International Jury

The artists serving on the International Jury embody the glorious traditions of violin playing from all over the world. Mindful of the possibilities available and multi-faceted skills required for a successful career as a violinist in the 21st century, these judges represent various pathways, and amongst them typify soloists, chamber musicians, recording artists, pedagogues, orchestra leaders and conductors of the highest standards.

  • 2015_international_jury_pierre_amoyal_02
    Pierre Amoyal (France/Switzerland)

    Pierre Amoyal is well known to music lovers. He has played with the greatest conductors and orchestras in the most prestigious concert halls of the world. This virtuoso is also the lucky owner of the one of the most beautiful violins ever made: the famous “Kochanski,” a Stradivarius that was stolen from him in 1987, and which was miraculously recovered four years later by the Italian “Carabinieri”.

    When Amoyal was only twelve years old, he completed his studies at the Paris Conservatory with a First Prize. The prodigy then left for Los Angeles to study with the legendary Jascha Heifetz. The two spent five intense years together, culminated by chamber music concerts and recordings with the cellist, Gregor Piatigorski. At the age of 22, he made his European debut with the late Sir Georg Solti and the Orchestre de Paris, followed by appearances in all of the major European capitals, as well as in the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America and in the Far East. Amoyal has played under the most important conductors of the last three decades: von Karajan, Ozawa, Boulez, Maazel, Solti, Pretre, Sanderling, Roshdestvensky, Rattle, and Mung Whun Chung, to name only a few. His first appearance with the Berlin Philharmonic under Maestro von Karajan in Berlin was followed by many further performances with this orchestra, including the German premier of the Dutilleux Concerto under Lorin Maazel. In 1985, he made his recital debut in Carnegie Hall, which received outstanding critical acclaim.

    He was the youngest musician ever to be nominated as a professor at the Paris Conservatory. Following his move to Switzerland, he now teaches at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg and at the Lausanne Conservatory. Also in Lausanne, he initiated a novel music academy, dedicated to the violin/piano repertoire, which he gives annually with Bruno Canino.

    > Website
    > Pierre plays Franck
    > Loss and recovery of his 1717 “Kochanski” Stradivarius


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  • 2015_international_jury_young_uck_kim
    Young Uck Kim (South Korea)

    Violinist Young Uck Kim, one of the world’s foremost violinists, has celebrated an international career for over 40 years.

    Young Uck Kim has performed across the United States, Europe and Japan. He has appeared with virtually every American Orchestra, and he has performed with prominent Orchestras in Europe. He has appeared at many festivals including the Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, the Tanglewood Music Festival, Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony and so on. He has worked with many conductors including Karajan, Berstein, Ormandy, Stokowski, Ozawa, Rattle and many others.

    In addition, he is deeply involved in chamber music as one of the Ax-Kim-Ma Trio. He was a member of the Beaux Arts Trio from 1998 to 2002. He has played chamber music with Rudolph Serkin, Andras Schiff, Peter Serkin, Isaac Stern, Andre Previn, Christoph Eschenbach and many others.

    He recorded the complete Mozart Violin Concertos with conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Other recordings include the Dvorak Piano Trio on the label Chamber Music Works with the Ax-Kim-Ma Trio, and for Deutsche Grammophone, the Mendelssohn and Bruch Violin concertos, the Bach B minor Partita for Solo Violin and Beethoven Eb Sonata for Piano and Violin.

    Young Uck Kim was born in Seoul and attended the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with the legendary Ivan Galamian. He was the former Artistic Director of the Seoul Art Centre and is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Seoul National University.

    > Hear Young Uck performing “Dumky” with Emmanuel Ax and Yo-Yo-Ma
    > Interview for LA Times
  • 2015_international_jury_joseph_lin
    Joseph Lin (USA)

    An active solo and chamber musician, Joseph Lin’s recent performances have taken him to Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.  He has appeared as soloist with the Boston Symphony, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Taiwan National Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, and the Ukraine National Philharmonic.  He is a regular participant at several festivals, including Marlboro and Ravinia.

    In 2011, Joseph Lin joined the renowned Juilliard String Quartet as the ensemble’s first violinist.  Previously, Mr. Lin was a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, winner of the 2006 London International String Quartet Competition. In 1996, Mr. Lin was awarded First Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts the same year. In 1999, he was selected for the Pro Musicis International Award, and in 2001, he won First Prize at the inaugural Michael Hill World Violin Competition in New Zealand. His recordings include the music of Korngold and Busoni on the Naxos label, and the unaccompanied works of Bach and Ysayë on the Fine N&F label.  With the Juilliard Quartet, Mr. Lin has recorded Elliott Carter’s Quartet No. 5, released by Sony in 2014.

    Joseph Lin’s violin teachers have included Mary Canberg, Shirley Givens, and Lynn Chang. Mr. Lin graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 2000. In 2002, he began an extended exploration of China, spending 2004 studying Chinese music in Beijing as a Fulbright Scholar. From 2007 to 2011, Joseph was an assistant professor at Cornell University.  In 2011, Mr. Lin joined the faculty of the Juilliard School.

    > Juilliard String Quartet
    > Interview with Joseph
    > Masterclass with Joseph

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    ANZ Bank

  • 2015_competition_international_susie_park
    Susie Park (Australia)

    Hailed as “prodigiously talented” (Washington Post) and praised for her “freedom, mastery and fantasy” (La Libre, Belgium), Australian violinist Susie Park is gaining worldwide attention for her emotive range and dynamic stage presence. She was violinist of the Eroica Trio from 2006 to 2012, performing extensively throughout the US and in countries including Brazil, Denmark, Germany and New Zealand.

    With the trio she released a Grammy-nominated album on EMI Classics. As soloist, she has performed with the Vienna Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, the Memphis Symphony, Korea’s KBS Symphony Orchestra, the Lille National Orchestra, New Zealand’s Wellington Sinfonia, and with the major Australian orchestras. She has appeared in venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 92nd Street Y, the Kimmel Center, the Smithsonian Institution, Musikverein, Cologne Philharmonie and Dusseldorf Tonhalle.

    A finalist in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, she has won top prizes in the Menuhin and Wieniawski International Competitions. Ms. Park attended the Marlboro Music Festival for three summers and has toured throughout the United States with Musicians from Marlboro. She has appeared at Music from Angel Fire, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, England, the Aspen, Caramoor and Ravinia Festivals, and Sommerakademie Mozarteum in Austria. Ms. Park is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Jaime Laredo and Ida Kavafian.

    A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two, she also studied with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory. She is a founding member of ECCO, or East Coast Chamber Orchestra, which released its debut album in 2012.

    > ECCO
    > Yevgeniy Sharlat: Piano Quartet: III. Chorale Variations
    > Eroica Trio, Tango Evolution

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  • 2013_competition_international_jury_pohl_tn
    Helene Pohl (New Zealand)

    Helene Pohl is the first violinist of the New Zealand String Quartet, a full-time post that keeps her well out of other mischief, though she has performed solo recitals and concertos around New Zealand since moving here in 1994, and she is the devoted teacher of a small number of students at the New Zealand School of Music.

    Born in Ithaca, New York to German parents, she spent her childhood on both sides of the Atlantic. She began violin at age 4 with the Suzuki method. A musical omnivore, she began piano study at 9 and as a teenager added viola, clarinet and baritone saxophone (the latter in order to join the jazz band). At 17 she began tertiary study at the Musikhochschule Cologne, where her teacher was Franzjosef Maier, founder of the Collegium Aureum, and her chamber music coaches were the members of the Amadeus Quartet. She continued her studies at the Eastman School of Music where she received a Bachelor’s Degree and the coveted Performer’s Certificate. Her violin and chamber music teachers were the members of the Cleveland Quartet; she also studied voice with Renee Fleming. She received her Master’s Degree at Indiana University where she studied violin with Josef Gingold (student of Eugene Ysaye), viola with Kim Kashkashian, and chamber music with Fritz Magg, Abraham Skernick and Gyorgy Sebok.

    With groups formed during her studies she spent many summers at the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival where she received coaching from members of the Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard and Tokyo Quartets. Other violin teachers whose lessons she found inspirational along the way were James Buswell, Robert Mann and Joyce Robbins.

    As first violinist of the San Francisco based Fidelio String Quartet (1988-1993), Helene Pohl performed in the USA, Germany, England, Italy and South America. The Fidelio Quartet was prizewinner in the 1991 London International String Quartet Competition and quartet in residence at both the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals.

    Helene Pohl joined the New Zealand String Quartet as first violinist in February 1994. The NZSQ, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012, enjoys an extremely busy international career, with several yearly tours to North America and Europe and frequent visits to Australia and Asia as well as about 40 concerts each year in New Zealand alone. They also have an extensive discography on Atoll, Naxos and Rattle among others, with music by Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorak, Schubert, Debussy, Ravel, Berg, Wolf, Szekely, Tan Dun, Takemitsu, Chinary Ung, Zhou Long, the entire quartets of Bartok and Mendelssohn and many New Zealand compositions. Their CD “Notes from a Journey” won the Classical section of the Tui Music Awards in 2011.

    In 2001 she became Artistic Director, with fellow quartet member Gillian Ansell, of the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music, held biennially in Nelson, which features NZ artists along with international visitors and has become an important part of the Australasian music scene.

    In her spare time she is often seen on the tennis court, or practicing Tai Chi, or playing with her son Peter.

    Sponsored by
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  • 2015_international_jury_benjamin_schmid
    Benjamin Schmid (Austria)

    Benjamin was born in Vienna and grew up in Salzburg. In 1992 he won the Carl Flesch Competition in London, where he was also awarded the Mozart, the Beethoven, and the Audience Prize. Since then he has performed on the world’s major stages with renowned orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra London, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam under conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, David Zinman, Seiji Ozawa or Ingo Metzmacher.

    Probably one of the most versatile of today’s violinists, Mr. Schmid combines his qualities as a soloist, the extraordinary broad range of his repertoire – in addition to the usual works he also plays the violin concertos by Hartmann, Gulda, Korngold, Muthspiel, Szymanowski, Lutoslawski and Schönberg – with his remarkable skill in jazz improvisation.

    Benjamin has recorded about 40 CDs and they have received various awards such as the German Record Prize, the Echo Klassik Prize, the Gramophone Editor’s Choice and the Strad Selection. He plays on a Stradivari dating from 1731 in about 80 worldwide concerts a year, is professor of violin at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and gives masterclasses in Berne, Switzerland ( In the summer of 2006 Benjamin Schmid was awarded the International Prize for Art and Culture of the City of Salzburg.

    In June 2011 Benjamin soloed again with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, this time performing the violin concerto by Paganini/Kreisler. This “Summer Night Concert” was broadcasted on TV worldwide and released on DVD on Deutsche Grammophon.

    Several films have been made about Benjamin Schmid which document his exceptional status as a violinist; they have been screened on television throughout the world. He lives in Salzburg, Austria, with his wife, the pianist Ariane Haering and their four children.

    > Website

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    Kensington Swan Lawyers

  • 2015_international_jury_Sergiu_Schwartz
    Sergiu Schwartz (Romania)

    Sergiu Schwartz’s international concert appearances have taken him to major music centers on four continents, including twenty European countries, Israel, Asia, Canada, and over forty U. S. states, as soloist with orchestras, in recitals and chamber music concerts. “Following in the footsteps of his fellow countrymen Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, he is a product of the best of European romantic interpretative style and 20th-Century American technical acuity,” states New York’s Newsday, while Le Soleil notes that “he stands out as one of the best violinists of his generation.” Comparing him to the greatest violinists, Fanfare – The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors, writes: his “warmth of sound and insight into the music raise to the level of expression achieved by Oistrakh” and his “tonal sheen approaches Milstein’s… for those who lament the passing of the great violinists of the middle of the last century, Schwartz’s collection should provide a great sense of optimism that a younger violinist still commands such assured rhetoric and expressive resources. Heifetz, Milstein, Oistrakh, Isaac Stern, Francescatti – they all come to mind.”

    Mr. Schwartz has performed in major concert halls, including New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Wigmore Hall, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Jerusalem Theatre and Rome’s Academia Santa Cecilia. Solo orchestral engagements include the Dresden Staatskapelle, Jerusalem Symphony, London Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Slovak Philharmonic, European Community Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Chicago’s Grant Park Festival Orchestra, among numerous other orchestras in the U. S. and worldwide, under conductors including Giuseppe Sinopoli, Sergiu Comissiona, James Judd, Mehli Mehta, Peter Maag, Bruno Weil, Antoni Wit, and Enrique Batiz. Recent tours of the Asia have included performances with Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, Mokpo Philharmonic and Busan Sinfonieta.

    Sergiu Schwartz is a frequent guest at music festivals in the United States, Israel, Switzerland, Finland, England, France, Holland, Romania, Bulgaria and China, and serves on the artist faculty of the Bowdoin, Summit and Keshet Eilon international summer music festivals. Mr. Schwartz has been featured in broadcasts for radio and TV stations, including NPR, CNN, WXEL-TV’s “Great Performances,” and the BBC. His honors include prizes in international violin competitions in the United States and Europe, as well as awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts.

    Mr. Schwartz made his recording debut with the London Symphony Orchestra with an “all Scandinavian” compact disc released on Vox Unique (reissued on Vox Allegretto and ArkivCD), featuring music by Sibelius, Svendsen, and Grieg. His discography, released to exceptional critical acclaim, includes on Romeo Records – Romantic Treasures, The Heart of the Violin and Poème Mystique – and on Gega, – The Romantic Violin. His American Classics release on Naxos features works by American composer John Alden Carpenter; and his CD on Arcobaleno showcases works for violin and harp by Ludwig Spohr.

    Sergiu Schwartz studied with Stefan Gheorghiu (pupil of David Oistrakh) in Romania and with Rami Shevelov at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he also gained exposure to artists such as Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin during master classes at Jerusalem Music Center. He continued his studies, under a British Council grant, with Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School in London, and, with Dorothy DeLay, at the Juilliard School in New York, through scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Juilliard School. His musical growth has been further enhanced by violinists Sandor Vegh and Felix Galimir, pianist Leon Fleisher, and legendary conductor Sergiu Celibidache.

    Mr. Schwartz combines his performing career with his position as Professor of violin holding The William B. and Sue Marie Turner Distinguished Chair in Violin at the Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University, and as Professor at Haute Ecole de Musique et Conservatoire de Lausanne in Switzerland. He regularly conducts master classes and lectures at music schools, colleges, and universities in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Israel, including USC, UCLA, Colburn School, San Francisco Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University, Jerusalem Academy of Music, Reina Sofia Academy, Royal Academy of Music, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Conservatoire de Lausanne, Mount Royal College, Shanghai and Beijing conservatories, Seoul’s Korea National University of the Arts and Busan University, Novosibirsk State Conservatoire, as well as master courses in Switzerland, Finland, France, Italy, Holland, Bosnia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Puerto Rico.

    He also serves as a juror in major international competitions, including Tchaikovsky, Sarasate, Wieniawski, Oistrakh, Postacchini, Szeryng, Novosibirsk, as well as Canadian National, Washington International, and others. His students have been top prizewinners in prestigious international violin competitions, including Seoul, Sendai, Paganini, Sarasate, Szeryng.

  • Dr Lloyd Williams, Chair (New Zealand).Photo: Supplied.
    Dr Lloyd Williams (New Zealand)

    Lloyd is the Head of Department of the Masters in Arts Management degree programme at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, is a member of the Board of Trustees of Chamber Music NZ and a Governor of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.  He currently plays double bass with the Southern Sinfonia in Dunedin.

  • Previous International Juries

    As with the Preliminary Panel, previous International Jury are rotated from the “Jury Pool” to ensure, over the years, that a breadth of musical traditions and nationalities are represented.

    2013 Competition
    Christian Altenburger, Austria
    James Ehnes, Canada
    Ida Kavafian, Armenian/USA
    Ning Feng, China
    Dene Olding, Australia
    Helene Pohl, New Zealand
    Dmitry Sitkovetsky, United Kingdom
    Dr Lloyd Williams, New Zealand (Chair)

    2011 Competition
    Michael Dauth, Germany/Australia
    Boris Garlitsky, Russia/UK
    Mark Kaplan, USA
    Vesa-Matti Leppänen, Finland/NZ
    Cho-Liang Lin, Taiwan/USA
    Tasmin Little, UK
    Lara St John, Canada

    2009 Competition
    Shmuel Ashkenasi, Israel
    Pamela Frank, USA
    Philippe Graffin, France
    Dong-Suk Kang, Korea
    Oleh Krysa, Ukriane/USA
    Wilma Smith, NZ/Australia
    Radoslaw Szulc, Poland/German

    2007 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Justine Cormack, New Zealand
    Pamela Frank, USA
    Mark, Kaplan, USA
    Hu Kun, China/UK
    Boris Kuschnir, Russia/Austria
    Dene Olding, Australia

    2005 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Justine Cormack, New Zealand
    Dong-Suk Kang, Korea
    Mark Kaplan, USA
    Paul Kantor, USA
    Dene Olding, Australia
    Krzysztof Wegrzyn, Poland/German

    2003 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Justine Cormack, New Zealand
    Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Peru/USA
    Chad Smith, USA
    Simon Morris, United Kingdom
    Takako Nishizaki, Japan/Hong Kong
    Dene Olding, Australia

    2001 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Justine Cormack, New Zealand
    Michael Dauth, Germany/Australia
    Rosemary Gent, United Kingdom
    Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Peru/USA
    Paul Kantor, USA
    Takako Nishizaki, Japan/Hong Kong

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