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'The Olympics Of The Violin World' - 16 Young Violinists Battled It Out For A Career-Launching Prize

The Michael Hill International Violin Competition took over Queenstown and Auckland a couple of weeks back for another year of fierce competition. Over the course of eight days and four rounds of competition, 16 of the world's finest young violinists battled it out for the career-launching prize.

In the foreground, young people sit cross-legged on the floor with their backs to the camera. In the background, people sit scattered in a raked seating block, facing the camera. Between these two groups a lone person stands, playing a violin.
Helene leads a workshop on the Suzuki method

Alongside the Auckland leg of the competition, the Michael Hill Violin Competition introduced a brand-new 'mini festival' – Auckland String Sessions – with the aim of raising awareness for fine music and to inspire the highest standard of musical performance in Aotearoa. Across four action-packed days, with a programme curated by Helene Pohl, NZ musicians, parents, students and teachers attended free workshops and masterclasses with members of the Michael Hill Competition jury and the NZSQ. The festival culminated in an exciting Showcase event starring Aotearoa’s own emerging musical talents alongside Bella Hristova, Piers Lane, and the NZSQ.

Five people sit on chairs on a stage in a semi-circle. They are each holding instruments making up a string quintet (two violins, two violas and a cello). They are all laughing together.
A Semi-Final Round

Our very own Gillian Ansell also featured in the Michael Hill Violin Competition semi-finals performing Mozart quintets with Amalia Hall, Robert Ashworth, Ashley Brown and each of the six semi-finalists. The competition as a whole was a remarkable showcase of skill and dedication.

The very next day, the grand finale concert took place at the Auckland Town Hall, where the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, under the baton of Andrew Litton, delivered a sensational performance. The event was livestreamed globally on the MHIVC website, Facebook page, and other esteemed platforms, reaching over 150,000 viewers from around the world. The competition received support from 65 countries, demonstrating the universal appeal of music.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winner, Yeyeong Jenny Jin, a talented musician studying at the Julliard School. Jenny's dedication and exceptional performance earned her the prestigious NZ$40,000 prize, a recording contract with the Atoll label, and a multi-centre Winner's Tour with MHIVC partners Chamber Music New Zealand and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Reflecting on her journey, Jenny shared,

"I think I've changed as a person through this whole experience. I learned more about myself, and that's really special. Through this competition, I know who I am as a person, more."

Congratulations are owed to all competitors! Here's to the next competition in 2025!


To find out more information about the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, or to watch a recording of the grand finale concert, head to their website:

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