Young violinists from around the world competing

The youngest competitor in the 2019 Michael Hill International Violin Competition Emmalena Huning...
The youngest competitor in the 2019 Michael Hill International Violin Competition Emmalena Huning (18), of Australia, pictured with Sir Michael Hill (centre), Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult and her fellow violinists at the official welcome and competition draw near Arrowtown last night. PHOTO: TRACEY ROXBURGH
For the next eight days, 16 of the world's most promising young violinists will be entertaining crowds in Queenstown and Auckland, vying to be named the 2019 Michael Hill International Violin Competition winner.

The official welcome and competition draw was held at Sir Michael Hill's property, near Arrowtown, last night.

The two-yearly, competition, now in its 10th year, begins today.

Sir Michael, a passionate violinist, established the event 20 years ago to nurture and guide young talent through competition, intensive master classes and career development.

The competitors, all aged from 18 to 28, come from across the world - this year they hail from Russia, the United States, Latvia, China, Ireland, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Hong Kong.

The youngest quarterfinalist this year is Australia Emmalena Huning (18).

The first round starts in Queenstown today and continues tomorrow, during which the quarterfinalists will compete at the Queenstown Memorial Centre.

The second round will also be held in Queenstown, on Sunday and Monday, before the competition moves to Auckland.

Six semifinalists will be selected by the jury - Dale Bartrop, of Australia, James Ehnes, of Canada, Mauricio Fuks, originally from Uruguay, and Clara-Jumi Kang, of Germany/South Korea - to compete in the Auckland Town Hall next Wednesday and Thursday.

After that round, the top three will go on to compete in the final round, also at the Auckland Town Hall, on Saturday, June 8, where the winner will be announced.

That person will receive $40,000, a recording contract with New Zealand record label Atoll, a performance tour across New Zealand and Australia and a personalised professional development programme.


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