March 25, 2020
Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 Postponed to May 2021

Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 Postponed to May 2021 due to COVID-19

In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and in accordance with international and U.S. public health recommendations and restrictions, the Menuhin Competition Trust and the Richmond Symphony today announced that the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020, scheduled to take place May 14-24, has been postponed one year to May 13-23, 2021. The consortium of local institutions that came together to host this international cultural event in Richmond has enthusiastically recommitted to hosting the postponed Competition in 2021. Led by the Richmond Symphony, the continuing hosts are the City of RichmondVPM (Virginia's home for public media), University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University.

“All of us involved in the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 regret the need to postpone the event, but recognize the imperative to avoid any large gatherings until the COVID-19 danger has lifted,” said David Fisk, Executive Director of the Richmond Symphony, on behalf of the host consortium. “In the meantime, we hope everyone stays safe and healthy; music can be a source of uplift for all of us during this difficult and uncertain time. We look forward with great anticipation to hosting the Menuhin Competition in 2021, eagerly welcoming ‘the Olympics of the Violin’ to Richmond next May instead. The city is ready, our partners are ready, and during the coming year, we'll work to make next year's Competition even bigger and better than before.”

The 44 competitors selected for the 2020 Competition in Richmond—remarkable young people who reflect the diversity and global talent that distinguish the Menuhin Competition—are all being invited to participate in the rescheduled Competition in 2021. The same repertoire will be used, and competitors will participate in the same division for which they qualified in 2020, even if they have aged out in the intervening year. Updated information about the 2021 competitors, jurors and guest artists will be released later this spring; early indications suggest that all the artists-in-residence are happily able to make the May 2021 dates, including the Sphinx VirtuosiMark and Maggie O’ConnorRegina Carter, and Intermission; as well as conductors Jahja Ling and Andrew Litton

In honor of the Competition and the competitors, VPM will release the original podcast, Making Menuhin, on May 13, 2020, one year ahead of the rescheduled festival. From competitors’ first days learning the violin and developing their craft, to family sacrifices and overcoming challenges, Making Menuhin introduces listeners to the extraordinary young people competing in the Menuhin Competition. “Music in my life opened doors to a lot of possibilities,” says Brazil’s Guido Sant’Anna. “And I can't really imagine a life that I wouldn't be playing violin.” Episodes will be available to download on all major podcast platforms.

The Menuhin Competition, the world’s leading international competition for young violinists, is held every two years in a different location and brings together 44 of the world’s most extraordinary young violinists - 22 Juniors (ages 15 and under) and 22 Seniors (ages 21 and under). The Competition offers the remarkable young musicians who participate an immersion in music—among peers, mentors and audiences—with concerts by jurors, past winners and artists-in-residence; workshops and masterclasses; panel discussions; and the opportunity to share their music with the local community through a variety of engagement activities.

“I look forward to welcoming all the competitors, jurors, artists-in-residence and the audience to the Menuhin Competition next May,” said Gordon Back, Artistic Director of the Menuhin Competition. “Despite the world-wide coronavirus crisis causing us to postpone this year’s event, we are working hard with our partners, who really have made Herculean efforts to reschedule and ensure the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 is the most successful Competition ever!”

“I am positive that it will be a brilliant success,” Back added, “and as Menuhin himself said, ‘Our young gifted violinists will be the ambassadors of good will.’” 

Ticket Information

All tickets for this year’s events will be honored next year, and ticketholders are encouraged keep their tickets for the 2021 Competition. Individual venues can also offer refunds if requested.

Ticketholders may also donate their tickets back to the venues or organizations they were purchased from to support the Richmond arts community. Individual gifts are the main source of support for the arts, and they help to ensure that Richmond can continue to bring world-class artists to the region, welcome free community festivals to our neighborhoods, support innovative collaborations, and cultivate the next generation of musicians and arts champions through hands-on educational programs. 

For more information about how to donate, exchange, or receive a refund for tickets, please visit:

About the Menuhin Competition Trust
The Menuhin Competition is the world’s leading international competition for young violinists, held every two years in a different city (most recently in Geneva in 2018, London in 2016, Austin, Texas in 2014, Beijing in 2012 and Oslo in 2010). Founded by Yehudi Menuhin in 1983 the Competition attracts hundreds of entries from countries across the globe, choosing only 44 of the world’s very best young violinists to participate. The Competition discovers, encourages and nurtures exceptionally talented young musicians from all corners of the globe under the age of 22 to develop into the next generation of great artists.

As one of Yehudi Menuhin’s most valuable legacies, the Competition continues to uphold his status as a cultural ambassador and true world citizen by creating an exceptional family atmosphere of learning and exchange. Collaborative in its spirit, the focus is placed on participation and learning rather than winning the 1st Prize.

Creating a stimulating environment in which talented young violinists may learn and grow has always been and will remain at the heart of the Menuhin Competition. This is not limited to the Competition period and the Menuhin Competition Trust strives to provide prizewinners with a variety of performance opportunities to develop their musical careers.


About Richmond Symphony
Celebrating its 62nd Season in 2019-20, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 260 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy live concerts and radio broadcasts. The Symphony also provides educational outreach programs to over 55,000 students and teachers each year. The Symphony was named one of 21 American orchestras first selected as a leader in orchestra innovation by the League of American Orchestras through its Futures Fund Initiative. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit for more information.

About our Co-Hosts
City of RichmondRichmond SymphonyUniversity of RichmondVirginia Commonwealth UniversityVPM


Thank you to our Richmond 2020 Partners and Funders:

Institutional Donors
Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia
Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU 
Christophe Landon Rare Violins Inc.
Community Foundation for a greater Richmond
Covington Travel
Davenport & Company LLC
Dominion Energy
E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
Florian Leonhard Fine Violins
The Henri Moerel Foundation
McGuireWoods LLP
National Endowment for the Arts
Nicholae Bretan Music Foundation
The R.E.B. Foundation
Richard S. Reynolds Foundation
Richmond Area Rotary Clubs
Richmond Association of REALTORS
Robins Foundation
VCU School of Business
Virginia H. Spratley Charitable Fund
Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia Union University
Weinstein Properties
Williams Mullen

Mr. and Mrs. Ellis M. Dunkum
Mrs. Margaret Freeman
Mr. and Mrs. James B. Hartough
Dr. Eugene W. and Mrs. Katharine Pauley Hickok
Ms. Sheila Johnson
Mr. and Mrs. Frank R. Kuhn
Mr. Jonathan Moulds CBE
Dr. and Mrs. John R. Nelson
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Pauley
Mr. Robert E. Rigsby
Mr. Rick Sample and Ms. Celia Rafalko
Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Shutterly
Mr. Robert F. Smith
Ruth & Richard Szucs
Fred and Roddy Tattersall
Mr. and Mrs. Hays T. Watkins
Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Webber

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