2015 Competition: Entries now closed, new prize & new sponsors

Entries now closed

Entries for the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, to be held between 5–13 June in Queenstown and Auckland, are now closed.

We would like to sincerely thank the referees of all the applicants for supporting our competition and their pupils' entry.

From this point, our selection panel has the very difficult task of choosing 18 semi-finalists and eight alternates from over 155 entries we received. The much-anticipated announcement will be made on or before 15 December 2014.

A group of leading violinists make up the initial selection panel for the Competition. They are Andrew Beer (Canada/NZ), Justine Cormack (NZ), Vesa-Matti Leppänen (Finland/NZ), Dene Olding (Australia) and Wilma Smith (NZ/Australia). The panel will also select the recipients of the NZ and Australian Development Prizes.

Round one and round two – solo and unaccompanied works – will take place in Queenstown from 6 to 8 June next year, with round three, piano trios, in Auckland on 10 and 11 June.
 The final round concerti with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will fill Auckland’s Town Hall on 13 June – and we can’t wait.

All live rounds are open to the public. Tickets will be on sale early 2015.

For more information, please visit

We asked the 2015 entrants why they wanted a place in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition. Here are some of their answers...

"It is a really world-famous competition, with an interesting and unique repertoire. Taking part in it can open the door to a violin career. As well, New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world!"

"I have grown up watching this competition and admiring the competitors and it has always been an ambition of mine to take part."

"The Michael Hill International Violin Competition is unique in its procedure, allowing each candidate to perform multiple works and rounds prior to any elimination. This allows competitors to show who they are as a musician in a very complete way. I would love the opportunity to present my artistry and challenge myself to represent my musicianship."

"I have heard glowing reviews about this organization and I would love to play in front of such a world class jury, as well as audience."

Susie Park replaces Natsuko Yoshimoto on the International Jury

Natsuko is expecting a child just before the June competition so is unable to serve on the International Jury next year. Susie Park, another Australian, has enthusiastically jumped on board.

A native of Sydney, Susie is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music. She was the violinist of the Eroica Trio for six years, with whom she toured extensively and released a Grammy-nominated album on EMI Classics. As a soloist, she has performed with the Vienna Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, San Francisco and Indianapolis Symphonies, to name a few.  A finalist in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, she has won top prizes in the Menuhin and Wieniawski International Competitions. Susie is a founding member of ECCO, or East Coast Chamber Orchestra, which released its debut album in 2012.

New prize

We are delighted to announce that Sir Michael Hill will loan his personal violin, a 1755 Guadagnini named “The Southern Star”, to the first prize winner to perform on the 2016 NZ Winner’s Tour. Italian instrument designer Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1711 – 1786) was regarded one of the finest craftsmen of string instruments in history. Other Guadagnini players have included Eugène Ysaÿe and Joseph Joachim.
This generosity extends the Competition’s existing prize of the loan of a modern Riccardo Bergonzi to one of the deserving participants in the Competition for a two-year period, after the final round and at the discretion of the Competition.

Welcoming new sponsors

Behind every great competition is a group of great sponsors and we thoroughly appreciate the generous support of each and every one of our sponsors and donors.

For the 2015 competition, we are delighted to welcome a few new faces to the family. They include two new major sponsors, Wellington Airport and Kensington Swan Lawyers.

On supporting the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Wellington Airport’s Greg Thomas said, “Wellington Airport is focused on growing international connections for the Wellington region and New Zealand. The young violinists who participate in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition get there through hard work and the focused goal of national and international recognition.

“Wellington Airport has similar goals on the world stage and we hope our support will assist the violinists in some small way to achieve their dreams.”

Other new sponsors for the 2015 Competition, so far, are Bill and Frances Bell, Geigenbau J.G. Leuthold, Over The Top Helicopters and Queenstown’s Limosine Line.

Further details on the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition can be found at
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