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Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 for May Postponed

Menuhin participant
Christian Li performs in a prior Menuhin competition. (Photo: OlivierMichePhotography)

The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 set to take place in May has been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The city was expected to host over 40 young violinists from all over the world for the competition, which also includes performances, panel discussions and master classes.

The event was set to take place over two weeks, co-hosted by the Richmond Symphony, the City of Richmond, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University and VPM. 

“This is a major international event. And we can’t possibly hope to carry it out unless we have the right conditions and the right support from all involved,” said David Fisk, Executive Director with the Richmond Symphony. 

In a press release, Gordon Back, Artistic Director of the Menuhin Competition, said partners are working hard to reschedule all of the events. 

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

The same format will be used and competitors will participate in the same division for which they qualified in this year, 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, according to officials.

Fisk says all competitors won’t have to re-audition because they have demonstrated that they are highly qualified for participation and will be invited back to Richmond next year.

The event will return next year, running May 13-23, 2021.

“We look on the bright side here,” Fisk said. “It gives us a whole extra year to spend in promoting Richmond and the region as the host of this event. We were ready already. But now we can be even more ready to welcome the world to Richmond to showcase the best of Richmond to the world.”

The Menuhin Competition is the world’s leading international competition for young violinists. The event is held every two years in a different location. It’s the second time in the over thirty year history for the event to land in a U.S. city. Austin, Texas held the event in 2014. 

Some of the musicians chosen to compete are natives of China, Japan, Spain, Ukraine, Poland and Australia. Thirteen U.S. states are represented, with performers coming from South Dakota, Texas, California and Virginia. Violinists are all under 22 years of age and divided into two categories; Juniors (ages 15 and under) and Seniors (ages 21 and under).

People who purchased tickets can hold them until next year, ask for a refund or donate them back to the venues they purchased them from to support the Richmond arts community. 

While the Menuhin Competition is postponed until 2021, VPM will launch a complementary podcast this May called “Making Menuhin,” featuring some of the 44 competitors.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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