For Applicants

A: Apply here:

A: We allow violinists to compete a maximum of two times in the Michael Hill.

A: No. Out of fairness to all the applicants, the Michael Hill will not make any exceptions and strongly recommends applicants do not wait until the day of the deadline to submit their materials

A: No. Out of fairness to all the applicants, the Michael Hill will only accept the repertoire selections as outlined here.

A: The application round is meant to represent an audition, therefore works are to be played as per a performance. The Michael Hill will not accept edited or enhanced application recordings under any circumstance.

A: Yes, provided it is performed and recorded after 1 June 2022 which is six months before the application deadline. Exceptions will be made only by prior written approval provided by the Competition’s management. Please plan ahead and make any request early so that it can be verified.

A: Yes, provided it is not more than six months (see above Question about previously-recorded works.)

A: We strongly recommend you perform them as you would in a performance.

A: In the event you encounter technical difficulties uploading any of your materials, please contact in the first instance. The Competition cannot help you with technical problems pertaining to your uploading of materials.

A: The Competition management will advise every applicant the outcome of their audition by email on or before 18 December 2022.


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.

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 selection.
  • 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 Management.

Final approval of quarter-finalists’ programmes will be given by the Competition’s management by 20 February 2023.

A: If you have been selected as a Quarter-finalist, your programme (submitted in your application) will be reviewed, checked for accuracy and approved by the Competition management shortly after you are invited to compete in the live rounds. Should you wish to submit any changes to your programme, these must be done by 1 February 2023. No changes can be made without permission of the Competition and absolutely no changes will be accepted after 1 May 2023.