The Menuhin Competition – the Olympics of the Violin – Takes Place in the U.S. for the First Time

Menuhin Competition in Austin

AUSTIN, Texas (June 27, 2013)  – The Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists will take place for the first time in the United States from Friday, February 21, 2014, through Sunday, March 2, 2014. The 10-day festival at the University of Texas at Austin Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, in partnership with the College of Fine Arts and Texas Performing Arts, features a competition between some of the world’s best violinists under the age of 22 as well as concerts, master classes and community activities with elite-level national and international performers.

The week-and-a-half long celebration concludes with a Closing Gala Concert showcasing the acclaimed Cleveland Orchestra. The concert, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero and featuring soloist Arabella Steinbacher, takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 West Riverside Drive. The Cleveland Orchestra, returning to Austin for the first time since 1976, is one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world.

The Menuhin Competition’s nine-member jury panel, who will each perform a concert and give a public master class, is comprised of some of the top musicians, performers and teachers in the international music community: Pamela Frank, Chair (USA), Joji Hattori, Vice-Chair (Japan), Olivier Charlier (France), Ilya Gringolts (Russia), David Kim (USA), Lü Siqing (China), Steinbacher (Germany) and the Butler School of Music’s own Anton Nel (South Africa/USA) and Brian Lewis (USA).

The Menuhin Competition, which has recently helped launch the careers of Julia Fischer, Nikolaj Znaider and Daishin Kashimoto, kicks off with an Opening Concert by the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday, February 21, at the Long Center. The Butler School of Music’s Director of Orchestral Activities, Gerhardt Zimmermann, conducts the concert that will feature soloists Nel, Charlier and Gringolts.

The Junior Finals at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 28, at the Butler School of Music’s Bates Recital Hall, 2406 Robert Dedman Drive, features the Zimmermann-conducted UT Symphony Orchestra along with competitors representing the world’s most talented violinists under the age of 22. The Senior Finals event at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at the Long Center features top young violinists accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra and conductor Peter Bay, Music Director of the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Along with competitions and concerts, members of the Menuhin Competition jury and Cleveland Orchestra will teach master classes to competitors and University of Texas students at the Butler School of Music and Bates Recital Hall.

Glenn Richter, Interim Director of the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music, says the Menuhin Competition will increase Austin’s already rich standing as a classical music destination.

“With Austin serving as the first American host of the Menuhin Competition – which is to the violin like the Van Cliburn International Competition is to the piano – Austin will become an even more attractive destination city for classical music fans worldwide,” says Richter.

“You may think of Austin as the home of South by Southwest, Austin City Limits or even the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix race. Thanks to Texas Performing Arts, the Long Center for the Performing Arts, the Austin Symphony and our own University of Texas Butler School of Music, Austin is also a hub of innovation and excellence in the fine arts and classical music,” says Richter.

Tickets for the Opening Concert on February 21 and Closing Gala Concert with the Cleveland Orchestra on March 2 are available through a Texas Performing Arts 2013-2014 season subscription, which can be purchased by visiting or calling 512-471-4454. Individual event tickets for the Menuhin Competition will go on sale in September; visit for updates and details.

In the live music capital of the world, the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs addressing both the practical and theoretical disciplines that make the music industry so rich and diverse. The Butler School’s rich performance environment brings great music to both Austin and world stages, and access to the gifted faculty and students who engage their audiences.

What starts here changes the world. The World is listening.


Official Menuhin Competition Website

Menuhin Austin Competition

Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin Website

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Media Contact:

Claire Spera
Publicity Coordinator
Butler School of Music
+1 512-471-1139

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