International Violin Competition semi-finalists

Natalie Lin
New Zealand violinist Natalie Lin has been named one of 18 semi-finalists in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition for 2013.


New Zealand violinist Natalie Lin has been named one of 18 semi-finalists in the prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition for 2013.

It has been eight years since a New Zealander has made the semi-finalist group who 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.

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:

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) and Yuqing Zhang (China).

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.”

Eight alternates were also named for the competition – these violinists will compete if any of the 18 semi-finalists is unable to make the competition. The alternates are Wonyoung Jung (South Korea), Benjamin Morrison (New Zealand), Ji Yoon Lee (South Korea), Ji-won Song (South Korea), Karen Kido (Japan), Minji Jo (South Korea), Hwi-Eun Kim (South Korea) and Stephanie Zyzak (USA).

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. "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."

Also announced today were 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.

The Michael Hill International Violin Competition is one of the top violin competitions in the world and has been held biennially since 2001. The Competition takes place in June 2013 with two rounds in Queenstown before six violinists are selected for the third round in Auckland, and the top three compete 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 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.

Media Release: Michael Hill International Violin Competition

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

17 Dec 2012

The Big Idea Editor

Mikee Carpinter
Props Boy, rock guitarist, colourist, band manager, music producer: Mikee Carpinter has surely held many a day-job
Bic Runga
Kiwi musician and producer Bic Runga has been announced as the first recipient of a creative residency programme being reinstated after a decade-long break.
Cobham Intermediate students recording at Orange Studios
Ali Harper’s tale is inspiring. We saw her work and asked her to tell her story on The Big Idea. We are so glad she did.
Alex McKellar with her son Wyatt
Director Alexandra McKellar plays a few roles - mother, teacher, performing artist, partner and long distance driver.