Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2017 Finalists Announced - 140 Becomes Three

New Zealand’s Benjamin Baker, Romania’s Ioana Cristina Goicea and USA’s Luke Hsu battle it out for the top prize on Saturday 10 June

Following two superb evenings of semi-finals, the three finalists moving on to the final round in the 2017 Michael Hill International Violin Competition were announced at the Auckland Town Hall tonight.

From 16 quarter finalists, to six semi-finalists, and 140 applications before that, the three violinists moving on to the Grand Finale are (in their performance order):

  1. Luke Hsu – USA
  2. Ioana Cristina Goicea – Romania
  3. Benjamin Baker – New Zealand

The three violinists will each perform a concerto with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Giordano Bellincampi. Ioana Cristina Goicea will play Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, Benjamin Baker will play Brahms Concerto in D major and Luke Hsu will play Sibelius Concerto in D minor.

Of the finalists and their journey thus far, international juror, Dene Olding says, “We are in for an exciting finale on Saturday. The judges have chosen three excellent violinists who exhibited virtuosity, passion and musicianship in the Queenstown quarter-finals, and style and polish in the chamber music round in Auckland. It was most inspiring to hear such talented young violinists and New Zealand should be proud of this exceptional international event.”

The Michael Hill International Violin Competition is New Zealand’s most prestigious music competition and one of the finest violin competitions in the world.

The Competition has been a platform for some of the world’s most successful contemporary soloists, teachers, concertmasters and ensemble players in the world.

The winner of the Michael Hill receives NZ$40,000, a recording contract with the Atoll label, an intensive performance tour across New Zealand and Australia, a Michael Hill Spirits Bay pendant designed by Christine, Lady Hill, and a personalised professional development programme. The winner is also invited to perform on Sir Michael Hill’s magnificent personal violin, a 1755 Guadagnini named “The Southern Star”, on their Winner’s Tour, and will receive a gown by Kiri Nathan (women) or suit by Working Style (men) for their tour.

There are still tickets available for the Grand Finale through the official ticketing agency Ticketmaster.

The event is being streamed on www.violincompetition.co.nz and on The Violin Channel’s Facebook page. The livestream of the first semi-final saw a global audience of over 15,000 on Wednesday night with more expected tonight.

Live and online audience members are encouraged to vote for their favourite competitor for the Michael Hill Audience Prize. Please visit the online voting booth on www.violincompetition.co.nz or text the unique code of your favourite competitor to 3323 (codes are at www.violincompetition.co.nz. Standard text charges apply). The winner of the Michael Hill Audience Prize will be announced during prize giving at the Finals on 10 June.

For more information including the performance schedule for the Grand Final, please visitwww.violincompetition.co.nz or the Competition’s Facebook page.

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