Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 Announces Schedule of Free Virtual Events

Performances by Regina Carter, Sphinx Virtuosi, Mark & Maggie O’Connor, Christian Li & Chloe Chua.

Review: SWEENEY TODD at Signature Theatre

The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 and the Richmond Symphony announced today the schedule of events for this year's Competition, May 14-23, 2021. After a year of waiting necessitated by the global pandemic, the Competition welcomes the exceptional young violinists originally selected to participate in the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020. Finally, they will have a chance to perform via video recital for the jury, for each other and for a virtual audience of family, friends, teachers and music lovers around the globe.

The co-hosts-the City of Richmond, Richmond Symphony, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University and VPM, Virginia's home for public media-are looking forward to providing a warm "virtual" welcome to the young violinists from around the world taking part in the Competition.

Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney has been a driving force behind bringing the Menuhin Competition to Richmond and has expressed his tremendous pride in welcoming this prestigious international event to the city. "We look forward to thousands of viewers from around the world joining us online and in spirit to celebrate extraordinary violin performances by talented American and international musicians and guest artists," he said.

A special feature of the 2021 program is TwoSet Violin, the irreverent Australian duo Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, whose YouTube videos have made them an internet sensation. The duo will make a virtual appearance (or two, or three) during the Competition in classic TwoSet style, causing mayhem and confusion along the way, but always rooting for the brave young competitors!

The First Rounds of Competition performances will be released in advance of the main Competition, with the Junior section scheduled for April 26-27 at 10 am EDT and the Senior section at 10 am EDT on April 28-29. Ten Juniors, ages 12 to 15*, will advance to the Junior Semi-Finals to be streamed on May 15, and nine Seniors, ages 16-22*, will advance to the Senior Semi-Finals to be streamed on May 16. The Junior and Senior Finals will be held on May 21 and 22, respectively, and will be hosted by Fred Child, public radio personality and longtime host of "Performance Today." The Competition repertoire includes two pieces commissioned by the Richmond Symphony for the Competition; Junior finalists will perform Mason Bates' Bound Away, and Senior semi-finalists will perform a new work by Mark O'Connor.
*Competitors are participating in the same section for which they qualified in 2020, even if they have aged out in the intervening year.

The 43 competitors in the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 come from around the world, and their performances, via video file, are being submitted from a host of countries: Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. Of those who are in the United States, competitors hail from California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and from the home of this year's Competition, Virginia.

A full list of Richmond 2021 Competitors can be found here.

Event Highlights

On Friday and Saturday May 14 and 15, the Richmond Symphony performs a live, in-person concert to kick off the Competition from the host city. The renowned conductor Jahja Ling joins the Symphony as guest conductor, and violinist and juror Angelo Xiang Yu, winner of Senior 1st Prize in the 2010 Menuhin Competition in Oslo, performs Mozart's Violin Concerto No 3. The concert also features the world premiere of Mason Bates' Bound Away, the short work commissioned by the Richmond Symphony for this year's Junior finals, and Jessie Montgomery's Starburst. Although no livestream is available, selections from the concert will be streamed on May 23 as part of the Gala Presentation.

Throughout the Competition, a roster of artists will offer virtual concerts and programs that bring together a wide variety of music and violin styles.

More detailed information about the events can be found in the chronological listing below.

In addition to the public programs, the Competition is collaborating with the new Richmond Symphony School of Music to offer educational and engagement activities for local Richmond- and Virginia-based violin students. On May 8 Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) presents a virtual "Violin Day" with Mark O'Connor, offering workshops and short performances designed for both students and teachers throughout the day. As part of the Adopt a Performer program, competitors make virtual visits to schools and other community organizations to perform and talk with students and seniors. For competitors, there will be interactive sessions with Intermission, a program founded by two Sphinx Virtuosi violinists that combines meditation, yoga and mindfulness to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of musicians. Also offered to competitors is a masterclass and presentation focused on injury prevention given by juror Pamela Frank and physical therapist Howard Nelson.

About the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 - General Information

The Menuhin Competition distinguishes itself among competitions not only with the high level of playing among participants, but also for creating a festive, nurturing and collegial environment and providing an immersive musical experience for competitors that goes far beyond the Competition rounds themselves. The 2021 virtual Competition aims to fulfill that promise by recreating the Competition as an online event that connects competitors, jurors, viewers and performers with each other and with Richmond.

The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 will be produced, streamed and televised by VPM, Virginia's home for public media. The events will all be viewable on the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 website and YouTube Channel, and many programs will also be available on The Violin Channel and on additional social media channels.

The 2021 panel of jurors: Pamela Frank (Chair), Joji Hattori (Vice-Chair), Noah Bendix-Balgley, Aaron Dworkin, Alf Richard Kraggerud,
Piers Lane, Valentina Peleggi, Soyoung Yoon, and Angelo Xiang Yu.

Photo credit: Olivier Miche


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