It's been referred to as the Olympics of violin competitions. Formula One for fine arts. The Van Cliburn Competition for the string set. In other words, a very big deal.
On Feb. 21 the university welcomes 42 of the world's best violinists to campus for an intense 10-day competition with $10,000 and international reputation at stake. One note of distinction: the competitors are kids.
Every two years violin virtuosos age 22 and younger gather to compete in the Yehudi Menuhin Young Violinists International Competition. This year, for the first time ever, the competition takes place in North America, hosted in Austin by UT's Butler School of Music. ("What better location for an international violin competition than the Live Music Capital of the World?" wrote College of Fine Arts dean Douglas Dempster in an op-ed for the Austin American-Statesman.)
The competition has an impressive track record of counting some of the world's most gifted violinists among its participants and prizewinners, with many establishing major international careers.
The public is invited to attend the competition rounds in addition to concerts, masterclasses, community activities and speaking events, ranging from the "Art of the Violin" given by violin-maker and restorer Charles R. Ervin, to the career-focused "Soloist, Concertmaster or Chamber Musician?" panel discussion given by the Menuhin jury. The competition will culminate with a performance by the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. There are both free and ticketed events.
Details about the 2014 competition and a full listing of events can be found at violinatx.org.