Six fiddlers from five countries in race for Singapore's US$50,000 violin prize

Rare violins such as Stradivari and Amati from the Rin Collection go on display as part of the Singapore International Violin Competition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Rare violins such as Stradivari and Amati from the Rin Collection go on display as part of the Singapore International Violin Competition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Judges at the first round of the Singapore International Violin Competition. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION
Judges at the first round of the Singapore International Violin Competition. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION
Singaporean violinist Loh Jun Hong performing at the semi-finals of the inaugural Singapore International Violin Competition held on Jan 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: Singapore International Violin Competition
Singaporean violinist Loh Jun Hong performing at the semi-finals of the inaugural Singapore International Violin Competition held on Jan 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: Singapore International Violin Competition

The battle for Singapore's biggest-ever prize for classical music heats up with six finalists selected for the inaugural Singapore International Violin Competition.

At stake is a top prize of US$50,000 (S$66,000), a recording produced and globally distributed with music label Naxos and performances with noted orchestras such as the London Philharmonic.

The finalists are Alexandra Conunova from Moldova, American violinist Sirena Huang, South Korea's Lim Hyun Jae, France's Fedor Rudin and Tseng Yu-Chien and Richard Lin from Taiwan.

The results were announced on Jan 16 evening at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Singapore, after a three-day semi-final round in which 12 contenders played violin-piano sonatas in hour-long recitals.

On Jan 18 and Jan 19, the six finalists will play orchestral pieces with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra at the Victoria Concert Hall. Only three musicians will face off in the grand final round on Jan 21, where they will play with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra at the Esplanade Concert Hall.

The Singapore International Violin Competition is a triennial contest which aims to boost the career of a talented violinist under 30, from anywhere in the world.

This year, the contest will also award prizes from US$25,000 to US$4,000 for second- to sixth-place winners. All winners are eligible for a three-year loan of a fine violin from the Rin Collection, which includes top-end instruments such as Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati.

For more details go to singaporeviolincompetition.com.

Tickets to the competition are available from sistic.com.