Day 1 – a little dance and polyphony to begin…

Day one of the competition and there is a great sense of anticipation building around Queenstown’s Memorial Centre.

The brilliant Queenstown and Wanaka-based teams have front-of-house and backstage duties under control and those of us down from Auckland are covering general logistics for performers, marketing, communications, media, sponsors and social media…

Our competitors are being well looked after by incredibly supportive local families who are ‘hosting’ these young artists for their stay in Queenstown.

By 1:00pm the tempo has increased, we’re all counting down the minutes to the first performance session beginning, the judges have arrived and the venue is buzzing.

Offstage we’re flat out setting up for our global Livestreams – going out via our website homepage and on Facebook.

We’re also proud to be broadcasting live via global media partners The Violin Channel and Amadeus TV and of course RNZ Concert is helping us look after Aotearoa.

It’s an impressive team approach our Sponsors TomTom Productions and JX Live have overall filming and production covered off and award-winning producer Adrian Hollay – Composer from Radio New Zealand has sound production in hand.
If you can’t catch the competition LIVE you can catch all the performances on our Homepage and Facebook.
Welcome to the Insider’s Guide – our new-look pre-concert talks. 
We’ve made some very special tweaks to this aspect of the competition. Our talented young New Zealand violinists – members of the Michael Hill Fellowship programme are presenting these sessions this year.

Taking place prior to each of the daily sessions, it’s the turn of Zosia Herlihy-O’Brien to speak first. Zosia presents “Dance & Polyphony” an exploration of J.S. Bach’s monumental works for solo unaccompanied violin.
To fully ‘dissect’ these complex works, Zosia has also called in support from co- ‘Fellows’ Kihei Lee and Peter Gjelsten, and Fellowship Programme mentor James Jin who is also Acting Principal Second Violin with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra who help demonstrate the intricate structures and elements embedded in these works.
Polyphony or better yet Rhapsodic Polyphony, Dance-infused Partitas, Sarabanda, Corrente and Giga… it’s basically a dance party of Baroque proportions… but as Zosia explains “Everyone of these performers will bring to the stage unique, and thoughtfully crafted interpretations. I myself like to think of this uniqueness in how we interpret and perform to something akin to a fingerprint. And I assure you, solo Bach is one of the most deeply personal things to perform.”
Next up in our Insider’s Guide series will be KiHei Lee first thing on Saturday morning 9.30am – so get to the Queenstown Memorial Hall nice and early for The Devil’s Violinist – did Paganini’s mum sell his soul to the devil or did he just knuckle down and practise lots?
Session 1 performances spanned almost 6 hours of music making and featured eight of the 16 competitors. You can view these performances on our Facebook page HERE
Quarter Finals  | Performers listed in order of appearance: 
Round 1 – Session 1
2:30 to 3:10pm   Kingston Ho (21) – USA
JS Bach Grave and Fuga from Sonata No 2 in A minor
Paganini Caprice No 17
Elgar La capricieuse Op 17
Waxman Carmen Fantasy
3:10 to 3:50pm   Hani Song (25) – Switzerland/Germany
JS Bach Adagio and Fuga from Sonata No 1 in G minor
Paganini Caprice no. 7
Liszt (arr Milstein) Consolation No 3
Geonyong Lee Heoten Garak
4:05 to 4:45pm   Yeyeong Jin (19) – South Korea/USA
JS Bach Grave and Fuga from Sonata No 2 in A minor
Paganini Caprice No. 11
Ernst Variations on the Last Rose of Summer for violin solo
Sibelius Romance Op 78 No 2
4:45 to 5:25pm   Gabrielle Després (22) – Canada/USA
JS Bach Adagio and Fuga from Sonata No. 1 in G minor
Paganini Caprice No 17
Tchaikovsky Melodie in E-flat major Op 42
Ravel Tzigane
Quarter Finals  |  Round 1 – Session 2
7:30 to 8:10pm   Eva Rabchevska (26) – Ukraine/Germany
JS Bach Grave and Fuga from Sonata No 2 in A minor
Paganini Caprice no. 4
Ravel Piece en forme de Habanera (arr G Catherine)
M. Skoryk Spanish dance
8:10 to 8:50pm   Jiayi Chen (26) – China/Austria
JS Bach Grave and Fuga from Sonata No 2 in A Minor
Paganini Caprice No 10 Op 1
Ravel (arr. G Catherine) Piece en forme de Habanera
Schubert Sonata in A major, D574
I. Allegro moderato
II. Scherzo, Presto
9:05 to 9:45pm   Tianyu Liu (23) – China/USA
JS Bach Grave and Fuga from Sonata No 2 in A minor
Paganini Caprice No 17
Liszt (arr Milstein) Consolation No 3
Ernst Grand Caprice on Schubert’s Der Erlkonig, Op 26
9:45 to 10:25pm  Karen Su (24) – USA/Belgium
JS Bach Ciaconna from Partita No 2 in D minor
Paganini Caprice No 10
Tchaikovsky Melodie in E-flat major Op 42
Tchaikovsky Waltz Scherzo
The day has been a wonderfully long and musically rich one – Queenstown has come to life with beautiful performances. We are looking forward to more of the same tomorrow!