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 live-stream 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:
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