On April 12, the Menuhin International Violin Competition launched the 2012 version of that celebrated event with festivities held at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Hosted by the president of the conservatory and attended by the British ambassador and famous Chinese composer and former jury member Wu Zuqiang, the event marked the opening of the application period for the competition.
The Menuhin Competition 2012 will be held between April 6-12, 2012. It is the first time that the event will be held in China.
Earlier this year, the British Council in Beijing announced that the Menuhin Competition will be an integral part of the UK Now Festival 2012. The festival will potentially be the largest celebration of British arts ever held in China. It will highlight the best of UK creativity and include exhibitions, concerts, and performances held across the country. The festival will reciprocate the China Now event held by the Chinese in the UK during the recent Beijing Olympics.
American violinist Pamela Frank is the new chair of the judging panel. The star-studded 2012 jury panel also will include nine internationally acclaimed violinists, including British former Menuhin Competition prize-winner Tasmin Little and Russian virtuoso and conductor Maxim Vengerov. Each member of the jury will perform in concerts and give master classes in the course of the competition. They also will be available for individual consultations at the end of the competition, offering a unique opportunity to all competitors.
This year's repertoire combines several changes including the addition of newly commissioned Chinese works.
The repertoire is divided into two sections (Juniors and Seniors), but the level of difficulty is almost identical because of the high skill level shown by Juniors in recent competitions. Both groups, for example, will be asked to perform works for solo violin by Bach.
In 2010, the competition introduced improvisation—unique among violin competitions—to the Junior repertoire. This was a great success in Oslo and will be repeated in 2012.
Following the success in Cardiff in 2008, Junior competitors will perform one of Vivaldi's Four Seasons without a conductor in the finals and will direct the orchestra themselves.
Candidates can add a personal note to their repertoire by selecting a virtuoso work of their choice, and Seniors can pick one of 11 violin concertos for the finals.
A Chinese composing competition will be held prior to the Menuhin Competition to create and find two new works for violin, one for the Senior and one for the Junior section.
In Beijing, competitors have a chance to collaborate with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and to perform at the National Centre for the Performing Arts and Beijing Concert Hall.
Click here to download an application to the Menuhin Competition 2012.
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