2013-06-03 >
Announcing The Top Six Finalists

2013 Competition > Keeping Up With The Play > Mon 3 June 2013

Announcing the Top Six Finalists

We’ve announced the top six semi-finalists to progress to Round III.

Eighteen violinists from around the world have performed in the gruelling initial rounds of competition in Queenstown over the past three days. The six semi-finalists who go through to the next round in Auckland are (in no particular order): Nikki Chooi (Canada), Sarah Christian (Germany), Ioana Cristina Goicea (Romania), Wonyoung Jung (South Korea), Natalie Lin (New Zealand) and Boson Mo (Canada).

New Zealander Natalie Lin admits she was completely shocked and overwhelmed, while Ioana Cristina Goicea is excited and described the night as “amazing”. For Wonyoung Jung it was an extra special surprise – it’s only 10 days since she received the email that she was coming to New Zealand as the first alternate after Russian Ekaterina Frolova withdrew due to illness. Don’t forget … 2009 winner Josef Spacek made it into the competition as an alternate.

“I still can’t believe it,” Wonyoung told us after hearing that she was in the top six. “I really didn’t expect this at all.”

Also announced tonight was Nikki Chooi as the winner of Best Performance of the New Zealand Work, Jack Body’s Caravan.

We’ve had sold-out audiences attending the first two rounds in Queenstown and this year, for the first time, the competition has been live streamed over the Internet with more than 10,000 views over the three days.

Tomorrow we all fly to Auckland (except the judges who have a well-earned day off in Queenstown) for Round III and we’re looking forward to the excitement continuing. Our blog will continue as we follow the semi-finalists on their journey through the Competition.