Young violinists from China earn accolades at prestigious Menuhin Competition

China 24

It’s the world’s leading international competition for young violinists.

The Menuhin Competition has wrapped up in Geneva.

And this year, two musicians from China made it into the top four in their age groups.

CGTN’s Xi Jia has more.

It’s a place for the world’s most talented young musicians.

Forty-four violinists out of 317 applicants were selected to participate in the biennial Menuhin competition.

They come from 16 countries and 5 continents, representing 17 nationalities, with almost half of them from Asia, and one third from the U.S.

Ten-year-old Australian Christian Li and 11-year-old Chloe Chua from Singapore won the joint Junior First Prize, and 18-year-old Diana Adamyan from Armenia won the Senior First Prize. China’s Ruibing Liu and Tianyou Ma won the Junior 3rd prize and Senior 4th prize respectively.

“My grandpa was teaching his pupil the violin when I was three,” Ma said. “He thought I was interested in his teaching and the music, so he wanted me to try a very small sized violin, and I really liked it. And Grandpa said I might have the talents so let’s try, so I got onto this path.”

China has more than 10 million students who are learning to play the violin, and many of them started from a young age. Since the foundation of the Menuhin Competition in 1983, Chinese children born in the 80s have been influenced by the competition.

“The government is more and more supporting of classical music,” said violinist Lyu Siqing. “More theatres and concert halls have been built, more resources have been put into the progress of the development of classical music in China.”

International competitions like this help children and their parents from across the world get closer to world class masters, as well as their peers.

“Music is such an international language,” Gordon Back, artistic director at the Menuhin Competition said.  “You don’t have to speak words, you can connect by hearing sound. And it’s amazing how friendships and relationships are formed at competitions. The kids enjoy each other very much.”

Some said the Menuhin Competition is more like a festival rather than a contest.

The competition acts as an important cultural ambassador, developing a stimulating atmosphere of exchanging and sharing a collaborative spirit, focusing on participation and learning rather than victory.

Yehudi Menuhin has devoted a great part of his life to teaching music and opening the art form to as many people as possible.

To follow the philosophy of its founder, the Menuhin Competition will continue to support, promote and inspire the future generation of violinists.

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