Thursday 22 January 2015


The programme leaflet for the Grand Final.
The detachable section on the right was used
by the audience to vote for their favourite violinist.

Unlike most competitions, the jury's deliberation at the Singapore International Violin Competition took just half an hour, and soon a fair segment of the audience stayed back to attend the prize-giving ceremony. This will become one of the world's most prestigious international competitions, and the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory has been committed to run two more competitions held every three years. With a top prize of USD 50,000, it will not fail to attract the world's top young violinists in the editions to come.  

Loh Jun Hong was the top-placed Singaporean violinist in the
competition, and won a Pierre Vuillaume bow for his efforts.
Giving away the awards was Chairperson of the
National Arts Council Prof Chan Heng Chee. 
Hyun Jae Lim (South Korea) was awarded
the prize for the Best Performance of Bach.
Sirena Huang (USA) won two special awards:
best performances of Paganini Caprices and
the horrendously difficult commissioned work
by Emily Koh, which she performed from memory.
Richard Lin (Taiwan) won the Goh Soon Tioe
award for best recital with piano.
Chairman of the Jury Prof Qian Zhou
gave a mercifully short speech.
The suspense was killing just about everybody.
Here are the judges: Tang Weidong, Takashi Shimizu,
Dima Tkachenko, Pierre Amoyal, Krysztof Wegrzyn,
Kim Nam Yun, Shmuel Ashkenasi & Vilmos Szabadi.
The top prizes in descending otder:
6th Prize: Fedor Rudin (France) gets his
from Minister of Culture Lawrence Wong.
5th Prize: HJ Lim (South Korea)
Not that HJ Lim!!!
4th Prize: Alexandra Conunova (Moldova)
Pianomaniac thought she deserved better.
3rd Prize: Sirena Huang (USA)
Her performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto
was close to perfection, but everybody seems to be
doing perfect Tchaikovskys these days. She also
had the disadvantage of playing first
The moment of truth:
Tseng Yu-Chien (centre) is stunned on being
awarded the First Prize.
2nd Prize: Richard Lin (Taiwan)
His performance of Brahms' Violin Concerto was
big and blustery, and he never put a foot wrong.
The audience clearly loved the sheer Linsanity!
1st Prize: Tseng Yu-Chien (Taiwan)
His version of Sibelius Violin Concerto was subtle yet chilling
in its mystery, and his control revealed true mastery.
A momentary wobble in the harmonics segment of the
finale did not unfaze him as he blazed to ultimate glory.
A funniest home video moment for Tseng.
Not a surprise: Richard Lin won the Audience Prize.
Feel the Linsanity!
"We are the Champions" in order of placing:
Tseng, Lin, Lee (an all Taiwan sweep),
Conunova, Lim & Rudin.
All the judges and all the finalists.
That's close to USD 100K in prize money.
The great violinists of the future.
Numero Uno Tseng Yu-Chien with former SSO
Concertmaster Alexander Souptel and Masako Suzuki.
Lookalike alert: Tseng looks a bit like Mesut Özil!

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