The Menuhin Competition 2014

Of course, the focus of the Menuhin Competition are the competition rounds, taking place Saturday-Wednesday, and the finals concerts, taking place Friday and Saturday nights (Feb. 28 & March 1). But the 10 days of the competition also include a number of masterclasses with competition jurors, panel discussions and presentations, and concerts featuring competition jurors, past competition winners, UT faculty members, and guests ranging from the Cleveland Orchestra to local fiddling phenom Ruby Jane. A schedule follows, and keep in mind that all but a few events are free.

Most venues are on the UT campus: Bates Recital Hall, 2406 Robert Dedman; McCullough Theatre, 2375 Robert Dedman; and the Blanton Museum of Art, MLK & Speedway. However, some concerts will take place at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside. For more information, visit

Opening Concert

Friday, Feb. 21, 8pm, Dell Hall

Mendelssohn's Double Concerto for Violin and Piano: UT Symphony Orchestra and Gerhardt Zimmermann with Ilya Gringolts, violin, and Anton Nel, piano; also, violinist Olivier Charlier and Menuhin Juniors winner Kevin Zhu

Competition Rounds

Butler School of Music, McCullough

Senior First Round:

Saturday, Feb. 22, 10am-1:20pm; 2:20-5:40pm

Sunday, Feb, 23, 10am-1:20pm; 2:20-5pm

Junior First Round:

Monday, Feb. 24, 10am-1:20pm; 2:20-4pm

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10am-1:20pm; 2:20-5:40pm

Senior Semi-Finals:

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2-8:30pm

Competitors perform 35-minute recitals of works designed to test their skills and musicality. The Juniors first round includes "The Cowboy and the Rattlesnake," commissioned from UT composer Dan Welcher. The Seniors semi-final round includes "Black-Eyed Suzy" commissioned from UT composer Donald Grantham. In the semi-finals, competitors choose a Haydn string quartet to be performed with the Miró Quartet.

Parenting the Developing Musician

Saturday, Feb. 22, 10am, Bates

Strategies for supporting young musicians, discussed by Menuhin Junior winner Kevin Zhu, his father Daniel, and UT String Project Director Laurie Scott

Soloist, Concertmaster, or Chamber Musician?

Monday, Feb. 24, 6pm, Bates

Career options for violinists and how to pursue them, discussed by competition president, juror, and former prize winner Joji Hattori and jurors

Chamber Music Evening

Monday, Feb. 24, 7:30pm, Bates

Chamber works by Mozart, Kreisler, Saint-Saëns, and Piazzolla, with violinists Joji Hattori and Lu Siqing, pianists Anton Nel and Gordon Back, and guitarist Adam Holzman

The Juror's Ear

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1:30pm, MRH 2.614

Perspectives on what competition judges look and listen for from violinist Sandy Yamamoto and Menuhin Artistic Director Gordon Back

The Art of the Violin

Thursday, Feb. 27, 10am, Blanton

The craft of violin-making and what creates the unique sounds of the world's most coveted violins, discussed by Charles R. Ervin

Strings at Noon

Thursday, Feb. 27, noon, Blanton

Bach's Double Violin Concerto, Vivaldi's Flute Concerto No. 3, and Michael McLean's Elements, performed by jurors Brian Lewis and David Kim, and flautist Marianne Gedigian

Masterclasses with the Jury

Thursday, Feb. 27, 9:30-5:30pm & Saturday, March 1, 10:30am-12:30pm, Butler School

Two-hour master classes, each led by a 2014 Menuhin Competition juror: Pamela Frank, Ilya Gringolts, Joji Hattori, David Kim, Brian Lewis, Lu Siqing, Olivier Charlier, and Arabella Steinbacher

Yehudi Menuhin: Violinist and Visionary

Friday, Feb. 28, 5:30pm, UT Fine Arts Library

Jonathan Benthall, Yehudi Menuhin's son-in-law, talks about the violin legend's approaches to music education and artistic collaborations.

Rising Stars: The Junior Finals

Friday, Feb. 28, 2:30 & 7pm, Bates

The Junior Finals take place in two sessions. In the first, the seven finalists perform a sonata movement with piano by Beethoven, Schubert, or Brahms, as well as a work for violin and cello by Halvorsen on a theme by Handel, performed with cellist Bion Tsang. In the second, finalists perform their chosen virtuoso work accompanied by the UT Symphony Orchestra. The winners will be announced at the end of the evening. Part 1 is free; tickets for Part 2 are $42-$84.

The Composer is Dead!

Saturday, March 1, 2pm, Dell Hall

In a family concert based on the Lemony Snicket book with music by Nathaniel Stookey, an inspector interrogates the instruments of the orchestra to find out who killed the composer. Brett Mitchell conducts the Cleveland Orchestra with Giancarlo Guerrero as narrator. SOLD OUT!

Yehudi Goes to Texas

Saturday, March 1, 5pm, Long Center City Terrace

Celebration of the violin's country cousin, the fiddle, with a free outdoor concert starring Austin fiddler Ruby Jane, with Mary Hattersley's Blazing Bows, featuring fiddlers ages 4 and up.

Rising Stars: The Senior Finals

Saturday, March 1, 8pm, Dell Hall

Choosing from works by Barber, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, and Saint-Säensm the four senior finalists perform their chosen violin concerto accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Peter Bay. The winner will be announced at the end of the evening.

Closing Gala Concert

Sunday, March 2, 7pm, Dell Hall

Giancarlo Guerrero and the Cleveland Orchestra: Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony; Ravel's Tzigane, with 2014 juror Arabella Steinbacher; Dvorak's Carnival Overture; Kreisler's Praeludium and Allegro, with the Junior First Prize Winner; and the violin concerto played by the Senior First Prize Winner.

  • More of the Story

  • World on a String

    Young violinists from across the globe flock to Austin for North America's first Menuhin Competition

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