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The winners

by mary vakaridis

Tasmin Little, Nikolaj Znaider and Julia Fischer have won Prices at the Menuhin Competition. They are now world famous violonists.

Twenty prizes will be awarded during this edition, between seniors (16 to 21 years old) and juniors (under 16 years old). In addition to a monetary bonus (from 1000 to 15,000 francs depending on the ranking), the laureates will benefit from various forms of support such as the loan for one year of an exceptional old Italian violin, invitations to take part to prestigious festivals, training sessions with the world's leading music institutes, integration with renowned masterclasses.

However, most of the winners and participants of previous editions praise much more the tremendous human and artistic experience that they experienced during the Menuhin, with meetings with other violinists, the advice of renowned musicians, teachers' councils reputable, exchanges with the public,...

While they were still only unknown young gifted, the violinists Tasmin Little, Ray Chen or Nikolaj Znaider on the competition founded in 1983 by Yehudi Menuhin, who was himself a child prodigy. This distinction plays a role of powerful springboard. Many award-winning musicians have been propelled to solo concertos since their were childs.

Julia Fischer, The star

This is the case of the star Julia Fischer, now 34 years old, who has roamed the international scene for twenty years already. Winner of the first prize in the junior category in 1995, at the age of 11, Julia Fischer is a true enigma. Daughter of a pianist of Slovak origin and a German mathematician, this phenomenon of music began to learn the violin at 4 years old and then joined the Munich College of Music in the class of Ana Chumachenco at 9. The Bavarian debuts as a concert performer when she is not yet 15 years old. His repertoire ranges from Bach to Mendelssohn and Vivaldi.
The musician has now formed a string quartet of which she is the first violin. At the same time, the thirty-something is also a professional pianist who gave her first performance in 2008 performing during the same performance the Concerto for violin No. 3 Saint-Saëns and the Piano Concerto Grieg at the Alte Oper Frankfurt.

Tasmin Little,
The nomad

Traveling around the world as a solo concertist for twenty years, Tasmin Little won the Menuhin Competition in 1985. A born musician, she learned alone to decipher music theory at the age of 6, thanks to a device recorder that his mother gave him. A scholarship enabled the Briton to attend the Yehudi Menuhin School in Cobham, South England between the ages of 8 and 18.
During her career, the musician played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. This artist has trained young violin star Nigel Kennedy.

Nikolaj Znaider,
The teacher

Conductor and violinist Nikolaj Znaider, who won the contest's public award in Folkestone in 1991, at the age of 15, has another profile.
Born in Denmark of Polish Jewish parents, this musician is a beast of competition. In 1992, he won the Carl Nielsen International Musical First Prize at the age of 16, and five years later he won the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels. The young man begins conducting in 2010 with a performance at the head of the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra in St. Petersburg. Nikolaj Znaider is very committed to training musical talent and founded the Nordic Music Academy and is the artistic director of this annual summer school.

Ray Chen, The juror

Ray Chen has completed the loop of laureate to member of the jury in just ten years. The contest's first senior prize in 2008, the Taiwan-born Australian violinist has accomplished the feat of performing the ten levels of the Suzuki method in just five years. Soloist of the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 8, he was invited to play at the opening ceremony of the Nagano Olympic Games in Japan in 1998. Ray Chen has recorded for the Sony Classical collection including violin concertos of Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn. In April 2016 in London, the musician was, at the age of 26, the youngest juror of all the Menuhin Competition editions.

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