Eleven days of celebration for the violin and youth in Switzerland for the first time
Geneva 12-22 April 2018

For the first time of its history, the Menuhin Competition is to take place in Switzerland in April 2018, with the city of Geneva hosting the 18th edition of the biennial event. Founded by the violinist Yehudi Menuhin in 1983, it is the world’s leading international competition and meeting place for violinists under 22 years old.

Audacious, dynamic, open to the world and renowned for its excellence, the Menuhin Competition, nicknamed ‘the Olympics of the violin’, attracts hundreds of young applicants from around the world, with only forty-four selected to participate. Previous prize-winners include Tasmin Little, Nikolaj Znaider, Ilya Gingolts, Julia Fischer, and more recently, Ray Chen, Chad Hoopes, Stephen Waarts and Callum Smart. Online applications open today and hundreds of submissions are expected from young violinists worldwide. The full programme will be unveiled in September 2017, when tickets become available.

An eleven day celebration of violin and young people The Menuhin Competition represents much more than a high level competition. Each edition of the event is a true classical music festival, including teaching and cultural exchanges, with numerous concerts, masterclasses and short events included over eleven days for international audiences of all ages. The Competition acts as an important cultural ambassador, developing a stimulating atmosphere of exchange and sharing in a collaborative spirit, focusing on participation and learning rather than victory.

Yehudi Menuhin: the violin as a social relationship
Yehudi Menuhin, a violin prodigy, devoted a great part of his life to teaching music and inspiring as many people as possible to discover it, especially the most disadvantaged. In particular, he promoted the teaching of music in state schools, convinced that it is a powerful social bond. Faithful to the philosophy of its illustrious founder, the organisers of the Menuhin Competition wish to support, promote and inspire the future generation of violinists.
All musicians participating in the Menuhin Competition are invited to stay in the host city for the duration of the Competition, allowing them to make new friendships with other musicians, and offering them the opportunity not only to play and learn from each other, but also to interact with the members of the Jury, and to participate in special events as part of an ambitious cultural mediation programme.
Recognised for his extraordinary contribution to cultivating friendship among peoples through the medium of music,
Yehudi Menuhin was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1992.

In Switzerland for the first time, hand in hand with the institutions of Geneva
Having previously taken place in a range of cities including London (2016, celebrating Menuhin’s centenary), Austin (2014), Beijing (2012) and Oslo (2010), the event moves to Geneva for the first time. Nestled in the heart of Europe, the city has a reputation for hosting many unmissable events and nurtures a diverse and pluralistic cultural offering. It also remains a vibrant centre for dialogue, all resonating strongly with the values ​​of Yehudi Menuhin, and making it a natural choice to host the Menuhin Competition.
The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, the Geneva Music Conservatory, the Haute Ecole de Musique and the Center des arts de l'Ecole Internationale will all be strongly involved in the Competition.
As the European headquarters of the United Nations, the city is home to 33 international institutions and organisations, 250 NGOs and 255 diplomatic missions and representations. It also houses leading music schools and cultural institutions, which contribute to the international reputation of Geneva and Switzerland, especially in the field of classical music. Organisers of the Menuhin Competition are working to build close connections with many such organisations for the next edition of the festival.

A first-class international jury
The Jury for the Menuhin Competition in 2018 includes:
Pamela Frank, President, United States
Joji Hattori, Vice-President, Japan / Austria
Itamar Golan, Lithuania / Israel / France
Ilya Gringolts, Russia / Switzerland
Henning Kraggerud, Norway
Lu Siqing, China
Josef Špaček, Czech Republic
Maxim Vengerov, Monaco
Soyoung Yoon, South Korea

The members of the Jury, all exceptional musicians, will play and give masterclasses – rare opportunities for these types of events.

Gordon Back, Chairman of the Menuhin Competition says: “I am thrilled that the Menuhin Competition is coming to Geneva in 2018. As a dynamic city devoted to supporting creativity in the arts, I look forward to bringing together our jury, competitors and the public to make the most of Geneva's world-class concert halls, and all the city has to offer”.

Pamela Frank, Chair of the Jury, says: “The Menuhin Competition is truly unique in the world: the spirit is that of a festival, not a" contest ", and is ultimately a celebration of the violin. I am honoured to be part of such an extraordinary organisation, one that engenders humanity, artistry, and the sheer joy of violin playing. It reminds us all that the real winner is the music!”

Online applications open today until 31 October. The full programme will be unveiled in September 2017, when tickets become available, and details of the 44 participants will be revealed in January 2018.


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