Meet our Competitors!
We’re delighted to be able to introduce you to the 44 competitors who will be joining us in Richmond, VA, in May! We are pleased to welcome both first time and returning competitors from all over the world.
Our competitors are an international group, representing 18 different nationalities. The USA is well represented with 18 American competitors from across the country, including one homegrown competitor from Virginia! We’re thrilled to welcome our first Spanish competitor since 1998 and our first Italian competitor since 2000, as well as competitors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
With the youngest competitor being only 11 and the oldest being 21, we’re excited to bring such gifted musicians to Virginia. 41 of 44 competitors (90%) have played the violin for seven or more years and one third of them gave their first recital before they had turned five!
Perhaps surprisingly, many of our competitors do not come from musical backgrounds – 36 competitors said that their parents don’t play the violin, with 26 – just over half - stating that their parents don’t play any musical instrument. They’re also a multitalented group – 31 of our competitors play another musical instrument, 34 play within chamber ensembles and 32 play within orchestras.
Engaging the Richmond community
We can now also announce the programme of engagement activities that will be taking place around the Competition!
Staying true to our founder Yehudi Menuhin’s philosophy of sharing music, engagement activities within local communities are important aspects of the Menuhin Competition. Our programme of engagement activities allows our competitors to inspire the next generation of young musicians and share their passion with the communities who have so kindly embraced them.
Our competitors will be going into elementary and secondary schools throughout the region to share their inspiration, experience and enthusiasm with local children through workshops and performances.
Students will also benefit from Violin Day, hosted on Saturday, May 2, a full day of fun activities celebrating the violin for students (K-12) from all around Virginia, at all levels of ability. Fiddler and pedagogue Mark O’Connor will lead jam sessions, clinics, workshops and masterclasses – and there will be student performances, a mini-competition and a short performance by Mark & Maggie O’Connor.
The Portrait of the City event, Saturday, May 23 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will be a celebration of the city of Richmond and its vivid arts and culture scene. The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 Artists in Residence, Sphinx Virtuosi, will perform with the winners of the Violin Day mini-competition and there will be a special exhibition of visual art depicting various aspects of the city of Richmond, created by local students.
TwoSet Violin - roving reporters on the ground!
In addition to the exciting engagement activities planned for competitors and local musicians, we will be joined by the internationally acclaimed musical comedy duo, TwoSet Violin. Well known for their viral videos about musician life – which are sometimes just as painfully accurate as they are hilarious – the pair will join us as roving reporters, sharing news and updates from the Competition. They will also be participating in a special event at Virginia Commonwealth University featuring motion-capture technology (in which human movement is captured digitally) on May 23.