March 5, 2021
Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 Goes Virtual
Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 Goes Virtual

May 14-23, 2021

Competition Events Hosted by the Richmond Symphony to be Broadcast and Streamed by VPM, Virginia’s Home for Public Media

“Adopt a Performer” Program for Richmond Schools

Performances by the Richmond SymphonySphinx VirtuosiMark & Maggie O’Connor and 2018 Joint Junior 1st Prizewinners Chloe Chua and Christian Li

The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 and the Richmond Symphony announced today that the Competition, originally scheduled to bring 44 of the world’s most talented young violinists to Richmond in May of 2020, will take place virtually from May 14-23, 2021. The Menuhin Competition distinguishes itself among competitions not only with the high level of playing among participants, but also for creating a festive, nurturing and collegial environment and providing an immersive musical experience for competitors that goes far beyond the competition rounds themselves. The 2021 virtual Competition aims to fulfill that promise by recreating the Competition as an online event that connects competitors, jurors, viewers and guest artists with each other and with Richmond.

The co-hosts—the City of RichmondRichmond Symphony, University of RichmondVirginia Commonwealth University and VPM, Virginia’s home for public media—are looking forward to providing a warm “virtual” welcome to the young violinists from around the world taking part in the Competition. 

“When we postponed the event last March,” said Gordon Back, Artistic Director of the Menuhin Competition, “we never imagined that we wouldn’t be able to bring the Competition to Richmond a year later. We made the difficult decision to hold the Competition virtually because the COVID pandemic would have made it impossible for us all to travel to Richmond from so many different parts of the world. We are determined to celebrate these incredibly talented young people, and to provide as much of the 'Menuhin experience' for them as we possibly can. Our wonderful partners in Richmond and the London team are working together to create a very special virtual event this May. We are all passionately committed to keeping the spirit of the Competition alive in this exciting new format.” 

The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 will be produced, streamed and televised by VPM, Virginia’s home for public media. The events will all be viewable on the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 website, and many programs will also be available on The Violin Channel and on additional social media channels.

The Competition
To ensure a level playing field for all competitors – who will submit video files of their performances for judging – the Menuhin Competition has provided recording guidelines to all competitors. The Competition has also provided assistance with securing equipment and recording spaces to competitors who require it. The guidelines include specific measures to ensure the competitors submit recordings that are done in “one take,” and are not edited together from multiple performances. 

The required repertoire for the Competition was adjusted to account for the lack of orchestra and chamber ensemble and in the case of Senior First Rounds, to accommodate a number of competitors who did not have access to a piano for accompaniment due to lock-down restrictions. The Competition still includes two new commissions for solo violin: Mason Bates’ Bound Away for Junior finalists, and a new work by Mark O’Connor for Senior semi-finalists.  

Competitors’ pre-recorded entries will be shown during the Competition dates, and winners announced at the end of each round. 

The panel of esteemed jurors for the 2021 Competition continues to represent the highest caliber of educational institutions, orchestras, and competition circuits: violinist Pamela Frank (Chair), violinist and conductor Joji Hattori (Vice-Chair), violinist Noah Bendix-Balgleyviolinist and entrepreneur Aaron Dworkinpianist Piers Lane, violinist Soyoung Yoon, and violinist Angelo Xiang Yu. Recently, violinist Ray Chen and cellist Ralph Kirshbaum have had to step down from the panel. We’re delighted to announce that the two new jurors are violinist, conductor and educator Alf Richard KraggerudVice Principal at Barratt Due Institute in Oslo, and conductor Valentina Peleggi, who was appointed Music Director of the Richmond Symphony in 2020 and is also Guest Music Director with the Theatro São Pedro in São Paulo, Brazil.

Sphinx Virtuosi

Virtual Events
The virtual 2021 Competition will include performances from guest artists, including the Sphinx VirtuosiMark & Maggie O’Connor, and others. Chloe Chua and Christian Li, joint winners of the Junior 1st Prize from 2018, will each perform a solo recital as part of the Competition, and violinist and juror Angelo Xiang Yu will perform with the Richmond Symphony in the Gala Concert.

“The City of Richmond, Virginia is proud to host this year’s prestigious Menuhin Competition in its first ever virtual version,” said Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “We look forward to thousands of viewers from around the world joining us online and in spirit to celebrate extraordinary violin performances by talented American and international musicians and guest artists. During the nearly two weeks of competition, you’ll get the chance to experience our host city virtually and share in some of the fun to be had in visiting the Richmond Region,” the mayor continued. “We look forward to the day when we can showcase our great city in person and want you to know you will always be welcome in Richmond!” 

In addition to the Competition rounds and performances by guest artists, the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 will include virtual masterclasses, meetings between competitors, guest artists and jurors, panel discussions, and engagement programs for and with the Richmond community. Organizers are recreating a virtual edition of the engagement programs for Richmond area students in grades K-12 with “Adopt a Performer,” a series of curricula that allows students to follow, learn about and interact with competitors, who then “visit” the classes virtually to talk with students and present short performances. In early May, Virginia Commonwealth University will present a virtual re-creation of “Violin Day” with the pre-eminent fiddler and pedagogue Mark O’Connor, which will offer clinics and workshops throughout the day and a special performance by O’Connor.  

Also on the schedule is a panel discussion about diversity in the arts, which had been included in the original 2020 Competition schedule. Dr. Ronald Crutcher, president of the University of Richmond and a professional cellist, will lead the panel that is to include juror Aaron Dworkin, Founder of the Sphinx Organization, and others.

"The Richmond Symphony is thrilled to be a part of hosting the first virtual Menuhin Competition, bringing the world to the cultural treasures of the city of Richmond," said Lacey Huszcza, Executive Director of the Richmond Symphony. "The 2021 festival and competition offer musical and educational opportunities for the competitors as well as for students in and around Richmond that are extraordinary. As we take the competition and surrounding events digital, we can bring these experiences to even more people. And, while we are disappointed not to have the competitors with us here in Virginia, we look forward to bringing one or more of the winners back to perform in Richmond with the Symphony in the future."

Christian Li & Gordon Back

Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 Competitors

Junior Competitors*
*Information in parentheses indicates a US State, where applicable.

Hankyoung Chang, 13, South Korea
Corina Deng, 13, Canada
Kento Hong, 14, USA (New York)
Yixuan Jiang, 16, China
Mei Kaneko, 15, Japan
Dawid Kasprzak, 15, Poland
Fiona Khuong-Huu, 14, USA / Japan / France (New York)
Seohyun Kim, 12, South Korea
Sooeon Kim, 13, South Korea
Kayleigh Kim, 16, USA (Virginia)
Na Hyun Kyun, 16, South Korea / USA
Shannon Ma, 15, USA (California)
Boha Moon, 14, South Korea
Natsuho Murata, 13, Japan
Raphael Nussbaumer, 14, Switzerland
Seohyeon Park, 14, South Korea
Emrik Revermann, 12, Canada / Germany
Guido Sant’Anna, 15, Brazil
Hannah Wan Ching Tam, 15, China
Keila Wakao, 15, Japan / USA (Massachusetts)
Edward Walton, 14, Australia / UK
Jinan Laurentia Woo, 13, South Korea

Senior Competitors*
*Information in parentheses indicates a US State, where applicable.

Zachary Brandon, 22, USA (California)
Maya Anjali Buchanan, 20, USA (South Dakota)
Hana Chang, 18, Singapore / Japan / USA (Pennsylvania)
Eric Chen, 19, Taiwan / USA (New Jersey)
Maria Cherkassova, 21, Russia
Karisa Chiu, 21, USA (Illinois)
María Dueñas, 18, Spain
Matthew Hakkarainen, 20, USA (Florida)
Molin Han, 20, China
Joseph Hsia, 20, USA (New Jersey)
Hiroki Kasai, 21, Japan / UK
Tianyu Liu, 21, China
Bodhan Luts, 16, Ukraine
Emma Meinrenken, 21, Canada
Serin Park, 17, South Korea / USA (New Jersey)
Vikram Francesco Sedona, 20, Italy
Emily Shehi, 22, USA (Kansas)
Hannah Song, 20, USA (New York)
Claire Wells, 19, USA (Texas)
Dayoon You, 19, South Korea
Simon Zhu, 19, Germany

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.

Richmond Symphony

About Richmond Symphony
Celebrating its 63rd Season in 2020-21, 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 funders and partners, who have pledged their continuing support to Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021.

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
Mary Anne Rennolds Chamber Concerts
McGuireWoods LLP
National Endowment for the Arts
Nicolae 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
The Woman's Club 


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
Sheila Leckie
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
M.H. Reinhart
Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Shutterly
Mr. Robert F. Smith
Ruth & Richard Szucs
Fred and Roddy Tattersall
Bobby and Jayne Ukrop
Mr. and Mrs. Hays T. Watkins
Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Webber


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