Violinist María Dueñas Wins First Prize in 2021 Menuhin Competition Senior Division

May 22, 2021, 8:54 PM · Congratulations to María Dueñas of Spain, who has won first prize in the 2021 Menuhin Competition Senior Division.

Maria Duenas
Menuhin Competition Senior Division First Prize Winner María Dueñas of Spain.

Here is a list of all the prizewinners that were announced Saturday in the 2021 Menuhin Competition Senior Division (click on their names to read their bios):

María Dueñas, from southern Spain, studies with Boris Kuschnir at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (MUK). "Dreams make no distinction about nationality or social background," María said. "They are there to be fought for and to be reached. As a winner of the Competition in the Senior division Richmond 2021, I'm becoming part of Lord Yehudi Menuhin’s legacy, one of the greatest honors I could ever think of. It's like touching the moon with the tip of my fingers!"

In the Final Round, María performed Lutoslawski’s Subito; Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, Andante cantabile; and Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole in D minor, Allegro non troppo. María wins US$20,000, plus a two-year loan of a golden period Stradivarius violin from the private collection of Jonathan Moulds CBE through the Beare’s International Violin Society, and a bow made by Christophe Landon.

BELOW is the full video stream for the Senior Finals, which were held virtually on Saturday:

Karisa Chiu, 21, USA
Pianist: Inah Chiu
Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, Allegro molto appassionato
Mozart - Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218, Andante cantabile
Ysaÿe - Solo Sonata No. 3 in D minor “Ballade”

María Dueñas, 18, Spain
Pianist: Evgeny Sinaiski
Lutoslawski - Subito
Mozart - Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218, Andante cantabile
Lalo - Symphonie Espagnole in D minor, Op. 21, Allegro non troppo

Simon Zhu, 20, Germany
Pianist: Alkistis Milioni
Wieniawski - Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22, Allegro moderato
Mozart - Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219, Adagio
Ysaÿe - Solo Sonata No. 6 ""Manuel Quiroga""

Hana Chang, 18, Singapore/Japan/USA
Pianist: Lorena Tecu
Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, Allegro molto appassionato
Mozart - Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216, Adagio
Kreisler - Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta

Click here for the Virtual Program Book.

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Replies

May 24, 2021 at 01:18 AM · Several weeks ago, YouTube began showing videos of Maria Duenas in my feed, so I started listening. I found out later that she was participating in the Menuhin Competition, and I thought at the time that I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she won. Congrats to her!

May 24, 2021 at 11:26 PM · Thank you, Laurie, for bringing us this extensive collection of performances, especially those of the finalists.

May 25, 2021 at 02:07 AM · Saw Maria Duenas in Zhuhai Mozart Completion a few years ago. She was already equally comfortable with both Mozart and Paganini then.

May 25, 2021 at 11:26 PM · The judges chose well. In addition to being an impressive violinist, María Dueñas has undeniable stage charisma and star power. And those things do matter.

I thought Karisa Chiu's Mendelssohn was more interesting and had more individual character than Hana Chang's, which was certainly well-played but much more "standard" in her interpretation. For example, right in the exposition Chiu's octaves were gracefully articulated instead of the "wall-to-wall carpeting" largamente that one ordinarily hears.

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