Lauren Franceschini

Menuhin Competition 2016: London to host “the Olympics of the Violin”

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The Menuhin Competition has been dubbed “the Olympics of the Violin” because it attracts and brings together some of the best violinists from around the globe and is the world’s leading competition for young musicians under the age of 22.

Marking the 100th anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin, one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, the 2016 Menuhin Competition will take place here in London from April 7th-17th. The 10-day event features 44 of the world’s best young violinists under the age of 22 in a host of formal competitions, recitals, and more. Each competitor will play a 30-minute recital of works for solo violin and violin and piano. The competition’s repertoire covers three centuries of classical music ranging from Bach, Mozart, Paganini, Wieniawski, Grieg, and Enescu. The first competition round is free to attend and will take place from April 8th-11th at the Royal Academy of Music, Duke’s Hall. Those who advance will play in the Menuhin Competition Gala Weekend on April 16th-17th at the Southbank Centre where the winners will be announced.

An incredibly rare and expensive Stradivarius violin like the one to be lent to the 1st place Senior Section winner.

An incredibly rare and expensive Stradivarius violin like the one to be lent to the 1st place Senior Section winner.

Junior competitors must be under the age of 16 and senior competitors must be under 22. Under certain circumstances, 15-year-old violinists may also compete within the senior section. The 1st place winner in the Senior Section will receive a cash prize of £10,000 and a 1-year loan of a golden period Stradivarius violin. The 1st place winner in the Junior Section will receive a cash prize of £5,000 and a 1-year loan of a fine old Italian violin. Both 1st place winners will also have the opportunity to perform in recitals and festivals around the world. Other cash prizes are available for placing competitors as well as awards for solo performances.

In terms of judging, The Menuhin Competition is the only violin competition asking jury members to perform a concert and give a public masterclass, thus offering outstanding education and entertainment to competitors and audiences alike. Chaired by Pamela Frank, an incredibly established and experienced musician, five of this year’s nine jurors are former Menuhin Prize winners including the youngest ever juror, Ray Chen, and Julia Fischer, who won the Menuhin Prize at just 11.

The competition is hosted in a different country every two years, so don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience it in London! For more information on the Menuhin Competition, how to buy tickets, or this year’s competitors, visit their website. For a more personalised look at some of the competitors, check out their short introduction video.

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