Dues to work commitments, I was able to only attend three sessions in the semi-finals of the Singapore International Violin Competition, held in the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory on 14-16 January. Having heard six of the twelve semi-finalists, I was amazed at the stunningly high standards of playing. There was little to separate each of the artists. as he or she had something relevant to say in their hour-long programme, which included a Beethoven sonata, a romantic or 20th century sonata, a virtuoso show-piece and the competition's set-piece, kilo
by Singaporean Emily Koh.
|Millions of dollars worth of Rin Collection violins|
sit proudly in the Conservatory foyer.
|Anna Lee (South Korea) opened the semi-final stage|
with a show of confidence.
|Fedor Rudin (France) was his usual cool self,|
performing without a hint of nerves.
|Sirena Huang (USA) had the chutzpah of performing|
Emily Koh's murderously difficult and atonal
|Alexandra Conunova (Moldova) was an Amazonian|
presence, who impressed with the rarely heard
Francis Poulenc Violin Sonata.
|Chairperson of the competition jury Qian Zhou|
(in blue and white floral dress) mingling with the audience.
|Singaporean violinist David Loke, member of the YST |
Conservatory Orchestra, tries out a Strad by
playing sections of Glazunov's Violin Concerto.
|Home town favourite and only Singaporean left in the |
competition, Loh Jun Hong, gave masterly performances
of Brahms' Violin Sonata No.2 and Wieniawski's
Faust Fantasy, partnered by Abigail Sin.
|A violinist who caught my attention was Chisa Kitagawa|
(Japan) who is only 17-years-old but performs like a
mature and seasoned veteran. Her take on
Ysaye's Sonata No.6 was stunning and simply fearless.
The six finalists chosen by the 9-member jury were as follows (in order of performance):
Fedor Rudin (France)
Sirena Huang (USA)
Alexandra Conunova (Moldova)
Yu-Chien Tseng (Taiwan)
Richard Lin (Taiwan) and
Hyun Jae Lim (South Korea)