A free Stradivarius for the winner

A free Stradivarius for the winner


norman lebrecht

April 22, 2015

The Menuhin Competition London launched this morning on Yehudi’s 99th birthday. The Mayor of London is right behind it (or so it says) and part of the first prize is a prime Stradivarius violin.

Er, read the small print.

On loan for a year.




press release:






The MENUHIN COMPETITION LONDON 2016 opens for entries today, calling exceptional young violinists worldwide to apply. The 22 April 2015, would have been legendary violinistYehudi Menuhin‘s 99th birthday – and his legacy lives on with the exceptional talent that will be on display when the world’s leading violin competition for players under 22 years returns to London in April 2016.


Mayor of London, Boris Johnson says: “It’s wonderful that the prestigious Menuhin Competition is coming back to London in 2016, the centenary year of the great maestro. This exciting showcase of some of the best violinists from across the globe will be a feast for music fans.

Artistic Director Gordon Back says: “Five of this year’s nine jurors are former Menuhin Prize winners and internationally acclaimed performers; they are testament to the difference this competition can make to a young musician’s life.” The jury of world class soloists is chaired by American violinist Pamela Frank; and former laureates on the jury are Julia Fischer, Ray Chen (who will also be the youngest ever juror of the Competition), Tasmin Little, Ning Feng and Joji Hattori. Menuhin’s son, pianist Jeremy Menuhin, Korean violinist Dong-Suk Kang and director of the Verbier Festival Martin Engstroem complete the line-up.

Prize Winners of the MENUHIN COMPETITION LONDON 2016 will immediately find themselves centre stage performing at several major international classical music festivals including the Homage to Menuhin festival of the Konzerthaus Berlin, playing three concerts with the Konzerthaus Orchestra in late April 2016. In addition to cash prizes, the Senior 1st Prize winner will receive a 1-year loan of a golden period Stradivarius by J&A Beare and the 1st Prize Junior winner receives a 1-year loan of a fine old Italian violin by Leonhard’s Fine Violins.

To celebrate the Centenary of its founder, repertoire for the MENUHIN COMPETITION LONDON 2016 is themed around works closely connected with Yehudi Menuhin, from Bela Bartok’s notoriously difficult solo sonata written for Menuhin in 1944 to music by his great mentor and teacher George Enescu. Fostering the creation of new music, the competition is commissioning new works for violin by Roxanna Panufnik and Oscar Colomina i Bosch to be premiered during the event.

Based on a survey among the world-record breaking number of entries to the last competition, the MENUHIN COMPETITION LONDON 2016 introduces online applications for the first time this year, www.menuhincompetition.org. General Manager Susanne Barthelmes says: “It has been the most wanted improvement suggested by the young musicians and it has always been our priority to enable easy access to the competition from all parts of the world.

Application deadline for the Menuhin Competition London is 31 October 2015.

The Menuhin Competition London 2016 will be held from 7 – 17 April 2016.

The MENUHIN COMPETITION LONDON 2016 is hosted by the Royal Academy of Music and presented in partnership with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Southbank Centre and Yehudi Menuhin School and in association with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Orpheus Sinfonia, Jewish Music Institute and Live Music Now.

MENUHIN COMPETITION LONDON 2016 is proud to be supported by: Mayor of London Boris Johnson and London & Partners; Official Centenary media partner Classic FM; Official Centenary Rail Partner The Go-Ahead Group, Plc; J& A Beare Limited; Florian Leonhard’s Fine Violins Ltd.

The MENUHIN COMPETITION LONDON 2016 gives the opportunity to exceptional young violinists from around the world to  be part of an uplifting and highly enjoyable experience – including meeting (perhaps for the first time) and forging lifelong friendships with their fellow violin prodigies.



  • Milka says:

    When one reads the names of the jury you cannot but laugh …
    Poor Mr.Back he seems not embarrassed .Certainly gone to
    the bottom of the barrel for this motley crew of judges .