This year’s contest, celebrating the centenary of its famous namesake, takes place in London during April


The Menuhin Competition 2016 has announced the 44 shortlisted violinists who will compete for its top Junior and Senior prizes in London during April. Of particular interest is the number of female contestants in the running – of the 44 selected, 36 are girls. In the Junior section for under-16s, seven boys will compete against 15 girls, while in the Senior section for under-22s, just one boy will compete against 21 girls.

‘I celebrate the fact that gender is no longer an issue in the world of violinists,’ said 2016 juror Tamsin Little. ‘I know my mentor Menuhin would also be delighted as, for him, the most important thing was always the music and the musician, and never their gender, colour, creed or nationality.’

Among the violinists are several former competition winners, including 10-year-old Samuel Tan (pictured), this year’s youngest competitor, who won the Postacchini Prize at the 21st International Andrea Postacchini Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy at the age of nine. Also competing is 16-year-old Ziyu He, winner of the 2014 Eurovision Young Musicians competition in Cologne, Germany, and 20-year-old Youjin Lee, who won first prize at the Irving M. Klein International String Competition in San Francisco in 2013.

The full list of candidates is:


Olivia Chen, 13, USA

Elli Choi, 14, USA

Alexandra Cooreman, 13, Belgium/Poland

Johan Dalene, 15, Sweden

Marley Erickson, 12, USA

Kristina Georgieva, 14, Bulgaria

Klara Gronet, 15, Poland

Ria Honda, 15, Japan

Antoni Ingielewicz, 14, Poland

Yeyeong Jin, 12, South Korea

NaKyung Kang, 12, South Korea

Byeol Kim, 15, South Korea

Anne Luisa Kramb, 15, Germany

EunSeo Lee, 14, South Korea

Yesong Sophie Lee, 12, USA

Hina Maeda, 13, Japan

Kevin Miura, 13, USA/Japan

Mahiru Moriyama, 15, Japan

Michael Rosborg Germer, 13, Denmark

Takumi Taguchi, 14, USA/Japan

Samuel Tan, 10, Singapore

Coco Tomita, 13, Japan


Merve Birbir, 18, Turkey

Qing Yu Chen, 15, USA

Yu-Ting Chen, 20, Taiwan

SongHa Choi, 16, South Korea

Asako Fukuda, 19, Japan

Molin Han, 15, China

Ziyu He, 16, China

Ariel Horowitz, 19, USA

Do Gyung (Anna) Im, 18, South Korea

Yookyung Kang, 19, South Korea

Jeein Kim, 20, South Korea

Marie Isabel Kropfitsch, 19, Austria

Nan Joo Lee, 20, South Korea

Yoojin Lee, 17, South Korea

Youjin Lee, 20, South Korea

HyunJae Lim, 18, South Korea

Mathilde Milwidsky, 21, UK

Juliette Roos, 20, UK

Louisa Staples, 15, UK

Kelly Talim, 20, USA

Belle Ting, 15, Taiwan/Canada

Eva Zavaro, 20, France

The biennial Menuhin Competition this year takes place from 7-17 April at London’s Royal Academy of Music. The contest received 307 entries for 2016 – an increase of 9 per cent on 2014 – from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

This year’s jury comprises former laureates Julia Fischer, Ray Chen, Tasmin Little, Ning Feng and Joji Hattori, in addition to pianist Jeremy Menuhin, Korean violinist Dong-Suk Kang, director of the Verbier Festival Martin Engstroem and jury chair Pamela Frank.

As 2016 marks Yehudi Menuhin’s 100th anniversary, the competition repertoire will include works particularly associated with the violinist, including Bartók’s Solo Sonata written for Menuhin in 1944, and music by his mentor George Enescu.

The 2014 Menuhin Competition Senior Division was won by Stephen Waarts, while Rennosuke Fukuda triumphed in the Junior Division.

Visit the Menuhin Competition website for full details.