Opening Gala Concert

Thursday 13 May
7.30pm - 9.30pm

Richmond Symphony
Jahja Ling (conductor)
Chloe Chua (violin) *
Christian Li (violin) **
Soyoung Yoon (violin) ***

Shostakovich Festive Overture in A Major, Op. 96
Chausson Poème for Violin & Orchestra, Op. 25 *
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28 **
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19 ***
Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34

The Opening Gala Concert kicks off the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 in spectacular fashion, with violin solos performed by three previous winners of the 1st Prize including an outstanding juror, alongside celebratory orchestral works. Chloe Chua and Christian Li, joint winners of the Geneva 2018 Junior 1st Prize, and Soyoung Yoon, 2021 juror and winner of the Boulogne 2002 Senior 1st Prize, are conducted by guest conductor Jahja Ling and accompanied by the Richmond Symphony, who close the concert with Rimsky-Korsakov’s effervescent and virtuosic Capriccio Espagnol. 

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Artists' Biographies

Soyoung Yoon - Richmond 2021 juror and guest artist

Find out more about Soyoung Yoon here

Richmond Symphony 

Celebrating its 63rd Season in 2020-21, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 260 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy live concerts and radio broadcasts. The Symphony also provides educational outreach programs to over 55,000 students and teachers each year. The Symphony was named one of 21 American orchestras first selected as a leader in orchestra innovation by the League of American Orchestras through its Futures Fund Initiative. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jahja Ling

Known for his musical integrity, intensity and expressivity, Jahja Ling is universally recognized as a conductor who has rebuilt San Diego Symphony Orchestra into a major orchestra after serving as its music director for 13 seasons, culminating in their first and historical sold out performance at Carnegie Hall and its first international tour to China.

Jahja Ling has a continuous long-standing 35-year relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra. Deeply committed to education, he served as founding Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Director of Tanglewood/BU Young Artists Orchestra. 

Mr. Ling has conducted all major symphony orchestras in the US including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. He made his European debut conducting Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and subsequently conducted many prominent orchestras in 4 continents. Previous positions include Music Director of The Florida Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Taiwan Philharmonic/NSO. 

Christian Li

Christian Li is 12 years old and was born in Melbourne, Australia. At the age of 10 Christian won the joint Junior 1st Prize at the Menuhin Competition Geneva 2018, becoming the youngest ever prizewinner of the Competition. He also received the Audience Prize and the Composer Award. Since then he has gone on to make acclaimed debuts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the China Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2019 he gave UK debut recitals at the Cheltenham, Harrogate and Gower Music Festivals and performed at the Tel Aviv Opera House and in Norway. Future performances include appearances with orchestras and solo recitals in Australia, U.S.A. and Europe, as well as the 2020 Australian Festival of Chamber Music. In 2020 Christian was signed exclusively to Decca Classics. He studies with Dr. Robin Wilson, Head of Violin at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne.

Chloe Chua

13-year-old Singaporean violinist Chloe Chua has been enrolled in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts School of Young Talents (NAFA) since she was four, and is currently under the tutelage of Yin Ke. Chloe won the joint Junior 1st Prize at the Menuhin Competition Geneva 2018 and has also garnered prizes at the Andrea Postacchini Violin Competition, Zhuhai International Mozart Competition, Thailand International Strings and the Singapore National Piano and Violin Competition.

Chloe’s stunning maturity and musicality has captured the hearts of audiences around the world, and her performances have taken her to concert halls and festivals across the UK, Thailand, Italy, Germany, China, USA and Singapore.

More recently, Chloe has performed with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, China Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Russian National Youth Orchestra, Kammerorchester Basel and the China Philharmonic Orchestra.

She performs on a Vincenzo Postiglione, Napoli, 1884 violin on generous loan from Dr. Peter Chew.