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Sixteen of the world's best young violinists selected for 2019 Michael Hill International Violin Competition

New Zealand’s most prestigious international music competition takes place in Queenstown and Auckland, 31 May to 8 June 2019

AUCKLAND, AUK, NEW ZEALAND, December 18, 2018 / -- The impressive list of competitors in New Zealand’s most prestigious international music competition, the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, has been announced for 2019.

From 31 May to 8 June 2019, sixteen 18 to 28-year-old violinists from across the world will go head-to-head in Queenstown and Auckland, New Zealand, for a prize package valued at over NZ$100,000.

They are:

Jacqueline Audas (USA)
Rimma Benyumova (Russia)
Jevgēnijs Čepoveckis (Latvia)
Angela Sin Ying Chan (China)
Hannah Cho (USA)
Do Gyung (Anna) Im (South Korea)
Shannon Lee (USA)
Tianyu Liu (China)
Ashley Park (USA)
Ji Won Song (South Korea)
Yun Tang (China)
Eric Tsai (USA)
Sophie Wang (Taiwan)
Harry Ward (Australia)
Matthias Well (Germany)
Victoria Wong (Australia)

Competition Executive Director, Anne Rodda, says, “The selection panel were hugely impressed by the high standard of entries this year. There is a growing number of international competitions for young violinists, yet the pool doesn’t seem to be getting diluted in any way. We are delighted so many of the world’s best young violinists can make it to New Zealand next year. And, because of New Zealand’s excellent reputation among international musicians, so are the competitors!”

The biennial Michael Hill International Violin Competition is one of the most sought-after violin prizes in the world. The careers of some of today’s classical music legends have been launched in New Zealand. 2019 is the tenth competition.

Rounds One and Two (Quarter-Finals) featuring solo and piano-accompanied works take place in Queenstown from 31 May to 3 June 2019. From there, six Semi-Finalists will be selected to head up to Auckland for Round Three, which takes place on 5 and 6 June at the Town Hall. Leading New Zealand musicians, drawn from the country’s top ensembles, will perform Mozart Quintets with the competitors.

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will accompany the three Finalists at the Grand Finale on Saturday 8 June, with Music Director Giordano Bellincampi conducting.

As well as establishing the careers of some of today’s most renowned violinists, the “Michael Hill” is acknowledged for its superstar judging panel. Every year, Queenstown and Auckland play host to some of the world’s greatest violin soloists and teachers (please see notes below).

The winner of the Michael Hill receives NZ$40,000, a recording contract with the Atoll label, an intensive performance tour across New Zealand and Australia, a personalised professional development programme, a Spirit Bay pendant designed by Lady, Christine Hill and a tour outfit by either Kiri Nathan or Working Style.

The winner is also invited to perform on Sir Michael Hill’s magnificent personal violin, a 1755 Guadagnini named “The Southern Star”, on their Winner’s Tour.

All live rounds are open to the public. Tickets are available now as part of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra subscription season. Single tickets will be on sale in February.

The entire event is also live-streamed, with audio provided by Radio NZ Concert, on, YouTube and the world’s leading online classical music news source, The Violin Channel. In 2017 online activity exceeded one million views throughout the 10-day period, of which over 70 per cent were unique.

For more information, please visit


The 2019 Selection Panel was Andrew Beer, Justine Cormack, Dr Robin Wilson (Australian National Academy of Music) and the popular 2015 Winner Suyeon Kang.

The prestigious 2019 international judging panel includes Dale Barltrop, Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony and First Violin of the Australian String Quartet, who competed in the very first Michael Hill as a mere 18-year-old; Canadian soloist James Ehnes, who has secured rock star status in the classical world; Mauricio Fuks from Uruguay/USA, a renowned pedagogue; Clara-Jumi Kang of Germany/South Korea is a brilliant young soloist; Anthony Marwood, a very popular violinist from the UK who has many ties to Aotearoa; well-known New Zealand violinist Wilma Smith, who now lives in Australia; and Ning Feng from China - another popular international soloist who won the 2005 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

Dr Robin Congreve is again the Chair of the Jury.

The 2019 collaborating pianists, who accompany the young performers for the initial, Queenstown rounds, are Sarah Watkins and Jian Liu.

Siobhan Waterhouse
Mr. ºFahrenheit Publicity
+64 221264149
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Distribution channels: Music Industry

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