The Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin announced today that it will host the 2014 Menuhin Competition from Feb. 21 to March 2. This biennial competition, the pre-eminent international competition for young violinists, will be held in North America for the first time in its 29-year history.
“We are thrilled that 2014 will be the Menuhin Competition’s first year in the United States. Over the years many entries and prize winners have come from America, and we are very excited that the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin has the vision and creativity to stage this unique music event,” said Gordon Back, artistic director of the Menuhin Competition, which is based in the United Kingdom.
The timing of the competition coincides with the Butler School of Music’s centennial. “Hosting the Menuhin Competition’s first North American appearance is testament to the Butler School of Music’s rising prominence, not only in this country but around the world,” said school Director Glenn Chandler. “The Butler School and the Menuhin Competition share a common goal of cultural exchange in education.”
The Menuhin Competition is held in a different city every two years. Previous hosts have included the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Royal Welsh College of Music in Cardiff and the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing will host the competition in April this year, and 11 of the 42 selected competitors are American.
Past winners of the Menuhin Competition have gone on to major international careers, including Nikolaj Znaider, Julia Fischer and Ray Chen. To date, 23 of the prize winners have been from the United States.
The competition is open to violinists under the age of 22. Accepted applicants vie for cash prizes, scholarships, concert engagements and the loan of fine violins. The competition is the only one of its kind, combining competition rounds with a 10-day festival of performances by and master classes with jurors. Past jurors have included such distinguished violinists as Maxim Vengerov, Pamela Frank and Miriam Fried.
Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was one of the 20th century’s most celebrated violinists. He founded the Menuhin Competition in 1983 with the goal of enabling young violinists from all over the world to study in an environment rich with cultural exchange. Menuhin established the Yehudi Menuhin School in England in 1963 and the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland, in 1957.