Media Releases

For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Siobhan Waterhouse   |   Publicist   |   Michael Hill International Violin Competition   |   +64 22 126 4149   |   siobhan@mrfahrenheitpr.co.nz

2015 COMPETITION

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MONDAY 8 JUNE 2015
    EIGHTEEN BECOMES SIX IN THE 2015 MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL
    VIOLIN COMPETITION
    Judges announce six semi-finalists who will move on to Round III in Auckland

    Eunae Koh + Marie-Christine Kletner + Natsumi Tsuboi +Sir Michael Hill +Timothy Chooi + Elly Suh + Suyeon Kang med res

    The judges for the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition have selected, via secret ballot, the six competitors who will move through to the next round, Round III – piano trios, in Auckland.

    They are, in the order of the original draw: Marie-Christine Klettner (Austria), Natsumi Tsuboi (Japan/USA), Timothy Chooi (Canada), Eunae Koh (South Korea), Elly Suh (USA/South Korea) and Suyeon Kang (Australia).

    Rounds I and II drew to a close tonight after three days of intense competition during which the judges saw 18 semi-finalists from around the world.

    The initial rounds took place in Queenstown where the competitors each performed from the competition repertoire comprising solo works, salon pieces, selected movements from a choice of concerti and sonatas (with pianists Diedre Irons and Sarah Watkins), and a specially-commissioned work by New Zealand composer Kenneth Young, titled Gone.

    Round III will take place in Auckland’s Town Hall this Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 June. The six semi-finalists will each perform a Beethoven piano trio with acclaimed New Zealand musicians cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Michael Houstoun. Tickets for Round III are still available via Ticketmaster.

    From there three finalists will be selected to perform concerti with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on Saturday night, at the end of which the 2015 winner will be announced.

    Also announced tonight was the winner of the Best Performance of the New Zealand Work, Jung Min Choi. For winning this prize, Choi receives NZ$2,000 cash.

    The 2015 Winner takes away NZ$40,000, a recording contract on the Atoll label, a personalised professional development programme, a bespoke gown from Kiri Nathan (female) or suit from Working Style (male), and a Michael Hill gold and diamond pendant from Christine Hill’s Spirits Bay Collection, based on iconic New Zealand shell the Totorere. The winner will also return to New Zealand in 2016 for an intensive performance tour across the country, presented in partnership with Chamber Music NZ and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

    The other prizes are as follows. Second Prize: NZ$10,000 cash, Third Prize: NZ$5,000 cash, Fourth Place: NZ$3,000 cash, Fifth Place: NZ$2,000 cash, Sixth Place: NZ $1,000 cash. There is also a Chamber Music Prize of NZ$2,000 cash for the winner of Round III.

    The 2015 international jury comprises Pierre Amoyal (France / Switzerland), Sergiu Schwartz (Romania), Young Uck Kim (South Korea), Joseph Lin (USA), Susie Park (Australia), Helene Pohl (New Zealand) and Benjamin Schmid (Austria).

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition is New Zealand’s most prestigious music competition and recognised as one of the finest violin competitions in the world.

    The entire 2015 event is being live streamed here.

    The Michael Hill Audience Award is back for this Competition. Both live and online audience members are encouraged to vote for their favourite competitor either via the web site here or via text (4368 – NZ mobile only). The winner of the Michael Hill Audience Prize will be announced during the prize giving at Auckland’s Town Hall on 13 June.

    ENDS

    For more information, images and interviews, please contact Siobhan Waterhouse on +64 22 126 4149 or siobhan@mrfahrenheit.nz.

    Image attached (credit: Simon Darby) – The six semi-finalists moving on to Round III in the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, with Sir Michael Hill. [L-R: Eunae Koh, Marie-Christine Klettner, Natsumi Tsuboi, Timothy Chooi, Elly Suh, Suyeon Kang]

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – FRIDAY 5 JUNE 2015
    DRAW ANNOUNCED FOR MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION 2015

    semi-finalists-2015-with-sir-michael-hill
    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition draw to determine the order of Competitor’s performances was conducted today by selecting names, at random, from a bucket.

    The semi-finalist order is:

    1. Yabing Tan, China
    2. Jung Min Choi, South Korea
    3. Ashley Park, USA
    4. Sanghee Ji, South Korea
    5. Christine Lim, South Korea
    6. Marie-Christine Klettner, Austria
    7. Mari Lee, South Korea / Japan
    8. Natsumi Tsuboi, Japan / USA
    9. Liya Petrova, Bulgaria
    10. Timothy Chooi, Canada
    11. Anna Filochowska, Poland
    12. Youjin Lee, South Korea
    13. Eunae Koh, South Korea
    14. I-Jung Huang, Taiwan
    15. YuEun Kim, South Korea
    16. Elly Suh, USA / South Korea
    17. Mimi Jung, USA
    18. Suyeon Kang, Australia

    This superbly talented group of 18 semi-finalists made it through a competition record of nearly 160 entries and grueling selection process. They have travelled to Queenstown from South Korea, Canada, Poland, Taiwan, USA, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria and China.

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition is New Zealand’s most prestigious music competition and recognised as one of the finest violin competitions in the world.

    The winner takes away NZ$40,000, a recording contract, a personalised professional development programme and will return to New Zealand in August for an intensive performance tour across the country

    Along with the violinists, Queenstown is currently playing host to the prestigious international jury – all of whom are heavyweights in the worldwide violin community. The jury for the 2015 Competition comprises Pierre Amoyal (France / Switzerland), Sergiu Schwartz (Romania), Young Uck Kim (South Korea), Joseph Lin (USA), Susie Park (Australia), Helene Pohl (New Zealand) and Benjamin Schmid (Austria).

    Round one and round two – solo and unaccompanied works – take place in Queenstown from tomorrow until Monday. Round three – Beethoven piano trios – take place in Auckland on 10 and 11 June. The final round concert with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will fill Auckland’s Town Hall next Saturday 13 June.

    Tickets are still on sale in both Queenstown (through Ticketek) and Auckland (via Ticketmaster).

    The event will also be live streamed at www.violincompetition.co.nz.

    For more information including the full performance schedule, please visit www.violincompetition.co.nz or view the Competition’s Facebook page.

    ENDS

    For more information, images and interviews, please contact Siobhan Waterhouse on +64 22 126 4149 or siobhan@mrfahrenheit.nz.

    IMAGE ATTACHED (Credit: Simon Darby)
    Caption: Sir Michael Hill with the 18 semi-finalists in the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

  • MEDIA RELEASE – WEDNESDAY 13 MAY 2015
    NEW JUDGE FOR MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION 2015

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition today announced that Romanian performer, conductor and teacher, Sergiu Schwartz will replace Boris Garlitsky on the 2015 International Jury.

    Unfortunately, in training for a marathon, Mr Garliszky sustained an injury that prohibits him from flying within the time frame of the Competition. Competition Founder Sir Michael Hill, Executive Director Anne Rodda and all of the Trustees and staff wish Mr Garlitsky the very best for a speedy recovery.

    International concert appearances have taken Mr Schwartz to major music centres in four continents. 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 many others.

    He studied with Stefan Gheorghiu (pupil of David Oistrakh) in Romania and with Rami Shevelov at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, Israel. 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.

    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 serves as a juror for other major international competitions, including Tchaikovsky, Sarasate, Wieniawski, Oistrakh, Postacchini, Szeryng, Novosibirsk, as well as Canadian National, Washington International and others.

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2015 takes place between 5–8 June in Queenstown and 10–13 June in Auckland. It is New Zealand’s most prestigious music competition and recognised as one of the finest violin competitions in the world.

    The Competition attracts live audiences of more than 4,000 and its online performance views exceed 250,000 (including 16,000 live streaming). All live rounds are open to the public – tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster (Auckland) and Ticketek (Queenstown).

    The overall winner of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition receives $40,000, a recording contract, an intensive performance tour across New Zealand and a personalised professional development programme.

    For more information, please visit www.violincompetition.co.nz or view the Competition’s Facebook page.

    ENDS

    For more information, images and interviews, please contact Siobhan Waterhouse on +64 22 126 4149 or siobhan@mrfahrenheit.nz.

    DOWNLOAD PDF

  • MEDIA RELEASE – WEDNESDAY 6 MAY 2015
    One Month Until Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2015 – A Violin Degustation For Classical Music Lovers, In The North And The South

    Tickets on sale for Queenstown and Auckland competition rounds and final concert
    Other public events include panel discussions and masterclasses
    Text voting for Audience Choice Award from live events and livestream (NZ only)

    In one month’s time, 20 of the world’s finest young violinists will descend on New Zealand for the eighth biennial Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

    The superbly talented group of 18 semi-finalists, who made it through a competition record of nearly 160 entries and grueling selection process, and 17 of whom are female, will be joined in Queenstown and Auckland by the recipients of the New Zealand and Australian Development Prizes, Amalia Hall (NZ) and Markiyan Melnychenko (AU). Semi-finalists will be travelling from South Korea, Canada, Poland, Taiwan, USA, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria and China.

    The revered violin competition takes place between 5–8 June in Queenstown and 10–13 June in Auckland. It is New Zealand’s most prestigious music competition and recognised as one of the finest violin competitions in the world.

    Along with the violinists, Aotearoa will also play host to the prestigious international jury – all of whom are worldwide heavyweights in the violin community. The jury for the 2015 Competition comprises Pierre Amoyal (France / Switzerland), Boris Garlitsky (Russia/France), Young Uck Kim (South Korea), Joseph Lin (USA), Susie Park (Australia), Helene Pohl (New Zealand) and Benjamin Schmid (Austria).

    Round one and round two – solo and unaccompanied works – will take place in Queenstown from 6 to 8 June, with round three – Beethoven piano trios – in Auckland on 10 and 11 June. The final round concert with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will fill Auckland’s Town Hall on Saturday 13 June.

    As well as the competitive rounds, the Michael Hill International Violin Competition presents a series of extra events, many of which are free to the public. Among them:

    • On Friday 5 June, a panel discussion with the international jury, called Violins and their Makers: Past and Present, will explore how much the instrument contributes to the success of a performance and what should young artists aim for when acquiring a violin.• This is immediately followed by another free public session, The Old Masters and New World Makers in which NZ violin maker Dick Panting and European dealer Johannes Leuthold will discuss the merits and options of old vs modern instruments.
    • At 8pm audiences will be delighted by Welcome Back Winner, where 2013 winner Nikki Chooi will perform a captivating concert with Sarah Watkins on piano. Joining them will be the Development Prize Winners, Amalia Hall and Markiyan Melnychenko. The trio will perform on a variety of violins, old and new. Tickets are available on Ticketek.
    • On 6, 7, and 8 June at the Queenstown Memorial Centre and 10 and 13 June at the Auckland Town Hall, the Competition will host its Insider’s Guide – free, 30-minute discussions aimed at providing a deeper insight into the challenges presented to the competitors in the repertoire and what the judges will be looking for in the winner.
    • There is a series of masterclasses in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland that are free and open to the public.
    • In Queenstown and Auckland there is also a Classroom Conversation, to which intermediate and secondary school students are invited to meet the artists and discuss career pathways in the classical music industry.

    Live and online audience members are encouraged to text-vote for their favourite competitor (NZ mobile only). The winner of the Michael Hill Audience Prize will be announced during the prize giving on the 13 June.

    The overall winner of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition receives $40,000, a recording contract, an intensive performance tour across New Zealand and a personalised professional development programme. New this year, the winner will also be invited to perform on Sir Michael Hill’s personal violin, a 1755 Guadagnini named “The Southern Star”, on the Winner’s Tour.

    In a short time the Competition has become one of the world’s premium music events. It attracts live audiences of more than 4,000 and its online performance views exceed 250,000 (including 16,000 live streaming).

    All live rounds are open to the public – tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster (Auckland) and Ticketek (Queenstown).

    For more information, please visit www.violincompetition.co.nz or view the Competition’s Facebook page.

    ENDS

    For more information, images and interviews, please contact Siobhan Waterhouse on +64 22 126 4149 or siobhan@mrfahrenheit.nz.

    DONWLOAD PDF

  • MEDIA RELEASE – TUESDAY 9 DECEMBER 2014
    MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION 2015 SEMI-FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

    The 18 semi-finalists and eight alternates have been selected* to compete in The Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2015, taking place between 5–13 June in Queenstown and Auckland.

    This superbly talented group of young violinists, who made it through the grueling selection process from a Competition record of 158 entries, will descend on New Zealand from all over the world.

    A group of leading violinists make up the initial selection panel for the Competition. This time they included Andrew Beer (Concertmaster, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra), Justine Cormack (New Zealand Trio), Vesa-Matti Leppänen (Concertmaster, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra), Dene Olding (Concertmaster, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and first violinist Goldner String Quartet and the Australia Ensemble) and Wilma Smith (Concertmaster, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra).

    The Panel said, “We were hugely impressed with the standard of this year’s applications. Along with a record number of entries, we felt there were a higher number of extremely high quality entrants, which made our job very difficult and will make the job of the international jury, who judge the semi-finals and finals, even harder. The art of violin playing is certainly in good stead for the future.”

    The panel also decided on the recipients of the New Zealand and Australian Development Prizes. For the 2015 Competition, the New Zealand Development Prize has been awarded to Amalia Hall and the Australian Development Prize to Markiyan Melnychenko.

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition is New Zealand’s most prestigious music competition and is recognised as one of the finest violin competitions in the world.

    The winner receives $40,000, a recording contract, an intensive performance tour across New Zealand, and a personalised professional development programme. New this year, the winner will also be invited to perform on Sir Michael Hill’s personal violin, a 1755 Guadagnini named “The Southern Star”, on the Winner’s Tour.

    Competition Founding Trustee, Sir Michael Hill said, “I had the pleasure of observing the selection panel through the judging process and was completely blown away by the sheer volume of amazing young violinists – there was literally one after another, after another.

    “The East is turning out a huge number of top competitors these days. There are quite a few South Korean semi-finalists this year – last year we had a lot of Europeans. Of course I would have loved to have seen a New Zealander make it in again, but that’s the reality for us Kiwis competing at the very highest international level – we have some successes, but no free ride. If we make it, we’ve really earned it.”

    Competition Executive Director, Anne Rodda said, “A near all-female line-up – amazing! Like the selection panel, I was surprised when the rankings were completed and to see only one male in the final 18. Of course the selection process is entirely anonymous – the judges don’t know who they are listening to. Female players have certainly proved their strength this time around.

    “What I think is really telling is that only three of the 18 semi-finalists still live in their country of their birth. This illustrates that the music business, at this level, is a completely international pursuit. People move around with such agility now and this competition goes a long way in supporting that journey for young violinists from all over the world.”

    Round one and round two – solo and unaccompanied works – will take place in Queenstown from 6 to 8 June next year, with round three, piano trios, in Auckland on 10 and 11 June. The final round concerti with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will fill Auckland’s Town Hall on 13 June.

    In a short time the Competition has become one of the world’s premium music events for young musicians. It attracts live audiences of more than 3000 and its online performance views exceed 250,000 (including 16,000 live streaming).

    All live rounds are open to the public – tickets will be on sale early 2015.

    For more information, please visit www.violincompetition.co.nz, or view the Competition’s Facebook page or Youtube channel.

    ENDS

    For more information, images and interviews, please contact Siobhan Waterhouse on +64 22 126 4149 or siobhan@mrfahrenheit.nz.

    DOWNLOAD PDF

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – TUESDAY 9 DECEMBER 2014
    Semi-finalists Announced

    We are delighted to announce the 18 semi-finalists and eight alternates for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2015.

    This superbly talented group of young violinists, listed below, who made it through the grueling selection process from a Competition record of 158 entries, will descend on New Zealand from all over the world.

    Of the selection process, the Panel said, “We were hugely impressed with the aptitude and artistry shown in this Competition’s applications. Along with a record number of entries, we felt there was a higher number of extremely high quality entrants, which made our job very difficult and will make the job of the international jury, who judge the semi-finals and finals, even harder.

    Of the semi-final list, Competition Executive Director, Anne Rodda said, “A near all-female line-up – amazing! Like the selection panel, I was surprised when the rankings were completed and to see only one male in the final 18. Female players have certainly proved their strength this time around. They are in very good company with Aaron Timothy Chooi, however, whose older brother Nikki won the 2013 competition.”

    Congratulations to all semi-finalists and alternates. We very much look forward to welcoming you to New Zealand in June 2015.

    2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition Semi-finalists (alphabetical)

    • Jung Min Choi, South Korea
    • Aaron Timothy Chooi, Canada
    • Anna Filochowska, Poland
    • I-Jung Huang, Taiwan
    • Sanghee Ji, South Korea
    • Mimi Jung, USA
    • Suyeon Kang, Australia
    • Bomsori Kim, South Korea
    • YuEun Kim, South Korea
    • Marie-Christine Klettner, Austria
    • Eunae Koh, South Korea
    • Liya Petrova Konyarova, Bulgaria
    • Mari Lee, South Korea / Japan
    • Youjin Lee, South Korea
    • Ashley Park, USA
    • Elly Suh, South Korea
    • Yabing Tan, China
    • Natsumi Tsuboi, Japan/USA

    Alternates (in order of selection)

    1. Christine Lim, South Korea/USA
    2. Ji-Yoon Lee, South Korea
    3. Yasuka Morizono, Japan
    4. Gi Yeon Yoon, South Korea
    5. Francisco Garcia Fullana, Spain
    6. Hwapyung Yoo, South Korea
    7. Wei Lu, China
    8. Dongfang Ouyang, China
     
    Development Prizes Awarded

    Congratulations also to the recipients of the New Zealand and Australian Development Prizes.

    For the 2015 competition, the New Zealand Development Prize has been awarded to Amalia Hall and the Australian Development Prize to Markiyan Melnychenko.

    Amalia Hall is widely recognised as one of the foremost young violinists to emerge from New Zealand. She has received first Prize at the Postacchini International Violin Competition, second Prize at the International Violin Competition “Premio R. Lipizer”, is a laureate of both the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and the Kloster Schöntal International Violin Competition, and is the recipient of numerous special prizes at these competitions.

    She has won all of the major awards in New Zealand, including the Gisborne International Music Competition at the age of 16, the National Concerto Competition, the National Young Performer of the Year, the Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Arts Scholarship and the University of Auckland Concerto Competition.

    Markiyan Melnychenko studies at the Eastman School of Music with Professor of Violin Oleh Krysa. In 2012, he graduated with High Distinction and a Performer’s Certificate from Eastman’s bachelor’s degree program and continues his studies undertaking a master’s degree.

    Born in Lviv, Ukraine, Markiyan Melnychenko relocated to Australia with his family at age four. Melnychenko studied at the Australian National Academy of Music from 2006-2008, with Alice Waten and William Hennessy.

     

    Focus On: Helene Pohl, International Jury Member

    Helene Pohl MNZM wears many hats, and every one she wears with magnificent style.

    Not only is she the first violinist of the New Zealand String Quartet, Co-Artistic Director of the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music and Associate Professor of Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, we are very lucky that, for the second time, Helene will return to the competition as one of our esteemed international jury members.

    What’s the trick to choosing an international jury for a competition like this, in your opinion?  
    Anne Rodda (Executive Director) and Dene Olding (Artistic Adviser) have done a great job of selecting a jury with different training backgrounds and current career paths – soloists, teachers, concertmasters – and ensemble players. What we all have in common is that we care deeply about music.

    There are many elements you must consider in choosing the finalists and winner, of course, but what are some of the key attributes you’ll be looking for?
    To move into the finals, the performers will need to show real artistry. This means they’ll need to have a very good command of the music in order to find, and deliver, its meaning. They’ll also need to communicate with an audience of all kinds. It’s one thing to showcase the music’s greatness, but it’s another ensure the audience really feels connected to its essential message, whether they are experienced listeners or not.

    What are the most difficult elements of your role as juror? 
    Keeping our concentration up is vitally important – we need to ensure we are listening with our hearts and giving each competitor our full attention.

    If you could give one piece of advice to the semi-finalists, what would it be?
    It’s all about the music, not you. This is one of the most difficult lessons a performer must learn. Also, the biggest prize you can take away is the improvement you make preparing for the competition – and you’ve already won that one!

    You must have a very busy schedule – what’s on your agenda between now and June?
    I’m about to head off to Europe for a series of concerts. Then, come 29 January, the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson opens. The event is a musical utopia for audiences who get to journey with us through great works of audible art – people holiday around it and it’s certainly a great way for us to start the season. Then, before June, I’ll tour with the Quartet around New Zealand and Australia, play a couple of concertos, and of course teaching – the new term starts in March.

    Who inspires you?
    My colleagues – we rehearse every day and consistently offer each other musical ideas.

    What are you listening to at the moment?
    Besides the inspirational performances of works we’re learning, there are always Feldenkrais lessons on there. Feldenkrais is a movement technique, which really helps me unwind from a big day’s playing. The other thing that’s on there at the moment is some Tai Chi classes I recorded. I’m a big fan!


    Put yourself in the Adam picture

    The biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival has put the sunny city of Nelson on the map as the ‘Salzburg of the south’. The thirteenth festival (Jan 29 – Feb 7, 2015) features 17 concerts, with the New Zealand String Quartet (NZSQ) featuring in nine of them.

    Helene Pohl shares the role of Artistic Director with NZSQ viola player Gillian Ansell. Together they draw on their contacts to put together unusual combinations of musicians in works that are rarely heard on the touring circuit.

    It’s the excitement of hearing these newly formed ensembles that is a major draw-card of the Adam Festival. For example at Bach by Candlelight at the Nelson Cathedral, NZSQ is joined by the Ying Quartet from the USA, Australia’s Song Company, Douglas Mews (harpsichord), Joan Perarnau Garriga (double bass) and Robert Orr (oboe) in a programme that includes the motet Jesu Meine Freude and the lovely soprano aria from Mein glaeubiges Herze.

    Add to the mix Nelson’s intimate, smaller venues, with their warm acoustics and the attractions of the region’s wine, arts and outdoors, and you can see why ticket sales are running hot.

    More information and bookings at www.music.org.nz.

     

    Thank You, Sponsors

    As another Michael Hill International Violin Competition gets underway, we’d like to acknowledge our very generous sponsors, whose support we simply cannot do without.

    There are many benefits to being a sponsor, so please contact Anne Rodda on annerodda@violincompetition.co.nz if you’d like to get involved.

    Judges’ Sponsors 
    Michael Hill International
    PriceWaterhouseCoopers
    ANZ Bank
    Wellington Airport
    Kensington Swan Lawyers
    Villa Maria Estate

    Competitor Sponsors 

    Vera and Denis Adam Foundation
    David and Genevieve Becroft Foundation
    Boyd and Clarke Foundation
    Graham Family Foundation
    Denver & Prue Olde
    Jan and Don Spary
    Peter Wilson & Gerda McGechan
    The Wallace Foundation
    Bill and Frances Bell
    Peters MacGregor Capital Management
    Over The Top
    Party Plus
    RogenSI
    ODT/Allied PressPrize Sponsors
    John Boscawen & Jane Dyke
    Geigenbau JG Leuthold
    Janet & Russell Jones
    Dame Jenny Gibbs

    Supporters
    Stamford Plaza
    Creative New Zealand
    Kiri Nathan
    Limosine Line
    Queenstown Lakes District Council
    Wilson Partners Ltd
    Whitestone Cheese

     
    Don’t Forget…

    All live rounds are open to the public – tickets will be on sale early 2015.

    For more information, please visit www.violincompetition.co.nz, or view the Competition’s Facebook page.

     


    For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
    Siobhan Waterhouse   |   Publicist   |   Michael Hill International Violin Competition   |   +64 22 126 4149   |   siobhan@mrfahrenheitpr.co.nz

    ENDS

ARCHIVE

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – THURSDAY 29 MAY 2014
    Canadian Violinist Nikki Chooi Tours New Zealand in June


    Nikki Chooi enthralled in what would be a winning Sibelius, with blistering passion erupting from its ethereal opening pages.” – NZ Herald

    Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi bewitched audiences and impressed the judging panel to win the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition. In June Nikki returns to New Zealand for the ‘winner’s tour’ taking him to 14 centres around New Zealand.

    A major part of the competition prize, the tour begins in Auckland with Nikki performing with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra before he heads off around the country as part of Chamber Music New Zealand’s Kaleidoscopes season, finishing in Queenstown, then heading to Melbourne to perform a Musica Viva Australia concert.

    Nikki (25) stars as the soloist in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s New Zealand Herald Premier Series concert ‘Violin Fantasy’ conducted by Italian conductor Giordano Bellincampi performing Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. Bruch is renowned for the emotional depth of his violin writing and the Scottish Fantasy is a rapturous work to showcase Nikki’s talent.

    Following the APO concert, Nikki is joined by pianist Stephen de Pledge for the Chamber Music New Zealand tour to Rotorua, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Napier, Christchurch, Nelson, Auckland, Wellington, Waikanae, Blenheim, Invercargill and Dunedin.

    The programmes for the Chamber Music New Zealand concerts include Ravel’s gyspy Tzigane, the De Falla Suite Espagnole, virtuoso Ysaÿe and Prokofiev’s profound first sonata. Also featuring in all centres will be Jack Body’s Caravan, written especially for last year’s competition and for which Nikki won the award for Best Performance of the New Zealand Commissioned Work

    Cellist Ashley Brown joins the duo for the Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch concerts to perform Smetana’s Bohemian masterpiece, his piano trio of 1855. During the tour, Nikki and Stephen will be recording much of the repertoire for Atoll Records – a release is also part of the first prize package Nikki won last June.

    Nikki Chooi is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and has just graduated from the Juilliard School of Music. As winner of the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank Competition, he currently uses the 1700 “Taft” Stradivari.

    Nikki Chooi features in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra NZ Herald Premier Series concert ‘Violin Fantasy’ on Thursday 5 June at Auckland Town Hall. Nikki Chooi ‘The Winner’s Tour’ with Chamber Music New Zealand begins in Rotorua on Friday 6 June before continuing to Hamilton, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Napier, Christchurch, Nelson, Auckland, Wellington, Waikanae, Blenheim, Invercargill and Dunedin. Nikki’s final New Zealand concert will be at Queenstown Memorial Hall on Sunday 29 June. For details of the full tour visit www.mhivc.co.nz

    Nikki Chooi is presented in New Zealand by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Music New Zealand and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.



    ENDS

    Nikki Chooi is available for interview. He speaks English as a first language, and Mandarin. For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
    Sally Woodfield | Publicist | Chamber Music New Zealand | +64 21 868 020 | sally@swpr.co.nz

     

    MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION
    The prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition is one of the top violin competitions in the world and has been held biennially since 2001. The winner receives $NZ40,000, a recording through Atoll, and a winner’s tour with Chamber Music New Zealand, and performances with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Harris Theater in Chicago and Musica Viva in Australia. Nikki Chooi also receives a tailored suit by Working Style and a customised professional development programme.

    AUCKLAND PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE: VIOLIN FANTASY
    Violin: Nikki Chooi
    Viola: Robert Ashworth
    Conductor: Giordano Bellincampi

    ROSS HARRIS | Aria for Viola and String Orchestra
    BRUCH | Scottish Fantasy
    WEBERN | 6 Pieces for Orchestra
    SCHUMANN: Symphony No 4

    AUCKLAND: Auckland Town Hall | Thursday 5 June 8.00pm | Book at Ticketmaster 0800 111 999 www.ticketmaster.co.nz

     

    CHAMBER MUSIC NEW ZEALAND 2014 ‘KALEIDOSCOPES’ SEASON: THE WINNER’S TOUR – NIKKI CHOOI (with STEPHEN DEPLEDGE and ASHLEY BROWN)
    Violin: Nikki Chooi
    Piano: Stephen DePledge
    Cello: Ashley Brown

    Programme One
    DE FALLA | Suite Espagnole
    GERSHWIN | Preludes
    RAVEL | Sonata in G for Violin and Piano
    BEETHOVEN | Sonata No 3 in E flat
    Jack BODY | Caravan for solo violin
    RAVEL | Tzigane

    Programme Two
    MOZART | Sonata for Piano and Violin in E flat
    PROKOFIEV | Violin Sonata No 1 in F minor
    YSAŸE | Sonata for solo violin
    Jack BODY | Caravan for solo violin
    DE FALLA | Suite Espagnole
    RAVEL | Tzigane

    Programme Three (with Ashley Brown on cello)
    MOZART | Sonata for Piano and Violin in E flat
    SMETANA | Piano Trio in G minor
    BEETHOVEN | Sonata No 3 in E flat
    Jack BODY | Caravan for solo violin
    RAVEL | Tzigane

    ROTORUA: Concert Chamber | Friday 6 June 7.30pm | Door sales only | Programme 2
    HAMILTON: Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato | Sunday 8 June 5.00pm | Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) www.ticketek.co.nz Programme 2
    NEW PLYMOUTH: Theatre Royal, TSB Showplace| Monday 9 June 7.30pm | Book at Ticketmaster 0800 111 999 www.ticketmaster.co.nz | Programme 1
    PALMERSTON NORTH: Speirs Centre| Wednesday 11 June 7.30pm (free pre-concert talk 6.45pm) | Book at Dash Tickets (06) 350 1922 www.dashtickets.co.nz | Programme 1
    NAPIER: MTG Century Theatre | Thursday 12 June 8pm | Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) www.ticketek.co.nz | Programme 2
    CHRISTCHURCH: Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College | Friday 13 June 7.30pm | Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) www.ticketek.co.nz | Programme 3
    NELSON: Old St John’s Church | Sunday 15 June 5pm | Book at TicketDirect 0800 4TICKET (484 253) www.ticketdirect.co.nz | Programme 3
    AUCKLAND: Auckland Town Hall | Monday 16 June 8pm | Book at Ticketmaster 0800 111 999 www.ticketmaster.co.nz | Programme 3
    WELLINGTON: Michael Fowler Centre | Friday 20 June 7.30pm | Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) www.ticketek.co.nz | Programme 3
    WAIKANAE: Memorial Hall | Sunday 22 June 2.30pm | Book by phoning 04 905 6070 www.waikanaemusic.org.nz | Programme 2
    BLENHEIM: St Andrew’s Church | Monday 23 June 6pm | Door sales only
    INVERCARGILL: Civic Theatre | Tuesday 24 June 7.30pm | Book at TicketDirect 0800 4TICKET (484 253) www.ticketdirect.co.nz | Programme 1
    DUNEDIN: Glenroy Auditorium | Saturday 28 June 7.30pm | Book at TicketDirect 0800 4TICKET (484 253) www.ticketdirect.co.nz | Programme 2

    MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION RECITAL PERFORMANCE

    Programme
    DE FALLA | Suite Espagnole
    GERSHWIN | Preludes
    RAVEL | Sonata in G for Violin and Piano
    BEETHOVEN | Sonata No 3 in E flat
    Jack BODY | Caravan for solo violin
    RAVEL | Tzigane

    QUEENSTOWN: Queenstown Memorial Centre | Sunday 29 June 7.30pm | Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) www.ticketek.co.nz

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SATURDAY 8 JUNE 2013
    Canadian Nikki Chooi has won the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

    Nikki (24) performed the Sibelius Concerto in D minor with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in the Grand Final of the prestigious competition tonight.

    Earlier this week Nikki was awarded the Best Performance of the New Zealand Commissioned Work ‘Caravan’ by Jack Body.

    Sarah Christian (Germany) came second and also won the Chamber Music Prize, while Boson Mo from Canada was third. New Zealander Natalie Lin won the Audience Prize, while Australian Sujin Park was awarded the Bergonzi violin to play for two years.

    “I feel amazing – words can’t describe how I feel … it’s a dream come true.” Nikki was one of the 18 semi-finalists in the 2007 Competition,” Nikki said. “I was so inspired by the competitors in 2007, but I really wasn’t sure how I would go a second time. I prepared well and just tried to be myself.”

    As his prize, Nikki wins NZ$40,000, a recording with Atoll, a tailored suit from Working Style and a winner’s tour in 2014 with Chamber Music New Zealand, and performances with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Harris Theater in Chicago and Musica Viva in Australia.

    The Competition drew to a close tonight following a week of intense competition during which 18 semi-finalists from around the world have performed in the initial rounds in Queenstown with pianists Diedre Irons and Sarah Watkins, before the top six semi-finalists performed piano trios with Ashley Brown and Michael Houstoun in Round III in Auckland this week, and then the final three were selected for tonight’s Grand Final.

    The Competition has had excellent audiences in Queenstown and at Auckland Town Hall with violinist Justine Cormack providing Insider Guides before each of the rounds. This year, for the first time, it has has been live streamed over the Internet with more than 18,000 views to date.

    The winners are selected by secret ballot by the international jury – Helene Pohl (NZ), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (UK), Christian Altenburger (Austria), James Ehnes (Canada), Ida Kavafian (Armenian/USA), Dene Olding (Australia) and Ning Feng (China).

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition has been held biennially since 2001.


    For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
    Sally Woodfield | Publicist | Michael Hill International Violin Competition | +64 21 868 020 | sally@swpr.co.nz

    ENDS
  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – THURSDAY 6 JUNE 2013
    Michael Hill International Violin Competition Finalists Announced

    Canadian violinists Nikki Chooi and Boson Mo, and German Sarah Christian have been named as the three finalists in the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

    The finalists will each perform a violin concerto with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in the Grand Final at Auckland Town Hall on Saturday night.

    Tonight’s announcement follows an intense six days of competition during which 18 semi-finalists from around the world have performed in the initial rounds in Queenstown, before the top six semi-finalists, Nikki Chooi (Canada), Sarah Christian (Germany), Ioana Cristina Goicea (Romania), Wonyoung Jung (South Korea), Natalie Lin (New Zealand) and Boson Mo (Canada), performed piano trios with Ashley Brown and Michael Houstoun in Round III last night and tonight.

    The Competition has had excellent audiences in Queenstown and at the Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall, and this year, for the first time, it has has been live streamed over the Internet with more than 15,000 views to date.

    The three finalists were selected by secret ballot by the international jury – Helene Pohl (NZ), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (UK), Christian Altenburger (Austria), James Ehnes (Canada), Ida Kavafian (Armenian/USA), Dene Olding (Australia) and Ning Feng (China).

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition has been held biennially since 2001. The winner receives NZ$40,000, a recording through Atoll, and a winner’s tour in 2013 with Chamber Music New Zealand, and performances with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Harris Theater in Chicago and Musica Viva in Australia and a custom-designed gown from Kiri Nathan or tailored suit by Working Style. Sixth through second prizes receive NZ$1000 to NZ$10,000. Additional prizes include an award for Best Chamber Music player of NZ$2000, and text and online voting determines the winner of the Michael Hill Audience Prize.

    Tickets for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition Grand Final on Saturday 8 June, at Auckland Town Hall are available from the Aotea Centre Box Office, by phoning 0800 BUY TICKETS (289 842) or online at www.buytickets.co.nz.


    For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
    Sally Woodfield | Publicist | Michael Hill International Violin Competition | +64 21 868 020 | sally@swpr.co.nz

    ENDS
  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MONDAY 3 JUNE 2013
    NZ Violinist Among Top Six for Michael Hill International Violin Competition

    New Zealand violinist Natalie Lin is among the top six semi-finalists in the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

    Eighteen violinists from around the world have performed in the gruelling initial rounds of competition in Queenstown over the past three days. The six semi-finalists who go through to the next round in Auckland are (in no particular order): Nikki Chooi (Canada), Sarah Christian (Germany), Ioana Cristina Goicea (Romania), Wonyoung Jung (South Korea), Natalie Lin (New Zealand) and Boson Mo (Canada).

    “I’m completely shocked and overwhelmed,” admitted Natalie, blinking back tears. “I really never expected to be here with these incredibly talented musicians.”

    Sold-out audiences attended the first two rounds in Queenstown and this year, for the first time, the competition has been live streamed over the Internet with more than 10,000 views over the three days.

    The international jury – Helene Pohl (NZ), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (UK), Christian Altenburger (Austria), James Ehnes (Canada), Ida Kavafian (Armenian/USA), Dene Olding (Australia) and Ning Feng (China) voted by secret ballot to determine the top six competitors who now compete in the chamber music round of the Competition in Auckland on Wednesday and Thursday.

    “It’s been a fantastic competition,” said Sir Michael Hill. “There’s an incredible buzz here and to have a New Zealander among the top six is just fantastic.”

    Natalie’s Christchurch-based grandparents were in the audience to see her perform and hear the announcement tonight. “It was such a last minute decision for them to come to the competition and I am so glad they were here. It’s going to be wonderful to play in Auckland with my parents in the audience. I’ve just had such amazing support.”

    Natalie is only the second first New Zealander to make the top six in the Competition – the first was Natalia Lomeiko in 2003, who went on to win it.

    Also announced tonight was Nikki Chooi as the winner of the $2000 award for best performance of the specially-commissioned work Caravan by New Zealand composer Jack Body.

    “It was a long journey for me since receiving the music in April and all the research was worth it.”

    In Round III on Wednesday and Thursday nights, the six semi-finalists each perform a piano trio with Ashley Brown (cello) and Michael Houstoun (piano). Three finalists will then advance to the Grand Final, each performing a concerto with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on Saturday 8 June at Auckland Town Hall.

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition has been held biennially since 2001. The winner receives NZ$40,000, a recording through Atoll, and a winner’s tour in 2013 with Chamber Music New Zealand, and performances with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Harris Theater in Chicago and Musica Viva in Australia and a custom-designed gown from Kiri Nathan or tailored suit by Working Style. Sixth through second prizes receive NZ$1000 to NZ$10,000. Additional prizes include an award for Best Chamber Music player of NZ$2000, and text and online voting determines the winner of the Michael Hill Audience Prize.

    Tickets for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition chamber music rounds on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 June, and the Grand Final on Saturday 8 June, at Auckland Town Hall are available from the Aotea Centre Box Office, by phoning 0800 BUY TICKETS (289 842) or online at www.buytickets.co.nz.


    For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
    Sally Woodfield | Publicist | Michael Hill International Violin Competition | +64 21 868 020 | sally@swpr.co.nz

    ENDS
  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – FRIDAY 3 MAY 2013
    Warm Kiwi Welcome Awaits Michael Hill International Violin Competition Musicians

    This month, 18 of the world’s top young violinists arrive in New Zealand to compete in the prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition – and to make them feel at home, they’ll be hosted by 36 families in Queenstown and Auckland.

    The 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition takes place in Auckland and Queenstown from 31 May to 8 June and has been held biennially since 2001. Billeting the violinists with families has been at the core of the competition since it started 12 years ago and executive director Anne Rodda says it’s a wonderful link between the musicians and the community.

    “It provides competitors with a built-in support system and someone in the audience who is willing them (and a shoulder to cry on if they don’t) and it’s great for the host families who have an opportunity to really get to know a rising star,” Anne says. “It’s all part of the very warm welcome we like to give our musicians, many of whom are quite young and have travelled a long distance to compete.

    “Often the relationship continues for years after the competition. We had one violinist who rang their Queenstown host every Sunday for years after they met and other hosts have visited their billeted musicians when travelling overseas.”

    In 2011, Alison Gerry and herhusband Alistair Nicholson hosted Korean violinist Min Kyung Sul and say they enjoyed the experience so much they are looking forward to hosting a competitor this month.

    “It was a wonderful way to welcome someone from a different culture into the family. At the time our teenage daughter Bella was playing violin and we had hoped this would inspire her further with her music and it did for a while.”

    As a host, the family not only looked after Min Kyung, but were her support network during the competition. “We went along to all her performances and I think it’s good that she knew she had someone in the audience who was ‘cheering’ her on. I did feel nervous for her and hoped she would be happy with her playing.

    “We got totally immersed in the whole competition and loved having the inside knowledge – Min Kyung would tell us who we should look out for.”

    Alison says the family enjoyed showing Min Kyung some of the local attractions and took her shopping, jetboating and up to Coronet Peak, “but she also practiced four to six hours a day and it was just incredible having someone in the house playing beautiful music. All of us were entranced and it really was special.”

    Min Kyung didn’t make it through to the top six, but Alison and the family came up to Auckland for the competition finals. “By then we were following other competitors as well and had got to know a number of them. Friends of ours hosted the eventual second runner-up Xiang Yu and it was a thrill to see him in the finals.”

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition takes place at Queenstown Memorial Hall from Friday 31 May to Monday 3 June with each violinist competing in the initial two rounds playing solo and accompanied works with pianists Diedre Irons and Sarah Watkins.

    Six violinists compete in the Semi-Final Rounds in Auckland on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 June at the Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall with the top three competing in the Grand Finale with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on Saturday 8 June at the Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall.

    For more information and to book tickets, visit www.violincompetition.co.nz.


    For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
    Sally Woodfield | Publicist | Michael Hill International Violin Competition | +64 21 868 020 | sally@swpr.co.nz

    ENDS
  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SUNDAY 26 APRIL 2013
    Fabulous fashion prize for winner of prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition

    A fabulous fashion prize awaits the winner of the prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition in June this year.

    The 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition takes place in Auckland and Queenstown from 31 May to 8 June with 18 semi-finalists competing and among the sizeable winner’s package is a bespoke designer gown from Kiri Nathan (for a female winner) or a suit from Working Style if the winner is male.

    Competition Executive Director Anne Rodda says fashion and glamour plays a large part in the classical music world and choosing the right clothes to wear is a major consideration for any performance.

    “Whether they’re performing as a soloist in a recital or with an orchestra, or in a chamber music ensemble, these young performers are the focus of the audience’s attention and they know the importance of looking fantastic, but also having the right dress or suit which allows them to be able to move and perform their best.

    “We’re delighted to be able to offer our winner a designer gown or suit as part of the prize.”

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition has been held biennially since 2001. As one of the top violin competitions in the world, it draws interest from around the globe.

    The 18 semi-finalists, representing 12 nationalities, for the 2013 Competition will arrive in Queenstown in late May and compete in the initial two rounds playing solo and accompanied works with pianists Diedre Irons and Sarah Watkins. On Monday 3 June six violinists are selected for the third round in Auckland where they perform as part of a piano trio with pianist Michael Houstoun and cellist Ashley Brown. the top three compete in the final concerto round performance with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

    The Competition is judged by a prestigious international jury including Christian Altenburger (Austria), James Ehnes (Canada), Ida Kavafian (Armenian/USA), Ning Feng (China), Dene Olding (Australia), Helene Pohl (New Zealand), and Dmitry Sitkovetsky (Russia).

    The winner of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2013 receives $40,000 cash, a recording on the Atoll label and a 2014 winner’s tour with Chamber Music New Zealand, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and further performances such as with the Harris Theater in Chicago, USA.

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition takes place at Queenstown Memorial Hall from Friday 31 May to Monday 3 June. The Semi-Final Rounds are on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 June at the Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall with the Final on Saturday 8 June with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at Auckland Town Hall.

    For more information and to book tickets, visit www.violincompetition.co.nz.


    For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
    Sally Woodfield | Publicist | Michael Hill International Violin Competition | +64 21 868 020 | sally@swpr.co.nz

    ENDS
  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SUNDAY 26 APRIL 2013
    Special destination packages and a new jazz concert as part of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition

    Special destination packages have been created in Queenstown and Auckland for visitors to extend their experience with the prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

    The packages have been developed with the Queenstown Sofitel Hotel & Spa, and the Stamford Plaza Auckland and include accommodation, breakfast and tickets to the Competition.

    The 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition takes place in Auckland and Queenstown from 31 May to 8 June and has been held biennially since 2001. As one of the top violin competitions in the world, it draws interest from around the globe.

    The Queenstown Sofitel Hotel & Spa package includes two nights’ accommodation in a superior room, a welcome glass of Champagne, breakfast, passes to attend the Competition rounds and a special dinner for two. Prices start from $570 per person based on twin-share.

    The Stamford Plaza Auckland package also includes two nights’ accommodation in a Superior Room, breakfast for two and premium tickets to the Grand Finale on Saturday 8 June with options to include tickets to the piano trio rounds on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 June. Prices start from $460 per person based on twin-share.

    The Queenstown Sofitel Hotel & Spa and Stamford Plaza Auckland join a long list of supporters of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition including major sponsors Michael Hill International, ANZ, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Villa Maria.

    Also announced today as part of the 2013 Competition is a new initiative, ‘Come Play With Me’ – a jazz concert in partnership with the Queenstown Jazz and Blues Festival on Sunday 2 June featuring the Jason Thornton Jazz Group which will be joined by the 2011 Competition winner Sergey Malov and guest vocalist Karen Hattaway.

    “Sergey is ridiculously talented and versatile – we really wanted to showcase another of his instrumental styles and a jazz concert will offer something a bit outside the norm of the Competition,” says Competition Executive Director Anne Rodda. “He will also be performing on his violin and his violoncello de spalla to open the event on Friday 31 May.”

    The 18 semi-finalists, representing 12 nationalities, for the 2013 Competition will arrive in Queenstown in late May and compete in the initial two rounds playing solo and accompanied works with pianists Diedre Irons and Sarah Watkins. On Monday 3 June six violinists are selected for the third round in Auckland where they perform as part of a piano trio with pianist Michael Houstoun and cellist Ashley Brown. the top three compete in the final concerto round performance with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

    The Competition is judged by a prestigious international jury including Christian Altenburger (Austria), James Ehnes (Canada), Ida Kavafian (Armenian/USA), Ning Feng (China), Dene Olding (Australia), Helene Pohl (New Zealand), and Dmitry Sitkovetsky (Russia).

    The winner of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2013 receives $40,000 cash, a recording on the Atoll label and a 2014 winner’s tour with Chamber Music New Zealand, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and further performances such as with the Harris Theater in Chicago, USA.

    Additionally, if the winner is female, she will receive a bespoke designer gown from Kiri Nathan, or if male, a suit from Working Style.

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition takes place at Queenstown Memorial Hall from Friday 31 May to Monday 3 June with the Welcome Back Winner Recital featuring 2011 winner Sergey Malov and Sarah Watkins (piano) is on Friday 31 May at 7.30pm and Come Play With Me – the Jason Thornton Jazz Group with Karen Hattaway (vocals) and Sergey Malov (violin) is on Sunday 2 June at 7.30pm.

    The Semi-Final Rounds are on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 June at the Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall with the Final on Saturday 8 June with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at Auckland Town Hall.

    For more information and to book tickets, visit www.violincompetition.co.nz.


    For more information, transmission of high resolution images and to arrange interviews, please contact:
    Sally Woodfield | Publicist | Chamber Music New Zealand | +64 21 868 020 | sally@swpr.co.nz

    ENDS
  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SATURDAY 15 DECEMBER 2012
    Semi-finalists Announced for 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition
    • Arthur (“Nikki”) Chooi (Canada)
    • Sarah Christian (Germany)
    • Dalia Dedinskaite (Lithuania)
    • Ekaterina Frolova (Russia)
    • Ioana Goicea (Romania)
    • Da Sol Jeong (Canada)
    • Jae Hyeong Lee (South Korea)
    • Seul-A Lee (South Korea)
    • Natalie Lin (New Zealand)
    • Boson Mo (Canada)
    • Yu-Ah Ok (South Korea)
    • Sujin Park (Australia)
    • Georg Pfirsch (Germany)
    • Mari Poll (Estonia)
    • David Radzynski (USA)
    • Eugenia Ryabinina (Belgium)
    • Stephen Tavani (USA)
    • Yuqing Zhang (China)

    And the alternates who will be invited should any of the semi-finalists need to withdraw are (in order):

    1. Wonyoung Jung (South Korea)
    2. Benjamin Morrison (New Zealand)
    3. Ji Yoon Lee (South Korea)
    4. Karen Kido (Japan)
    5. Minji Jo (South Korea)
    6. Hwi-Eun Kim (South Korea)
    7. Stephanie Zyzak (USA)

    Also announced are the winners of the two development prizes – one each for a New Zealand and Australian violinist. London-based violinist Benjamin Baker has been awarded the New Zealand Development Prize and James Dong is the Australian Development Prize winner.

    Competition Executive Director Anne Rodda said the preliminary judging panel had spent three grueling days meticulously assessing all the recordings of the 125 entrants and arriving at the result with great integrity, noting that the identities of all the applicants are unknown to the panel until the results have been determined to ensure absolute objectivity. “The competition is also appreciative of all the violin teachers scattered across the globe who have helped their pupils prepare for this major competition. We can’t wait to meet and hear these 18 exciting virtuosi in New Zealand next June.”

    The Michael Hill International Violin Competition is considered one of the top violin competitions in the world and has been held biennially since 2001. The Competition takes place over two rounds in Queenstown before six violinists are selected for the third round in Auckland, with the top three competing in the final.

    The Competition is judged by a prestigious international jury including Christian Altenburger (Austria), James Ehnes (Canada), Ida Kavafian (Armenian/USA), Ning Feng (China), Dene Olding (Australia), Helene Pohl (New Zealand), and Dmitry Sitkovetsky (Russia).

    The winner of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2013 receives $40,000 cash, a recording on the Atoll label, a tailored professional development programme and a 2014 winner’s tour with Chamber Music New Zealand, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and further performances such as with the Harris Theater in Chicago, USA.

    One of the 18 semi-finalists is New Zealand violinist Natalie Lin and it has been eight years since a New Zealander has made the semi-finals to compete in Queenstown and Auckland in June. In 2003 the competition was won by New Zealander Natalia Lomeiko.

    In her application, Aucklander Natalie Lin (23) said as a New Zealand citizen, she wanted to perform among international talent, before her local home audience. “In doing so, I hope to inspire other young kiwis pursue their own talents and dreams.”

    And a second New Zealand musician, Benjamin Morrison has been named second alternate for the competition. Ben won the New Zealand Development Prize in 2011 and will compete if two of the 18 cannot make the competition.

    “It is extremely gratifying to see that New Zealand in particular has done so well this time” says Sir Michael Hill, ” – it’s really fulfilling my dreams. If New Zealand as a country wants to be part of the real world, New Zealanders need to compete at an international level. The bar raises all the time so it’s a real achievement that a Kiwi (and an Australian) have made it through to the semi-finals. This also marks a change in the way New Zealanders and Australians are becoming aware of classical music – we had a bevy of applications from both countries this year which I, personally, find very encouraging for the future of the Competition and our Antipodean culture in general.”

    The semi-finalists were selected by an adjudication panel from 125 applications representing 27 nationalities and 12 nationalities are represented among the 18 semi-finalists.

    Panelist Goetz Richter said he was very impressed by the quality of performance – both artistically and technically – shown by so many young and gifted violinists. “This makes for a very difficult decision, but in the end I am highly confident that the violinists invited to New Zealand in 2013 will be part of an exciting competition that is rewarding for all.”


    To arrange interviews and for further information please contact:
    Sally Woodfield | SWPR | +64 21 868 020 | publicity@swpr.co.nz

    ENDS