The Butler School of Music will host the “Olympics for the violin” in 2014, said School of Music director B. Glenn Chandler. The school has been selected as the first North American location to host the 29th biennial 2014 Menuhin Competition where young violinists from around the world will showcase their talent. Yehudi Menuhin, a celebrated 20th century violinist, founded the competition in 1983 and it has been held exclusively in the United Kingdom until 2010 when it was held in Oslo, Norway, Chandler said. The 2012 competition will be held in Beijing followed by Austin in 2014.
“Of the 42 finalists who have been invited to Beijing for this year’s competition, 11 are American so it makes lots of sense that the competition come to America,” Chandler said. This 10-day event in February 2014 will invite nine renowned violinists who will perform during the competition and judge the 2014 finalists, Chandler said. These performances will involve the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the UT Symphony Orchestra and many other guests yet to be announced, Chandler said.
“The fact that UT was chosen for this competition is a tremendous honor and opportunity. It speaks to the fact that we stand out in a good way amongst other schools in terms of our dedication and spirit towards the study of fine arts,” said Paul Nabhan, a performer with the University Orchestra and performer of chamber music through the Plan II Chamber Music Society. Nabhan is in his 20th year of studying the violin and said the competition fits in well with Austin’s culture.
“Austin promotes a very artistic and innovative culture,” Nabhan said. “In addition to this being a success on a university-wide level, this may also, in turn, lead to a plethora of opportunities for Austinites as a whole.”
Undeclared freshman Marisol Cardenas has been playing the violin since the first grade, and said she is excited that UT will be hosting a competition featuring young violinists. “Music doesn’t receive all the attention it should and it’s such an amazing experience either to listen to music coming from a violin or playing the actual instrument,” Cardenas said. Chandler said the Menuhin Competition events will be webcast and televised worldwide. Audience members are expected to come from cities from around the world. “This is a world-class event and the world will be listening,” Chandler said.