May 17, 2021
Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 Announces Finalists

The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021, which is taking place virtually, has named the Junior and Senior Finalists. The Semi-Final Rounds streamed this weekend; Junior Finalists were announced yesterday and Senior Finalists were announced today.

Christian Li & Gordon Back

The five Junior Finalists are (clockwise from top left):

  • Kento Hong, age 14, who lives in New York and studies in the pre-college division of Juilliard
  • Boha Moonage 14, from South Korea, who studies privately with a teacher affiliated with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Hannah Wan Ching Tamage 15, from Hong Kong, China, who studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia
  • Keila Wakaoage 15, who lives in the Boston area and studies privately with a teacher affiliated with the New England Conservatory of Music
  • Edward Walton, age 15, from Australia, who studies privately with a teacher affiliated with the Australian National Academy of Music

The four Senior Finalists are (from left to right):

  • Hana Chang, age 18, who lives in Philadelphia and studies at the Curtis Institute and has roots in Singapore, Japan and the U.S.
  • Karisa Chiu, age 21, who is from Illinois but also studies at the Curtis Institute
  • Maria Dueñas, age 18, from Spain, who studies in Vienna at Musik und Kunst Universität der Stadt Wien and  Kunstuniversität Graz
  • Simon Zhu, age 20, from Germany, who studies at Julius-Stern-Institut – Universität der Künste in Berlin

Coming Up at the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021

In the week preceding the Final Rounds, the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 presents a series of concerts, including two performances from artists outside the classical world who have special connections with Yehudi Menuhin, the Competition’s namesake and founder.

The inimitable jazz violinist Regina Carter, whose performance will be streamed on Monday, May 17, recalls meeting Yehudi Menuhin when she was a classical violin prodigy at the Detroit Community Music School. She credits Menuhin with providing tremendous inspiration during a visit to her school while in town to perform with the Detroit Symphony. “My teacher mentioned that I wanted to play jazz and said it would ruin my career,” says Carter. “Menuhin turned to the class and played a blues lick and promised me he would play that as an encore at the concert. He won my heart. To know that he was open to all kinds of music came at a crucial time in my life.”

Mark O’Connor, a master of American fiddling traditions, grew up listening to Menuhin’s recordings even before he took up the violin. O’Connor recalls Menuhin coming backstage after a concert he had played with the legendary jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli and offering praise. His encouragement mattered, says O’Connor, “because it was at a time when people like me were trying to figure out how to cross bridges. And Yehudi Menuhin was the ultimate bridge crosser for classical violinists of the 20th century. He believed in bringing everyone in the universe of violin playing more closely together.” His performance with Maggie O’Connor will stream on Wednesday, May 19.

Joint winners of the Geneva 2018 Junior 1st Prize, Chloe Chua and Christian Li, perform individual recitals on Tuesday, May 18 and the Sphinx Virtuosi’s performance will stream on Thursday, May 20.

The Junior Final Round will be streamed on Friday, May 21 at 7:30 pm. 
The Senior Final Round will be streamed on Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 pm.

The Gala Presentation on Sunday, May 23 concludes this year’s Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021, with highlights of the week’s guest concerts and performances by the Junior and Senior 1st Prizewinners. The program features selections from the Richmond Symphony’s live concerts in Richmond on May 14 and 15, including Angelo Xiang Yu with the Symphony performing Mason Bates’ Bound Away.

All events and Competition rounds can be viewed on the Menuhin Competition YouTube Channel and website:


Menuhin Competition YouTube Channel

All times are EDT

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.

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.

Monday May 17, 7:30PM (On Demand through May 23)
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 “Maestro of jazz” in Richmond.

Tuesday May 18, 7:30PM (On Demand through June 1)
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.

Thursday May 20, 10AM, 12:30PM and 3PM
The Menuhin Competition’s jury of internationally acclaimed performers guide the next generation of outstanding musicians. Featured jurors are violinists Pamela FrankNoah Bendix-BalgleyAlf Richard Kraggerud and Angelo Xiang Yu.

Thursday May 20, 7:30PM (On Demand after premiere)
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 (On Demand after premiere)
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 also includes Jennifer Arnold, Director of Artistic Planning & Orchestral Operations of the Richmond Symphony; Alex Nyerges, Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Wesley Taylor, Professor of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts; and Stoner Winslett, Artistic Director of the Richmond Ballet.

Friday May 21, 7:30PM (On Demand after premiere)
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 (On Demand after premiere)
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, 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, with highlights of the week’s guest concerts and performances by the Junior and Senior 1st Prizewinners. The program features selections from the Richmond Symphony’s live concerts in Richmond on May 14 and 15, including Angelo Xiang Yu with the Symphony performing Mason Bates’ Bound Away, as well as performances from Christian Li, Chloe Chua, Mark & Maggie O'Connor, Regina Carter and the Sphinx Virtuosi.


About the Virtual Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 – General Information

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 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.

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.

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