May 7, 2021
Menuhin Semifinalists & Start of Competition
First-ever virtual Menuhin Competition opens to 300,000 views in First Rounds

19 young violinists advance to Semi-Finals, join the Competition events from May 14 &
Menuhin Competition YouTube Channel

Christian Li & Gordon Back
Junior Semi-Finalists

 The first-ever virtual Menuhin Competition, the world’s leading international competition for young violinists, begins on May 14, with a live concert by the Richmond Symphony in the 2021 Competition’s host city, Richmond VA.

A complete list of Junior and Senior Semi-Finalists is on the Menuhin Competition website:

Junior Semi-Fiinalists range in age from 12 to 16, and Senior Semi-Finalists are between 16 and 22. They come from countries including Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States. The Competition has 179,816 views on YouTube and 120,600 on Facebook to date.

First Round video submissions are on the Menuhin Competition YouTube channel.

complete list of jurors is on the Menuhin Competition website.

Senior Semi-Finalists

Tuning into the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021

 All events and Competition rounds can be viewed on the Menuhin Competition YouTube Channel and on the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 website. All times are EDT.  

Click on the date to see concert details.
Click on artist’s name for more info about the artist.
A detailed schedule of events is included at the end of this release.

TwoSet Violin

About the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 – General Information

The Menuhin Competition distinguishes itself among competitions not only with the high level of playing by its 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 performers with each other and with Richmond.

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 YouTube Channel, and many programs will also be available on The Violin Channel and on additional social media channels. Richmond co-hosts are the City of RichmondRichmond SymphonyUniversity of RichmondVirginia Commonwealth University and VPM, Virginia’s home for public media.

Menuhin Competition YouTube Channel

All times are EDT

Friday May 14, 7PM
Saturday May 15, 8PM
Menuhin Competition Celebration Concert
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Richmond Symphony
Jahja Ling
, conductor
Angelo Xiang Yu, violin
This concert in Richmond kicks off the Menuhin Competition and features the world premiere of Mason Bates’ Bound Away, which will also be performed by finalists in the Junior section. Selections from this evening’s concert will be included in the Competition’s closing broadcast Gala Presentation on May 23. Visit the Richmond Symphony website for more information.

Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro, K. 492: Overture
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216, Angelo Xiang Yu, Violin
J. Montgomery Starburst
M. Bates Bound Away World Premiere (Richmond Symphony Commission)Angelo Xiang Yu, Violin
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

Saturday May 15, 10AM & 2PM
Junior Semi-Finals

This round gives ten young musicians from all over the world an opportunity to demonstrate the diversity of their playing, with a Beethoven sonata with piano, the competitor’s choice of a virtuoso work, with or without piano, and a recently composed work for solo violin.

Sunday May 16, 10AM & 2PM
Senior Semi-Finals

Nine Senior Semi-Finalists play for their place in the coveted Senior Finals. This round sees each violinist give world premiere performances of a new commission by Mark O’Connor, the 1st movement of a Mozart concerto including a new cadenza composed by each Semi-Finalist, as well as a virtuoso work of their choice with or without piano.

Regina Carter 

Monday May 17, 7:30PM
Regina Carter Quartet

Regina Carter (violin); Chris Lightcap (bass); Marvin Sewell (guitar); Alvester Garnett (drums)
The American jazz violinist Regina Carter has a career that defies categorization. She performs jazz, R&B, Latin, classical, blues, country, pop, African, and more; in each genre, she explores the power of music through the voice of the violin. She is a multi-GRAMMY nominee and recipient of a MacArthur “genius” award and a Doris Duke Award. She has been widely hailed for her mastery of the violin and her drive to expand its possibilities. Presented in collaboration with the Richmond Jazz Society. This concert is in memory of Joe Kennedy, Jr., former violinist in the Richmond Symphony and considered by many to be the “father of jazz” in Richmond.

Tuesday May 18, 7:30PM
Geneva Junior 1st Prizewinners’ Concert
Chloe Chua, violin
Christian Li, violin

This concert showcases the remarkable musical mastery of the joint winners of the Geneva 2018 Junior 1st Prize with a short recital from each one. Chloe Chua, now 14, performs Ysaÿe’s Sonata in D minor, Wagner’s Romance from Albumblatt, Heifetz’s arrangement of Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and Chausson’s Poème. Thirteen-year-old Christian Li performs Grieg’s Sonata No. 3, Fauré’s Après un rêve, and Sarasate’s Caprice Basque.

Wednesday May 19, 7:30PM
Mark and Maggie O’Connor

The American fiddling legend Mark O’Connor is joined by his wife Maggie O’Connor to offer a violin duo concert, highlighting Virginia’s own fiddling roots through their music. The program offers a broad and interconnecting collection of American music through violin/fiddle solos and duos, with additional music for guitar, mandolin and voice.

Thursday May 20, 10AM, 12:30PM & 3PM

The Menuhin Competition’s jury of internationally acclaimed performers guide the next generation of outstanding musicians. Participating jurors are violinists Pamela FrankJoji HattoriNoah Bendix-BalgleyAlf Richard KraggerudSoyoung Yoon and Angelo Xiang Yu.

Sphinx Virtuosi

Thursday May 20, 7:30PM
Sphinx Virtuosi

The Sphinx Virtuosi is one of the United States’ most dynamic professional chamber orchestras. Comprised of 18 of the nation’s top Black and Latinx classical soloists, primarily alumni of the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition, these artists come together as cultural ambassadors to reach new audiences. As one of the featured artists at the Menuhin Competition, this concert showcases their mission of advancing diversity in classical music by presenting varied programs of works by composers of color alongside well-known masterpieces.

Piazzolla Fuga y misterio
Dvoƙák Finale from String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96, “American”
Andrea Casarrubios SEVEN for solo cello *
Xavier Foley For Justice and Peace **
Michael Abels Delights & Dances ^
Thomas Mesa (cello) * ^ | Rubén Rengel (violin) ** | Xavier Foley (bass) ** | Rainel Joubert (violin) ^ | Melissa White (violin) ^ | Celia Hatton (viola) ^

Friday May 21, 3:30PM
The Danger of a Single Story: The Importance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Arts and their Role in Society

Aaron Dworkin, 2021 juror, violinist, and founder of the Sphinx Organization, leads a panel discussion jointly hosted by the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University and facilitated by University of Richmond President Dr. Ronald Crutcher. The discussion will center around the role and importance of diversity in art – not only in music, but also in dance and visual art. The panel will include representatives from Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Richmond Ballet.

Friday May 21, 7:30PM
Junior Finals

Five of the world’s best young violinists under the age of 16 will compete for one of the coveted prizes; Fred Child, the long-time host of public radio’s “Performance Today,” is master of ceremonies. Each finalist will perform Bound Away, a new commission written by Mason Bates; the first movement of a Classical or Romantic concerto with a cadenza of their choice, with piano accompaniment; and a solo or accompanied piece chosen by the competitor. The members of the virtual audience will also have the opportunity to vote for a finalist to be awarded the Audience Prize.  The prizewinners will be announced at the end of the evening.

Saturday May 22, 7:30PM
Senior Finals

The Competition culminates with the Senior finalists of the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021; Fred Child, the long-time host of public radio’s “Performance Today,” is master of ceremonies. Four of the world’s best young violinists perform the first movement, with piano accompaniment, of Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3, or Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Each finalist also performs the second movement of a Mozart Violin Concerto and a piece of their choosing as they enter the final stage of their journey to be awarded one of the sought-after prizes. The members of the virtual audience will also have the opportunity to vote for a finalist to be awarded the Audience Prize.  The prizewinners will be announced at the end of the evening.

Sunday, May 23, 4:30PM
Prizegiving Ceremony

The complete list of prizes will be virtually presented in a celebratory event leading up to the Gala Presentation.

Sunday, May 23, 5:00PM
Menuhin Competition Gala Presentation

The Gala Presentation brings the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 to a rousing conclusion, featuring performances by the Richmond Symphony, the Junior and Senior winners, juror Angelo Xiang Yu, and other guest artists from the 10-day virtual Menuhin Competition.


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 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.

See Related:
Back to List
Back to Top