Printer-friendly version
Yixi Zhang

Menuhin would be pleased to see these first couple of days of 2012 Beijing Competion

April 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

BEIJING -- I arrived in my hotel in Beijing less than an hour before the reception yesterday at the Menuhin Competition, but I am so glad I made it. (By the way the web stream for the Menuhin Competition can be found at this link: It begins today!)

It was surreal to see so many world’s finest violinists in one room. Whether it is the years of very hard working or something special about the instrument they devote their life to, these famous artists are some of the most real and humble people I’ve met.

The Opening Concert was also a great success. It started with the exciting Enescu's Rhapsody for orchestra, performed by the China Youth Symphony Orchestra. Then a number of previous prize winners performed solo pieces, such as Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 (Xiang Yu) and Bartok's First Rhapsody (Ning Feng). I am a big fan if Ning Feng (a fellow v.comer), and I think his Bartok was exquisite and full of love carried out by his superb technique. I met him during the reception before his performance. What a nice guy! His new biography was published last month in China. I can’t wait to read it. I’m also hoping to get a chance to interview him some day.

With Ning Feng

with Ning Feng

Speaking of interview, I have just scheduled an interview with Kerson Leong and his family. Kerson played Saint-Saëns - Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso during the opening with passion and technical ease. The audience went wild. An old gentleman sat next to me was in total disbelief and kept saying, “Oh, this is scary!” Yup, you'll see why this is so when you read my interview in near future.

Today is the first half of the senior round one. There are a few very fine competitors with Zeyu Li and Andi Zhang on top of my favorite list. The audience is very warm and supportive. They were first told not to clap but the audience couldn’t help themselves, so after a few hours, the panel relaxed the rule. I’m also impressed by a few quite young (look like 5-7 years old) kids in the audience, sitting there for hours quietly and cheerful. You can’t force young kids to love music like this.

Now if anyone is to argue with me about the value of violin competitions, I only need to remind them that they should keep their mind open and mouth closed until they’ve participated in one of these international events.

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 8, 2012 at 1:03 AM
Thanks Laurie for added links! I'm off to the second day of the competition. It's the 2nd half of the 1st round for the senior young competitors. If you can't watch the live stream, don't worry, I was told that they'll put in the archive and possibly some will be on youtube in future.
From Maggie Zhang
Posted on April 8, 2012 at 7:27 AM
Glad to hear that you made it!!! Take care and looking forward for more updates.
From Shumin Lim
Posted on April 8, 2012 at 9:43 AM
I'm a fan of Ning Feng too!! Hope you get to interview him!

After the first day, Alexi Kenney is clearly in a class of his own.

Only wished the quality of the videos was better...

From Paul Deck
Posted on April 8, 2012 at 4:25 PM
Yixi it's awesome to have this first-hand account of this magical event. There's no way I could have gone... I'm unfortunately among those whose travel experience is largely defined by reading National Geographic. Maybe later in life when I have more free time...
From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 9, 2012 at 1:00 AM
Paul, I'm not big on travel either but sometimes it's worth the trouble. I hope you are able to watch the live stream at home. The semi-final and final should not be missed.

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

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine