Tickets now on Sale / Meet the Artists

Treat yourself to a Violin Feast

Queenstown 2-5 June Rounds I and II; 
Auckland 7-10 June Rounds III and Finals

Newly on sale are the recital rounds amidst the breathtaking surroundings of New Zealand’s southern alps where most audience members enjoy the flexibility of a pass so they can come and go (or get fully stuck in!). The intimate chamber music round will feature spellbinding Mozart Quintets and the final crowning concerto round in Auckland’s Town Hall. Secure your place now and enjoy discounts for early bird bookings and booking through the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra!
The Competition's Queenstown accommodation partners have put together wonderful accommodation packages to suit all tastes and budgets. All are within walking distance of Queenstown Memorial Centre, but should you want to get out and about to explore (or simply need a quality airport transfer), please book in with Limousine Lines.


Please be sure to mention the Michael Hill International Violin Competition to receive the special offer.

Be the first to hear tomorrow's legends

Poised on the cusp of their careers, our sixteen quarter-finalists represent an extraordinary gathering of talent and musicianship. Here’s a quick introduction to stoke your enthusiasm:
 Benjamin Baker
 (New Zealand)

Wellington-born Benjamin Baker is one of New Zealand’s most exciting young classical musicians. Last year he was not only awarded a first prize at the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York, he was also engaged by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra as a last minute replacement to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. – READ MORE
Elizabeth Basoff-Darskaia (Russia/USA)

As a dual citizen of both America and Russia, Elizabeth began playing the violin at age six and has performed as a soloist with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Virtuoso Orchestra, Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, Santa Clarita Symphony Orchestra, and Olympia Youth Orchestra – to name only a few. – READ MORE
Jung Min Choi
(South Korea)

Jung Min is no stranger to the Michael Hill, returning to New Zealand after winning Best Performance of Commissioned Work in 2015, and competing as a semifinalist in 2013. In the same year, she was a Finalist in the Stulberg International String Competition. She was educated at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music and Yewon Arts School. – READ MORE
So Young Choi
(South Korea)

South Korean So Young Choi is coming to the Michael Hill after recently winning First Prize at the Gifu International Competition (2016). Teacher Miriam Fried says So Young has an “ability to put her soul into her playing,” a trait borne out by her competition successes following her study at the New England Conservatory. – READ MORE
Asako Fukuda

Asako was born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1996. Eager to be like her older siblings, she wanted to play the violin when she was just two years old. Asako studied at Tokyo College, and in 2009 she won Third Prize at the All Japan Students Music Competition. In 2015, she won Second Prize at the 16th Kloster Schontal Violin Competition. – READ MORE
Ioana Cristina Goicea

Romanian-born Ioana returns to New Zealand after winning Fifth Prize at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2013. Iona’s impressive list of prizes includes the “Stefan Gheorghiu,” a special prize for the most accomplished Romanian contestant at the George Enescu International competition in 2016. Ioana has performed at a large number of recitals in renowned venues, such as St Martin-in-the-Fields London and Wiener Konzerthaus. – READ MORE
Luke Hsu

American violinist Luke Hsu had a highly successful year in 2016 – winning the 41st annual Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition. The 25-year-old also won the Hermann Shoss Audience Choice Award and was chosen by Houston Symphony musicians to receive The Robert and Nancy Peiser Award for Artistic Encouragement. Also in 2016, he won prizes at the Henryk Wieniawski and Carl Nielsen International Violin Competitions. – READ MORE
Hye-Jin Kim
(South Korea)

Hye-Jin was born in South Korea, and studied at the Universität der Künste Berlin and the Seoul National University. “She has a fantastic technique, deep musical understanding and an impeccable work ethic,” says teacher Kyung Sun Lee, and this is evidenced by her wins in 2015: First Prize at the Knopf Wettbewerb, and competing as a Semi-finalist in both the Tibor Varga and Seoul International Competitions. – READ MORE
Jaeook Lee
(South Korea)

Jaeook Lee began playing the violin at the age of five, and enrolled in Julliard’s pre-college division at age 12. He also studied at the New England Conservatory, and he was awarded a Special Prize at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 2006. Jaeook has been a soloist with numerous orchestras in Seoul and New Jersey. – READ MORE
Kunwha Lee
(South Korea)

Kunwha Lee was born in 1993 in South Korea, and studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München and Seoul National University. She won Second Prize at the Mirecourt International Violin in 2011, and participated in the Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition in 2016. Kunwha’s teacher Kyung Sun says “She possesses and amazing technical facility… She is a gifted musician and thoroughly dedicated to her music.” – READ MORE
Mari Lee
(South Korea / Japan)

Mari Lee returns to the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, after being a Semi-finalist in 2015. From South Korea and Japan, Mari has studied at the Universität der Künste Berlin, The Yehudi Menuhin School and the New England Conservatory. Mari’s other accolades include Second Prize at the Ibolyka-Gyarfas Violin Competition in 2015 and 2008 Semifinalist at the Long-Thibaud Violin Competition Paris. – READ MORE
Yoo Min Seo
(South Korea)

Born in 1998, Yoo Min Seo is the youngest Quarter-Finalist at the Michael Hill this year. She studied at the Korea National University of Arts and in 2014 was awarded Third Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and First Prize at the EurAsia Italy String Competition. Most recently, Yoo Min was a Quarter-Finalist for the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition. – READ MORE
Sumina Studer

Born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland, Sumina Studer is the second youngest Quarter-finalist at the Michael Hill this year. Last year, Sumina won Second Prize at the Arthur Grumiaux International Competition, as well as the Second Prize and the Sonata Prize at the Louis Spohr International Competition. In late 2015, Sumina's first SONY RCA Red Seal solo recording was published – G. Tartini's “Devil's Trill Sonata” on the CD “Italian Journey”. – READ MORE
Natsumi Tsuboi

After winning Fourth Prize at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2015, Japan-born Natsumi Tsuboi returns to New Zealand as a Quarter-finalist this year. Natsumi studied at Tokyo University of the Arts, under principal teachers Koichi Harada, Asako Urushihara and Pierre Amoyal and won significant prizes at the 81st Music Competition of Japan in 2015, and the 12th Tokyo Music Competition in 2014. – READ MORE
Momo Wong
(USA / Japan)

Momo Wong was born in 1994, and hails from America and Japan. She studied at both The Juilliard School and the New England Conservatory, and was a Semi-finalist at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2015. Professor Donald Weilerstein, of The Juilliard School, says, “Momo is an outstanding violinist. She plays with a very large, highly nuanced sound and a great deal of musical conviction.” – READ MORE
Galiya Zharova

Born in Kazakhstan in 1991, Galiya Zharova has studied at both the Moscow Conservatory and Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin. Last year, Galiya was a Semi-finalist at the Mirecourt International Violin Competition, and won Second Prize at the Leopold Auer Violin Competition in 2015. Galiya has “the rare ability of affecting her audiences,” according to Pani Schnarch of the Royal College of Music. – READ MORE

Great story telling here.  Enjoy!

This short film has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Proud Kiwi waxes nostalgia about NZ on Houstoun’s public radio

NZTrio seeks new violinist

With a special interest in highlighting compositions from New Zealand as well as cultural neighbours in Australasia, Asia and further afield, the NZTrio is committed to smashing preconceptions of classical music through performances that are dynamic, engaging and relevant.  Critical acclaim extends to their ever-expanding catalogue of recorded work and touring includes national circuits, festivals and international tours.

Following the resignation of founding violinist Justine Cormack (a long-standing friend and colleague of the Michael Hill), NZTrio is calling for expressions of interest for a 75% capacity role - auditions will be held straight after the Competition finals.  Please visit for details.

What's up with Suyeon this year?

"Right now I am in Tucson Arizona with the Arizona Chamber Society but last week I was performing with Camerata Bern) in Norway, at the Kongsberg Music Festival."

"I’m currently on trial as concertmistress of the Munich Chamber Orchestra- a great group and the projects so far have been great. I‘ve also been asked to lead an entire project without a conductor in their South America tour in April- which will be a big challenge and an exciting learning curve! There is still so much I have to learn about leading an orchestra, especially when there is no conductor and the responsibility of leading rehearsals and concerts lies mainly on me. This encompasses not only the musical side but the psychological aspects of it too…I feel very blessed to have this opportunity."

"Our Boccherini String Trio has a brilliant new violinist, American Vicki Powell. We are starting to get called in to a fair few festivals and have some exciting concerts coming up in Switzerland, Germany, possibly Jerusalem (and our first China tour in 2018!)."
"As current teaching assistant to Antje Weithaas at the University in Berlin I have a small teaching contract till August so I have been exploring the world of teaching (often my younger colleagues) which I find to be extremely fascinating and something I enjoy very much. It is really an art to know how to bring the best out of people, as everyone is very different. I feel that I have always been greatly influenced by teachers who encouraged this theory, and established a personal relationship with each student and therefore had different ways of teaching them, in order to help each and every one blossom at their own pace. Learning how to do that myself is highly intriguing."
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