NZ violinist makes cut

Violinist Natalie Lin (23), of Auckland, will vie with 17 other semifinalists for prizes including $40,000 cash and a winner's tour in the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition. Photo supplied.
Violinist Natalie Lin (23), of Auckland, will vie with 17 other semifinalists for prizes including $40,000 cash and a winner's tour in the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition. Photo supplied.
Auckland violinist Natalie Lin has been named one of 18 semifinalists in the Queenstown-based Michael Hill International Violin Competition for 2013, the first New Zealander to make the grade in eight years.

In her application, the 23-year-old said, as a New Zealand citizen, she wanted to perform among international talent before her home audience.

''In doing so, I hope to inspire other young Kiwis to pursue their own talents and dreams.''

A second New Zealand musician, Benjamin Morrison, was on Friday named second alternate for the competition.

Morrison won the New Zealand Development Prize in 2011 and will compete if two of the 18 cannot make the competition.

The semifinalists were selected by a panel from 125 applications representing 27 nationalities. A dozen nationalities are represented among the 18 semifinalists: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 (United States), Eugenia Ryabinina (Belgium), Stephen Tavani (US), and Yuqing Zhang (China).

Also announced were the winners of the two development prizes - one for each side of the Tasman.

London-based violinist Benjamin Baker was awarded the New Zealand Development Prize and James Dong is the Australian Development Prize winner.

The Michael Hill International Violin Competition 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 an international jury including Christian Altenburger (Austria), James Ehnes (Canada), Ida Kavafian (Armenia/US), Ning Feng (China), Dene Olding (Australia), Helene Pohl (New Zealand), and Dmitry Sitkovetsky (Russia).

The winner 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 Theatre, Chicago.