1/2 of one Brit reaches last 69 of major violin finals

1/2 of one Brit reaches last 69 of major violin finals


norman lebrecht

March 12, 2015

Whatever has happened to violin teaching in Britain? The Queen Elisabeth Competition has announced the final pool of violin contestants – based on video submissions (admittedly not the best means of selection). Among the pack of ever-hopefuls is Mr Benjamin Baker, representing both New Zealand and Britain. Is that the best we can do? 0.5 in 69?

benjamin baker


Full candidates’ list here.


  • Sara Nathan says:

    at least he’s one of ours! Menuhin School educated so surely counts as more than a half!

    • Anon says:

      “one of ours”.

      I thought that kind of thinking was a thing of the past, belonging to the 19th century and before.
      Apparently mankind doesn’t make much progress. Still stuck in tribalism.

  • Anon says:

    I’m not sure how those questions can be answered against this as a set of data.

    The list tells us nothing about the state of violin teaching in Britain – many teachers in Britain teach non-Brits; many Brits study abroad.

    And without knowing which British violinists might have entered and not got through, we can’t assess how well Britain has done or is doing. Possibly there were few other really good Brits entering: it doesn’t mean there aren’t excellent British players who may well not have entered.

    Benjamin Baker is a very fine player, I wish him luck.

  • Milka says:

    Does it really matter to the art as to who wins ?Have the past Queen Elizabeth winners contributed anything to the art of violin playing excepting to saw away more frantically than their rivals in hopes of winning prize money along with a promise of a career ? Importantly
    how many have enriched the repertoire with new works ? Can one imagine a present
    day Kreisler showing up ?, one suspects he’d be hustled out the door faster than you
    could play yet another 1,000 th. rendition of the Sibelius. They will all be playing to and
    trying to outguess what they think the so called judges want to hear . Eventually the winners one day will be judges and the same barren cycle begins anew .