Wednesday, 31 January 2018


27 January - 8 February 2018

The triennial Singapore International Violin Competition has returned after its very successful first outing in 2015. Organised by the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, it is surely becoming the premier international violin competition of Asia. 31 of the world's finest young violinists from 11 nations were selected to perform in four rounds of competition (including two concerto finals!) to vie for significant prize money, concert opportunities and the chance to play on a priceless violin from the Rin Collection.

At the opening ceremony, the contestants drew lots to determine the order of performance in all the rounds. There were two no-shows, and so 29 violinists performed their first round recitals at the Conservatory over three days.

10-year-old Singaporean violinist Chloe Chua was given the honour to perform at the Opening Ceremony, and she whipped off a Wieniawski Etude-Caprice with an unforced, natural virtuosity and the greatest of ease. 

Some of the contestants are probably thinking,
"Thank God she is not taking part!"
Here are some of the international jury members:
Viktor Tretyakov has a jaw-dropping moment,
Kam Ning and her former teacher Mauricio Fuks
look bemused, while Silvia Marcovici appears concerned.
The great Singaporean violinist, present and future:
Kam Ning with Chloe Chua
Getting to meet a violin legend:
Viktor Tretyakov's Melodiya LP from the 1960s,
which I bought from $3 at the old Soviet Gallery
formerly at Lucky Plaza.
Tretyakov's wife reckons he
looks exactly the same as before!
A selection of Rin Collection historic
violins on display.
"The Pearl" Amati is so named because of its
mother-of-pearl inlaid star on its scroll.

First Round solo recital:
Chisa Kitagawa (Japan)
Sergei Dogadin (Russia)
Kyung Ji Min (South Korea)

12 violinists were selected to perform in the semi-finals from 1 to 3 February 2018. Sadly, Singapore's Gabriel Ng is not among them but there are still three violinist in the running who have had connections with Singapore. Anna Lee (USA) lived in Singapore when she a child and was a student of former SSO concertmaster Alexander Souptel, while Oleksandr Korniev (Ukraine) and Shi Xiaoxuan (China) are both alumni of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. Way to go!

The performance schedules may be found here:

SIVC Artist-in-Residence Shlomo Mintz performs a solo recital of all six Ysaye Unaccompanied Sonatas at the Conservatory tonight (Wednesday, 31 January 2018) at 7.30 pm. Not to be missed!

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