16 Candidates Announced for New Zealand’s 2017 Michael Hill Competition

The 16 Quarter-Finalists have today been announced for the 2017 Michael Hill International Violin Competition


The 16 Quarter-Finalists have today been announced for the 2017 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, to be held in Queenstown and Auckland from the 2-10th June – including VC ‘Young Artist’ Zeyu Victor Li from China.

The 2017 candidates are:

  • VC Young Artist Zeyu Victor Li (China)
  • Benjamin Baker (New Zealand)
  • Elizabeth Basoff-Darskaia (Russia / USA)
  • Maia Cabeza (Canada / USA)
  • Jung Min Choi (South Korea)
  • So Young Choi (South Korea)
  • Ioana Goicea (Romania)
  • Luke Hsu (USA)
  • Mari Lee (South Korea/Japan)
  • Jaeook Lee (South Korea)
  • Kunwha Lee (South Korea)
  • Thomas Reif (Germany)
  • Yoo Min Seo (South Korea)
  • Natsumi Tsuboi (Japan)
  • Momoko Wong (Japan / USA)
  • Galiya Zharova (Kazakhstan)

“The changes we introduced to the selection round for this competition were reaffirming ...” Competition Executive Director Anne Rodda has told The Violin Channel.

“The inclusion of a Mozart concerto was really telling, and although the first two rounds were audio-only, by the third round the panel got to see the videos of those applicants they had advanced, and this added a very helpful dimension …." she has said.

"The Michael Hill seeks artists that possess the full package necessary to stand out in a crowded market and sustain a meaningful career," Anne has affirmed.

“The sheer excellence exhibited by all of the applicants was truly amazing …. my full respect and appreciation goes to the panel for the immense focus and integrity they brought to the process ... ” Competition Founding Trustee, Sir Michael Hill has said.

The 2017 winner will receive NZ $40,000 (US $31,000), a recording contract, an intensive New Zealand performance tour – and a personalised professional career development programme.

The winner will also be invited to perform the competition’s Founding Trustee, Sir Michael Hill’s personal violin – the 1755 ‘Southern Star’ Guadagnini on the competition winner’s tour.

The 2017 jury will comprise Pamela Frank, Ilya Gringolts, Dong-Suk Kang, Vesa-Matti Leppänen, Silvia Marvovici, Dene Olding and Krzysztof Wegrzyn.

7 of the 16 2017 candidates are returning Michael Hill competition competitors.

Held biennially, previous Michael Hill International Violin Competition 1st prize winners include VC Artists Nikki Chooi, Josef Spacek, Bella Hristova and Suyeon Kang.

The Violin Channel, as the competition’s 2017 Official Media Partner, will be providing rolling coverage for all 9 days – live from Auckland and Queenstown. You won’t miss a beat.