For quarter-finalists

A: The Competition management will advise every applicant the outcome of their audition by email on or before 18 December 2018.

Yes, unless you’re a Finalist of the Queen Elisabeth.  Violinists eliminated from Queen Elisabeth following Round I or Round III have sufficient time to arrive in Queenstown on the 27th of May (which means a 25 May European or North American travel departure day given the time zones).

Regrettably no. We recognise this is a direct clash for 2019 and are in communication to attempt to avoid this clash in the future.

Yes, but you will need to pay for their travel and accommodation. It is not possible for your companion to stay with your host family.

Yes, but you will need to pay for all accommodation and transportation costs. It is not possible for your accompanist to stay with your host family.

Quarter-finalists will need to arrive on the 29th of May to allow for piano rehearsals.


A: Ad libitum means “according to pleasure”. Our aim is to provide each quarter-finalist with an opportunity to demonstrate, to the judges and the audience, a work that personally resonates with them; that demonstrates a particular talent or enthusiasm, something in which they truly excel…. that gives pleasure – to the performer and the audience.

Perhaps it will be a work from the Competitor’s heritage, or a piece they premiered, commissioned or composed. Maybe competitors’ versatility extends to a second instrument, or they are “jazzers” at heart.

Because the work selected may be unfamiliar, and to provide the performers the ability to express themselves beyond their violin playing, each Competitor is required to introduce the work from the stage. There will be no printed programme notes so audience and judges will want to know something about the work itself, but more specifically we want to know why the Competitor chose it, and what is it that makes it so compelling? If required, an interpreter will be provided.

The ad libitum work may be solo or accompanied. There are no restrictions on the type of instrument(s) used for the accompaniment.

Queenstown is a small and remote alpine village and lacks certain amenities. Competitors are required to observe the following conditions and parameters:

  • The Competition provides pianists but should a Competitor wish to present a work with other collaborating artists, any costs will be borne by the Competitor.
  • The Competition provides pianos and will assist in the procurement of other collaborating instruments, but any costs associated with hiring, delivery and preparation of any instruments will be borne by the Competitor,
  • Each Competitor receives a maximum of 120 minutes’ rehearsal with their assigned pianist to prepare their full Queenstown program including the ad libitum
  • Competitors are required to provide a full score to the Competition by 1 February.

A: Certainly. Firstly, competitors selected to perform in the live rounds can repeat any of the application repertoire from the selection round.

When it comes to the live rounds in New Zealand, it is because the Michael Hill encourages Competitors to present a programme with repertoire that exhibits a broad stylistic range that we seek to restrict over-representation of a particular genre or composer.

We will not accept programmes where a composer is repeated in the live rounds except Paganini, and Ad Libitum selections, and then the composer can only be repeated once. A composer can never be performed three times.

For example, we will not accept a Brahms Sonata and a Brahms Concerto, nor a Prokofieff Sonata and a Prokofieff Concerto. We will not accept a Sibelius Salon piece and a Sibelius Concerto, nor a Tchaikovsky Virtuoso work and a Tchaikovsky Concerto.

Paganini repeat exceptions: we will accept a Paganini Caprice and either a Virtuoso work OR Ad Libitum work (but not both).

Ad Libitum repeat exceptions: we will accept a composer be repeated from the Ad Libitum category in other rounds. For example, we will accept a Mozart sonata in the Ad Libitum category plus the Mozart Quintet in Round III, or a Paganini selection plus the Caprice in Round I.

Please remember that Ad libitum and virtuoso works are the Competitor’s own choice yet subject to final approval of the submitted programme by the Competition’s Artistic Adviser.

Final approval of quarter-finalists’ programmes will be given by the Competition’s management by 20 February 2019.

A: If you have been selected as a Quarter-finalist, your live programme will be requested, reviewed, checked for accuracy and approved by Mr Dene Olding (Artistic Adviser) shortly after you are invited to compete in the live rounds. Should you wish to submit any requests to make changes to your programme, these will also be reviewed for approval by Mr Olding. No changes can be made without permission of the Competition and absolutely no changes will be accepted after 1 May 2019.