Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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  • Q: Will the Michael Hill accept a late application?
    A: No. Out of fairness to all the applicants, the Michael Hill will not make any exceptions and strongly recommends applicants do not wait until the day of the deadline to submit their materials

    Q: Will the Michael Hill accept alternative repertoire?
    A: No. Out of fairness to all the applicants, the Michael Hill will only accept the repertoire selections as outlined here.

    Q: What does “live” recording mean?
    A: The application round is meant to represent an audition, therefore works are to be played as per a performance. The Michael Hill will not accept edited or enhanced application recordings under any circumstance.

    Q: Can I submit previously-recorded work?
    A: Yes, provided it is performed and recorded after 16 May 2016 which is six months before the application deadline. Exceptions will be made only by prior written approval provided by the Competition’s management.

    Q: Am I allowed to make the recording over different dates or sessions?
    A: Yes, provided it is not more than six months (see above Question about previously-recorded works.)

    Q: Can I record the Bach movements separately?
    A: Yes you may. When you get to labelling them, please label them separately too using the name of the movement (ie John_Doe_Bach_SonataNo1_Gminor_Adagio-mp4)

    Q: Help! I’m having problems uploading my materials!
    A: In the event you encounter technical difficulties uploading any of your materials, please contact DecisionDesk Applicant Support in the first instance. DecisionDesk is located in Ohio, USA and has support available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (Eastern Standard Time).

    Q: When and how will I find out if I’ve been accepted?
    A: The Competition management will advise every applicant the outcome of their audition by email on or before 15 December 2016.

  • Q: Can I change my repertoire selection?
    A: If you have been selected as a Quarter-finalist, your programme (submitted in your application) will be reviewed, checked for accuracy and approved by Mr Dene Olding (Artistic Adviser) shortly after you are invited to compete in the live rounds. Should you wish to submit any changes to your programme, these must be done by 1 February 2017. No changes can be made without permission of the Competition and absolutely no changes will be accepted after 1 May 2017.

    Q: What does Ad libitum mean at the Michael Hill?
    A: Ad libitum means “according to pleasure”. Our aim is to provide each quarter-finalist with an opportunity to demonstrate, to the judges and the audience, a work that personally resonates with them; that demonstrates a particular talent or enthusiasm, something in which they truly excel…. that gives pleasure – to the performer and the audience.

    Perhaps it will be a work from the Competitor’s heritage, or a piece they premiered, commissioned or composed. Maybe competitors’ versatility extends to a second instrument, or they are “jazzers” at heart.

    Because the work selected may be unfamiliar, and to provide the performers the ability to express themselves beyond their violin playing, each Competitor is required to introduce the work from the stage. There will be no printed programme notes so audience and judges will want to know something about the work itself, but more specifically we want to know why the Competitor chose it, and what is it that makes it so compelling? If required, an interpreter will be provided.

    Queenstown is a small and remote alpine village and lacks certain amenities. Competitors are required to observe the following conditions and parameters:

    • The Competition provides pianists but should a Competitor wish to present a work with other collaborating artists, any costs will be borne by the Competitor.
    • The Competition provides pianos and will assist in the procurement of other collaborating instruments, but any costs associated with hiring, delivery and preparation of any instruments will be borne by the Competitor,
    • Each Competitor receives a maximum of 120 minutes’ rehearsal with their assigned pianist to prepare their full Queenstown program including the ad libitum selection.
    • Competitors are required to provide a full score to the Competition by 1 February.

    Q: Can I have more information about the not repeating composers rule?
    A: Certainly. Firstly, competitors selected to perform in the live rounds can repeat any of the application repertoire from the selection round.

    When it comes to the live rounds in New Zealand, it is because the Michael Hill encourages Competitors to present a programme with repertoire that exhibits a broad stylistic range that we seek to restrict over-representation of a particular genre or composer.

    We will not accept programmes where a composer is repeated in the live rounds except Paganini, and Ad Libitum selections, and then the composer can only be repeated once. A composer can never be performed three times.

    For example, we will not accept a Brahms Sonata and a Brahms Concerto, nor a Prokofieff Sonata and a Prokofieff Concerto. We will not accept a Sibelius Salon piece and a Sibelinus Concerto, nor a Tchaikovsky Virtuoso work and a Tchaikovsky Concerto.

    Paganini repeat exceptions: we will accept a Paganini Caprice and either a Virtuoso work OR Ad Libitum work (but not both).

    Ad Libitum repeat exceptions: we will accept a composer be repeated from the Ad Libitum category in other rounds. For example, we will accept a Mozart sonata in the Ad Libitum category plus the Mozart Quintet in Round III, or a Paganini selection plus the Caprice in Round I.

    Please remember that Ad libitum and virtuoso works are the Competitor’s own choice yet subject to final approval of the submitted programme by the Competition’s Artistic Adviser.

    Final approval of quarter-finalists’ programmes will be given by the Competition’s management by 20 February 2017.

  • Q: Why do I need a NZ visa if I’m not working?
    A: Unless you hold a passport from a New Zealand visa waiver country, you will be required to obtain a visa and this is the responsibility of each of the quarter-finalists. The New Zealand government considers compensation for airfare and accommodation (and potential prize money) to be earnings, therefore, a short-term working visa is required unless by special agreement. The Competition will advise each quarter-finalist if a visa is required, and if so, will assist by providing some of the necessary documentation to support your visa application. It will be necessary for you to send your passport to a New Zealand consulate or embassy to receive your visa. Depending on your residency and citizenship, this could take a few weeks, so plan accordingly. You will not be allowed on the New Zealand-bound airplane without your visa.


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