Beijing to host Menuhin Competition
Updated: 2011-04-26 07:55
By Mu Qian (China Daily)
One of the world's most prestigious competitions for young violinists, the Menuhin Competition, will be held in Beijing from April 6 to 15, 2012.
It will be the first time the competition, named after the late violinist Yehudi Menuhin, takes place outside Europe. The Central Conservatory of Music, from which Menuhin was the first Western musician to receive an honorary professorship in 1979, will be the host.
"Hosting the Menuhin Young Violinists International Competition in Beijing commemorates Menuhin and also conveys our great respect and sincere gratitude to him," says Wang Cizhao, president of Central Conservatory of Music.
The competition, founded by Menuhin in 1983 to promote violin education among young people, is held every two years.
"Since our young competitors come from all over the world - from 34 countries for 2010's competition in Oslo - we decided to take the show on the road," says Duncan Greenland, chairman of the Menuhin Competition.
"Given Menuhin's strong personal connection to China and our long list of past Chinese prize winners, there could be no better place than Beijing in which to hold the first Menuhin Competition outside Europe."
Twenty-five Chinese competitors have won prizes at the competition, including Lu Siqing, Ning Feng and Zhang Le, China's most famous violinists.
According to Tao Qian, deputy director of the President's Office at the Central Conservatory of Music, about 10 million Chinese children are currently learning the violin, which is second in popularity only to the piano.
The Menuhin Competition is divided into two groups: Juniors (aged under 16) and Seniors (aged under 22). The competition is open for applications, from now until Oct 31.
The 2012 jury panel will be composed of nine internationally acclaimed musicians, including British former Menuhin Competition prize winner Tasmin Little and Russian virtuoso and conductor Maxim Vengerov. The panel will be chaired by Pamela Frank, from the United States.
Apart from designated works, participants of the competition will also be given a four to eight bar phrase on which to improvise for three minutes, which is unique among violin competitions.
In the finals, competitors will perform with some of China's leading symphony orchestras, including the China Philharmonic Orchestra.
The competition will be part of the UK Now Festival, organized by the British Council to promote UK culture in China in 2012.
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