The 20-year-old receives NZ$40,000, a recording contract and performance opportunities

Yeyeong Jenny Jin. Photo: James Roberts

Yeyeong Jenny Jin. Photo: James Roberts

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Violinist Yeyeong Jenny Jin (South Korea/US) has won the 2023 Michael Hill International Violin Competition. The 20-year-old, who is currently studying with Li Lin, Ida Kavafian and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School, receives a cash prize of NZ$40,000 as well as a recording contract with the Atoll label, a winner’s tour in partnership with Chamber Music New Zealand and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a personalised development programme and a Michael Hill gold and diamond pendant. She also took the Chamber Music Prize, worth NZ$2,000, and the Sheila Smith Prize, which consists of the three-year loan of a c.1735 Domenico Montagnana violin. She has previously won top prizes at the Stulberg and Zhuhai international competitions.

Second prize and $10,000 went to 21-year-old Claire Wells (US/Germany), while Lorenz Karls (21, Sweden/Austria) took the $5,000 third prize. Fourth, fifth and sixth prizes were taken respectively by Gabrielle Després (22, Canada/US), Eva Rabchevska (26, Ukraine/Germany) and Aoi Saito (25, Japan/Germany). Després also won the Michael Hill Audience Prize, worth $500, while Julia Mirzoev (26, Canada) received $2,000 for the best performance of the commissioned work, Waipounamu by New Zealand composer Michael Norris.

This year’s jury consisted of Christopher Finlayson (chair), violinists Bella Hristova, Ning Feng, Natalia Lomeiko, Wilma Smith, James Ehnes and Anthony Marwood, and pianist Piers Lane. The grand final took place on 10 June at the Auckland Town Hall, with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Andrew Litton. Jin performed the Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, while Wells chose the Britten Violin Concerto and Karls selected the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor.

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