Menuhin Competition schedule announced

The Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, a biennial event for violinists aged 21 and younger staged since 1983, has announced the schedule for its next round, which will bring 44 competitors to Richmond in May 2020.

Concerts will feature the Richmond Symphony, the Sphinx Virtuosi chamber orchestra and the competition’s jurors and past winners, as well as jazz violinist Regina Carter and her quartet and the folk fiddlers Mark and Maggie O’Connor, at various venues in the Richmond area. Other guest performers include conductors Jahja Ling and Andrew Litton and violinist Elena Urioste.

Several concerts are incorporated into the symphony’s Masterworks and VCU’s Rennolds Chamber Concerts series.

Among the programming highlights are the premiere of a work for violin and string orchestra by the Richmond-bred Mason Bates, who has become of the most widely heard contemporary composers in the US, and a recital juxtaposing Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata with readings from Rita Dove’s “Sonata Mullatica: a Life in Five Movements and a Short Play,” poems on the life and career of George Bridgetower, an English violinist of Afro-Caribbean descent who joined Beethoven in the first performance of the “Kreutzer.”

Concerts also will feature staples of the repertory, including Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” Saint-Saëns’ “Introduction and Rondo capriccioso,” Sarasate’s “Carmen Fantasy,” and movements from Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major and Lalo’s “Symphonie espagnole.”

Ticket prices and other details will be announced later.

Co-hosts of the 2020 competition are the symphony, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Richmond, the Community Idea Stations (operator of WCVE public radio and television) and the City of Richmond.

Jurors of the 2020 Menuhin Competition are violinists Pamela Frank (chair); violinist-conductor Joji Hattori (vice-chair); violinists Noah Bendix-Bagley, Ray Chen, Aaron Dworkin, Ning Feng and Soyoung Yoon; cellist Ralph Kirshbaum; and pianist Anton Nel.

In addition to concerts and competition rounds, competitors and jurors will participate in outreach activities with local institutions.

The competition’s schedule of events:

May 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Opening Gala Concert:
Richmond Symphony
Jahja Ling conducting
Shostakovich: “Festive” Overture
Saint-Saëns: “Introduction and Rondo capriccioso”
Christian Li, violin
Sarasate: “Carmen Fantasy”
Chloe Chua, violin
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major
Soyoung Yoon, violin
Rimsky-Korsakov: “Capriccio espagnol”

May 15-18 (10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; 2:15-5:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
May 15-16: Junior competition 1st round
May 17-18: Senior competition 1st round

May 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Thomas Dale High School, 3626 W. Hundred Road, Chester
Geneva Competition 2018 Junior Prizewinners’ Concert:
Chloe Chua & Christian Li, violins
Gordon Back, piano
program TBA

May 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra
Daniel Myssyk conducting
Ning Feng, violin
program TBA

May 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street
Jurors’ Showcase (Rennolds Chamber Concerts):
Beethoven: Cello Sonata in A major, Op. 69
Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
Anton Nel, piano
Bloch: “Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life”
Noah Bendix-Bagley, violin
Gordon Back, piano
Schumann: Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44
Pamela Frank, violin
Joji Hattori, viola
Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
Anton Nel, piano

May 18 (7:30 p.m.)
November Theater, Virginia Repertory Center, 114 W. Broad St.
Regina Carter Quartet
concert in memory of Joe Kennedy Jr.

May 19 (10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; 2:20-5:30 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street
Junior competition semi-finals

May 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Perkinson Recital Hall, North Court, University of Richmond
Ning Feng, violin
Anton Nel, piano
speaker TBA
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 47 (“Kreutzer”), with readings from Rita Dove’s “Sonata Mullatica: a Life in Five Movements and a Short Play”

May 20 (10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; 2:20-5:30 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street
Senior competition semi-finals

May 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Byrd Theatre, 2908 W. Cary St.
Mark & Maggie O’Connor, fiddles/violins & guitar

May 21 (10 a.m.-noon; 12:30-2:30 p.m.; 3-5:00 p.m.)
Academic Learning Commons, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1000 Floyd Ave.
Master classes by competition jurors

May 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Sphinx Virtuosi
Jessie Montgomery: “Starburst”
George Walker: “Lyric for Strings”
Astor Piazzolla: “Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas” (“The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”)
Elena Urioste, violin
Johan Svendsen: Romance, Op. 26
Joji Hattori, violin
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson: Sinfonietta No. 2 for strings (“Generations”) – III: “Alla Burletta”
Michael Abels: “Delights and Dances”

May 22 (3:30 p.m.)
location TBA
Aaron Dworkin, speaker
Ron Crutcher, interlocutor
“The Danger of a Single Story: The Importance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Arts and their Role in Society”

May 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Junior Finals:
Sphinx Virtuosi
5 Junior finalists
Mason Bates: work TBA for violin and string orchestra (premiere)
violinist TBA
Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons”
violinists TBA

May 23 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Senior Finals (Richmond Symphony Masterworks):
Richmond Symphony
Andrew Litton conducting
4 Senior finalists
Lalo: “Symphonie espagnole” (without 3rd movement)
violinists TBA
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
violinist TBA
Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor
violinist TBA

May 24 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Closing Gala Concert (Richmond Symphony Masterworks):
Richmond Symphony
Sphinx Virtuosi
Andrew Litton conducting
Michael Abels: “Delights and Dances”
Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons” (excerpts)
Junior & Senior winners, violins
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major – I: Allegro moderato
Ray Chen, violin
Falla: “Sombrero de tres picos” (“The Three-Cornered Hat”) Suite No. 2

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