Michael Hill Violin Competition, Thoughts on Round 2


Now that they have had a chance to settle down and rest a little, Miranda Adams shares more detailed thoughts on the second round of the Michael Hill Violin Competition. Why did some players make it and others not?

Sergey and Xiang were no surprise, as these two violinists are in my opinion the most outstanding violinists I’ve heard in a long time. I’ll bet my house they go through to the final!

It was much tougher to pick the other 4, and apparently the judges opinions differed, which is not surprising given the range of personalities on the panel! I was happy that Nadir and Stefani went through, but saddened that Martha and Robyn didn’t. Eric and Richard both had strengths but somehow not the full package for my taste, especially bearing in mind the 1st round (Bach/Mozart).

The 2nd round was never dull, hearing each contestant’s Paganini, Gyftiko (the NZ premiere by John Psathas – a blend of Greek and Bulgarian sounding virtuosity in 7/8 – the composer heard all 18 play, and commented to me how he would definitely take out the instruction “Liberamente’, as they all went to town!!), and sonatas ones that stood out were Sergey’s Prokofiev, Xiang’s Franck, Martha and Robyn’s Beethoven, Arianna’s Debussy. The show-pieces were all of a high standard, but again Sergey’s Tzigane and Xiang’s Tchaikovsky were clear winners.

The 4 Koreans put in a good appearance, but their very old school approach to Bach and Mozart, coupled with their general lack of communication with pianists in their sonatas, was a letdown.

Maia is someone to watch, at 18 she was the youngest, but her musicality and communication were powerful features in her relaxed playing style. Unlike some, she was a joy to watch as well as hear.

So now we wait to hear Stefani, Richard, and Xiang play Schumann, Schumann and Beethoven tonight, then tomorrow Nadir, Eric and Sergey play 2 Beethovens and Dvorak. Should be fantastic!

Stay tuned as we cover round three!


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply