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Applications Open to The Michael Hill International Violin Competition

Following a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prestigious competition will return to New Zealand in June 2023


To be held from June 2–10, 2023, New Zealand’s Michael Hill International Violin Competition (MHIVC) is now welcoming entries from violinists aged between 18 to 26 from across the globe. 

MHIVC applications will close on December 1, 2022, New Zealand time. To apply, click here.

Last held in 2019, the MHIVC will now occur every three years instead of biennially. Along with this change, requirements for the 2023 edition have been revitalized — involving the search for violinists who play brilliantly but are also versatile. 

Often seen as the “Olympics of the violin world,” the competition will see 16 of the very best violinists compete for top prizes before a prestigious international judging panel. Among the changes for 2023 also includes the New Zealand-commissioned work to be a solo-violin piece performed by candidates with a static digital recording — a first for the event.

As stated by MHIVC’s executive director, Anne Rodda, players will be judged on their technique, abilities, audience engagement, musical storytelling, and communication skills. “[MHIVC] takes very seriously the responsibility of setting the world’s best violinists on their career paths in the best way possible,” Rodda explained.

The top three finalists will perform in the grand final concert with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at Auckland’s Town Hall on June 10, 2023 — in line to receive coveted prizes that will launch their music careers.

First place involves a NZ$40,000 cash prize, a recording contract with the Atoll label, and a multi-center Winners Tour with Chamber Music New Zealand in 2024. Among the event’s awards also includes a three-year loan of a fine violin by Rare Violins of New York.

The jury will comprise Wilma Smith, Piers Lane, James Ehnes, and Anthony Marwood, as well as past MHIVC winners Bella Hristova, Ning Feng, and Natalia Lomeiko.

“COVID cruelly hijacked many opportunities for high-performance musicians for the last few years,” Rodda added. “[MHIVC’s] revival is greatly appreciated, and international violinists will be clamoring for the sought-after invitation to come to New Zealand…Audiences missing the intense, yet intimate [event]...can plan now to witness the star-making thrill in June.”

MHIVC has been the springboard for the careers of many internationally acclaimed soloists, teachers, concertmasters, and ensemble players, including Joseph Lin, Josef Spaček, Ning Feng, Anna Im, Benjamin Baker — plus VC Artists Nikki and Timothy Chooi, and Sergey Malov.


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