (Australia), Jae Ook Lee (Korea), Ariel Mitnick (USA), Erika Mitsui (USA), Fumiaki Miura (Japan), Sung Mi Park (Korea), Taejun Park (Korea), Ji Won Song (Korea), Min Kyung Sul (Korea), Tong Tong Sun (China), Sakura Tanaka (Japan), Chieri Tomii (Japan), and Yu-Chien Tseng (China).

Seniors: Hrachya Avanesyan (Armenia), Virgil Boutellis (France), Samika Honda (Japan), Lydia Hong (USA), Hwi Eun Kim (Korea), Ji Won Kim (Korea), Jiye Lee (Korea), Woo Il Lee (Korea), Dragos Mihail Manza (Romania), Eugene Nakamura (Canada), Sharon Park (USA), Robin Scott (USA), Shi Shuai (China), Josef Spacek (Czech Republic), Alexander Sprung (Germany/USA), Paula Sumane (Latvia), Evgeny Sviridov (Russia), Mathieu Van Bellen (Netherlands), Jiajing Wang (China), and Sulki Yu (Korea).

Musician News

Jason Horowitz and Julianne Lee have joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as section violinists. Horowitz, who joins the orchestra this month at the start of the Boston Pops season, has served as assistant concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra and guest concertmaster at the BBC, Baltimore, and Hartford symphonies. Lee will join the BSO at the start of its 2006-07 season. A native of Seoul, she received a bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and is currently pursuing a master's degree at New England Conservatory as a violin/viola student. She has participated in the Marlboro and Aspen music festivals and will take part in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival this summer.

Todd Doan has been named conductor of the Prelude and Interlude String Orchestras at the Norwalk Youth Symphony, effective next season. Doan also conducts the Carnegie Hill Orchestra of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York and teaches instrumental music in the Newark (N.J.) Public Schools. He is trained as a violist.

5/21/06 - Janos Starker will receive an honorary doctorate from the New England Conservatory, his sixth. In addition to being the former principal cellist with the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago, and Dallas symphony orchestras, Starker has been a soloist and recitalist on all continents with all major orchestras, festivals, and master classes worldwide. He has made more than 165 recordings and is the recipient of a Grammy Award.

5/20/06 - Jamie Laredo will receive an honorary doctoral degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has performed at most of the venues across the United States and Europe, and is a member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, winner of Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year 2002. The trio will celebrate its 30th anniversary this Fall.

5/6/06 - Vladimir Jurowski has been named the next principal conductor of the London Philharmonic, reports The Guardian (UK). The 34-year-old Russian will succeed Kurt Masur. Jurowski has been the LPO's principal guest conductor since 2003, and his star has been rising fast on the international scene. "His contract is for an initial five years. He will give a minimum of 25 concerts per year, as well as touring and working with the orchestra in Glyndebourne - spending a total of seven or eight months of the year in Britain."

5/3/06 - Toshiyuki Shimada, outgoing music director of the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, “ended his 20-year tenure before an effusive audience of 1,908 friends, music lovers and admirers," reports the Portland Herald. At the concert's end, "Audience members, whom Shimada always has viewed as an extended family, stood and cheered for nearly 10 minutes." Charles Dimmick, the PSO's concertmaster, tells the paper: "It's a special concert, especially for those who have been playing for the entire 20 years of his tenure. That's a long time to be working with one person. It's going to be weird letting him go."

Orchestra News

The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra has been selected for a Midori Orchestra Residency program in 2008. During a week-long residency in Sioux Falls, violinist Midori will work closely with the Dakota Academy of Performing Arts and the Sioux Empire Youth Orchestras as well as the South Dakota Symphony by performing, coaching young musicians, appearing at benefits and concerts and working with the orchestras to raise arts awareness in the community. Read more about Midori and her arts education initiatives in the May-June issue of Symphony:

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra has selected five finalists in its music director search. They are: Grant Cooper, music director of the West Virginia Symphony and resident conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra; David Lockington, music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony; Jose-Luis Novo, music director of the Binghamton Philharmonic and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra; Edwin Outwater, resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony; and Lara Webber, recent associate conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Each will participate in a week-long residency in the 2006-07 season.

General Music News

5/3/06 – According to the BBC, listeners of the UK's Classic FM radio station have voted on their favorite pieces of British classical music. The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams won. "Edward Elgar came second and third with Cello Concerto in E minor and then Variations on an Original Theme (the Enigma Variations). Welshman Karl Jenkins - the only living composer in the top 10 - was fourth with The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace."

5/1/06 - More than 600,000 students from across Canada participated in the second annual Music Monday on this day. The nationwide simultaneous concert celebrated music education in the schools as students and teachers performed the same song at the exact same time. The theme song, "A Little Music," was composed by Chris Tait. Educators were able to visit the Music Monday web site,, to download arrangements for orchestra, band, and chorus.

From Colleen Russo
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 2:50 AM
Wow- I never realized Janos Starker was that good!! I just always thought of him as my friend's grandpa!
From Oliver Bedford
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 2:22 PM
Hurrah for Vaughan Williams and Elgar. My music teacher at school (45 years ago) was mad on VW, and it sort of rubbed off on me. And what about Elgar's violin concerto ? Grabs my guts every time I hear it.


From Danielle Goatley
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 11:03 PM
I just love the nimrod variations, especially number 10
From Sydney Menees
Posted on May 13, 2006 at 6:08 AM
OMG! I know Serena Huang! She was at a camp I was at!!!! Wow wow wow wow...

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