To be honest, if you want to win a big international violin competition, Max Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy" is not necessarily the piece of music you pick to play in the Finals.
Sure, it's a virtuosic piece, but it's so familiar, so Romantic. If you really want to wow the judges, you might pick the edgier Bartok Concerto No. 2, or the emotionally gripping Shostakovich Concerto No. 1, or the technically and musically challenging Walton Violin Concerto. In fact, of the 38 violinists who came to vie for the Gold Medal during the 17-day International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in September, only one of them chose to play the "Scottish Fantasy" in the Finals: Richard Lin.
Lin also happens to be the violinist who won the competition. He's the first to admit that he was not being strategic when he chose the "Scottish Fantasy" from the list of 21 works from which they could choose. He was being sentimental.
"After all these competitions that I've done - I played Brahms, Beethoven, Korngold, Wieniawski, so many different concerti - I've never seen Scottish Fantasy on the list," Lin said, speaking to me at the home of his host family in Indianapolis after his win. Lin, 27, was born in Arizona and raised in Taiwan. He has a bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute, where he studied with Aaron Rosand, and a master's degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Lewis Kaplan. He came into the Indianapolis having won top prizes at the Hannover, Sendai, Singapore, Wieniawski, Shanghai and Michael Hill International Violin Competitions.
"The 'Scottish Fantasy' has always been my favorite, especially the melody in the third movement," Lin said. He first heard that melody in a 2002 Chinese movie called Together, where it features in an emotionally moving scene between father and son. The movie itself tells the story of a violin prodigy who comes from a small village in China to the big city, where he faces cultural, personal and artistic challenges. Keep reading...Tweet Comments (3)
International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, a another effort was happening simultaneously, to identify the finest violins created so far this century.INDIANAPOLIS - While jury members listened to the top violinists of a new generation at the
The Indianapolis competition's 21st Century Violin Search, announced last spring, attracted submissions from 45 luthiers from the United States, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
The stated goal of the search was to identify several violins that the competition would purchase to be loaned to current competition laureates for a period of four years as part of their prize. The competition already owns the 1683 “ex-Gingold” Stradivarius, so that addition would start a collection for the competition. The unstated goal was to support the work of modern violin makers, whose instruments been gaining in reputation, with many calling the 21st century a new "Golden Era" of violin-making. The selection process put the violins in the hands of concert violinists, IVCI jury members and competition participants, who blind-tested and ranked the instruments over the course of the 17-day competition. Keep reading...Comments (7)
International Violin Competition of Indianapolis would perform their Romantic and Post-Romantic Concertos in a concert that took place right before the judges were to announce the winners of the 17-day quadrennial competition. (Find that announcement and the final placement of the laureates here.)INDIANAPOLIS - Excitement was in the air on Saturday night at the Hilbert Circle Theatre downtown, where the last three of six Finalists in the
Before the concert began, I chatted with a couple sitting next to me in the balcony, who had traveled from Los Angeles to attend the concerts. They were carefully scoring every violinist for every performance, and the margins in their programs were filled with handwritten notes and numbers. Another couple, behind me, had traveled from Fort Worth for some of the concerts and said that next time, they hoped to simply come for the entire competition. It would seem that "The Indianapolis" has become something of a pilgrimage for violin lovers in North America!
On Saturday audience members were treated to a second night of varied repertoire, with Shannon Lee playing the Walton Concerto for Violin; Luke Hsu the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and Anna Lee the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, all with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. The other finalists, Richard Lin; Risa Hokamura and Ioana Cristina Goicea, had performed on Friday, read the review and find the videos here. Keep reading...Comments (2)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Updated Sunday with Special Prizes.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Richard Lin of the U.S. has won the Gold Medal in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
Congratulations to all the laureates, who were named Saturday night following the last concert in the Finals. They are:
Members of the 2018 Indianapolis competition jury include Jaime Laredo (President), Pamela Frank, Mihaela Martin, Kyoko Takezawa, Cho-Liang Lin, Arnold Steinhardt, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Dong-Suk Kang and Rodney Friend. Keep reading...Comments (7)
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.