LSM Newswire

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Menuhin Competition goes to Beijing in 2012

Competition now open for applications - deadline 31 October

The next Menuhin Competition – the world’s leading competition for young violinists, widely regarded as the ‘Olympics of the violin’ – will be held for the first time ever outside Europe. It will be hosted by the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China from 6 to 15 April 2012.

“Yehudi would have been thrilled!” says Menuhin’s daughter Zamira Menuhin Benthall. The connection between Menuhin and China goes back a long time and Menuhin was the first Western musician to receive an Honorary Professorship from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 1979.

Gordon Back, Competition Director, says: “Over the decades, the Menuhin Competition has seen many Chinese prize-winners, with an increasing number of entries coming from Asia. So it seemed a natural choice to take the Competition to China.” According to Tao Qian, the Central Conservatory’s Deputy Director, around 10 million children are currently learning the violin in China, which is second in popularity only to the piano.

The Menuhin Competition attracts applicants from all over the globe (from 34 different countries in 2010) including some of the world’s most gifted violinists. Previous winners include Isabelle van Keulen, Julia Fischer, Ilya Gringolts, Daishin Kashimoto and Nikolaj Znaider.

The star-studded 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 the USA’s Pamela Frank.

The Menuhin Competition is unique among music competitions in several ways:

  • the competition format is combined with a 10-day festival of high profile concerts and other events
  • all the members of the jury perform concerts and teach during the event
  • like the Olympics, each competition is hosted in a different city.

All successful applicants, who must be aged under 16 for the Junior Competition and under 22 for the Senior Competition, will spend the entire 10 days in Beijing, where in addition to competing they will also perform concerts and take part in workshops and master-classes. Bursaries are available to ensure any successful applicants who require financial assistance are able to take part.

With support from the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the Menuhin Competition will collaborate with some of the country’s premier orchestras and venues including the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing Concert Hall and the new NCPA (National Centre for Performing Arts).

Both the British Embassy and British Council have pledged their support for the event, which will also form part of the prestigious ‘UK Now Festival’ being organised by the British Council alongside the Olympics in London.

More information can be found at

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