Participants Announced in Menuhin Violin Competition 2020 in Richmond, Va.

January 23, 2020, 10:36 PM · The Menuhin Competition has announced the 44 violinists who will participate in its biennial competition May 14 – 24 in Richmond, Virginia. The competitors were selected from a pool of 321 applicants and include 22 Juniors Competitors (ages 15 and under) as well as 22 Seniors Competitors (ages 21 and under). Ranging in age from 11 to 21, they represent 18 nationalities in 16 countries of residence across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and 13 states within the U.S. (See the full list below).

2018 Menuhin Junior winners
Christian Li of Australia, and Chloe Chua of Singapore, joint winners of the Menuhin Competition, Geneva 2018 Junior 1st Prize.

"The applicants are so accomplished at such a young age that it becomes more challenging every year to select the 44 competitors," said Menuhin Competition Artistic Director Gordon Back, "the youngsters play at an exceptional level both musically and technically."

The competition was founded by the famous 20th-century violinist Yehudi Menuhin in 1983 and is held every two years in a different city: most recently in Geneva in 2018, London in 2016, Austin in 2014, Beijing in 2012 and Oslo in 2010. Previous laureates include Julia Fischer, Tasmin Little, Ray Chen, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Ilya Gringolts, Daishin Kashimoto, Ning Feng, Chad Hoopes, Angelo Xiang Yu, Stephen Waarts and Kevin Zhu, among others.

“I think participating in the Menuhin Competition is a bit like climbing a tall mountain," said 13-year-old Boha Moon of South Korea. "It’s important not to rush but to enjoy the excitement and challenges of the mountain.... As the old Korean saying goes, 'No one can beat the one who enjoys it!'"

Jury members for 2020 will include Chairwoman Pamela Frank; Vice Chair Joji Hattori; Noah Bendix-Balgley; Ray Chen; Aaron Dworkin;, Ning Feng; Ralph Kirshbaum; Anton Nel; and Soyoung Yoon. Prizes include a top award of $20,000 plus a 2-year loan of a golden period Stradivarius violin from the private collection of Jonathan Moulds CBE and a bow made by Christophe Landon for the Senior Division winner and $10,000 plus a 2-year loan of a fine old Italian violin, sponsored by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins London & New York for the Junior Division winner, as well as other cash prizes.

Other events connected with the competition will begin before the event, including a "Violin Day" led by fiddler Mark O'Connor on May 2 at Virginia Commonwealth University, with student performances, a mini-competition and a short performance by Mark & Maggie O’Connor. The next day will include an O’Connor Method training session. During the days of the competition competitors and guest artists will visit elementary and secondary schools throughout the region for educational outreach. The Sphinx Virtuosi will be Artists-in-Residence for the competition and will perform alongside student winners of the Violin Day mini-competition, and numerous master classes are scheduled.

In addition, TwoSet Violin are slated to attend the competition as roving reporters.

Here is a full list of the violinists chosen to participate in the 2020 Menuhin Competition:

Junior Competitors

*Information in parentheses indicates place of residence when different from nationality.

Senior Competitors

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January 24, 2020 at 11:30 AM · 'Seniors' - under 21. Couldn't they come up with a better term? I mean everyone agrees what 'Senior's are, they are somewhere at retirement and beyond. Thus, if there was a competition for people over 65 what would they call it? Dinosaurs??

January 24, 2020 at 04:38 PM · Nothing wrong with using "senior", like high school seniors

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