Matthew Hakkarainen United States, 20, Senior

Twenty-year-old violinist Matthew Hakkarainen currently attends the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studies with Pamela Frank. Previous teachers include Charles Castleman, Mauricio Fuks, Borislava Iltcheva, Huifang Chen, and Maree Sawhney. He has won a number of prizes at international competitions, including the  Lipizer International Violin Competition and the New World Symphony’s Concerto Competition. Previous concert experience includes performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony. As concertmaster of NYOUSA under Michael Tilson Thomas, Matthew led the orchestra on a tour across Asia. 

I’m so excited to be one of the participants in the upcoming Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021! Having the opportunity to compete in the Menuhin Competition is a dream come true for me. Ever since I was little, I was always so inspired by listening to the performances of the past competitors in this event. My hope was that one day I’d have the chance to perform and compete alongside some of the very best young violinists from around the world. To now have that chance is such an unbelievable feeling! Of course, everyone will be aiming to come out on top by the end of the Competition, but my one true wish is that I’ll be able to share and communicate my personal musical message with all of you. I think that music is one of the few things that can bring all of us together without any need for words, and that the Menuhin Competition does such an amazing job in celebrating music for what it really is.