The ‘Olympics’ of the violin world will be hosted London in April 2016 as it celebrates Yehudi Menuhin’s centenary. Some 44 of the world’s most promising young violinists will travel to the city to take part in its masterclasses and outreach programmes.
Traditionally invited by a host city or a host organisation, the Menuhin Competition has its origins in Folkestone and Boulogne-sur-Mer and has been previously been held in London (2004), Cardiff (2008), Oslo (2010), Beijing (2012) and most recently in Austin, Texas, in 2014.
The Menuhin Competition London 2016 11-day festival will see a programme packed with appearances by internationally acclaimed soloists, as well as a special family concert to pull in the crowds. The enticingly titled Lemony Snicket’s The Composer Is Dead is described as ‘a real whodunnit of the orchestra’.
The schedule includes a world-premiere by Rutter, who has composed his first work for violin, with choir and string orchestra, to be performed at the intimate Temple Church; whilst Roxanna Panufnik, (goddaughter to Yehudi’s daughter Zamira), will premiere a new work for solo violin inspired by Menuhin’s love of Eastern European gypsy music. Spanish composer Oscar Colomina I Bosch, a young teacher at both the Menuhin School and Royal Academy of Music, has written a new work to be performed by the Junior Finalists.
The celebrations open on 7 April with a concert by London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Kazuki Yamada, featuring solo recitals by three former competition winners Tasmin Little, Jiafeng Chen, Rennosuke Fukuda, and Ray Chen.
The 2016 winners will then perform with the orchestra, along with violinist Julia Fischer and conductor Diego Matheuz (conductor), at Royal Festival hall for a gala concert on 17 April.