Menuhin Gala at the Opera
On Monday evening, His Majesty The King attended the Gala Concert at the Oslo Opera House, which marked the conclusion of the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition for Young Violinists.
King Harald presented the awards to the two overall winners.
The 10-day competition was divided into two classes: juniors under 16 years of age and seniors 16 to 21 years of age. The 42 participants gave solo performances, played with a large orchestra, performed chamber music and improvised.
The first-place prize winners were Kerson Leong of Canada in the junior class and Xiang Yu of China in the senior class. Guro Kleven Hagen of Norway received the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY) Prize for Music. The EMCY is a network of about 60 national and international music competitions for young people across Europe.
King Harald presented the awards to Kerson Leong and Xiang Yu prior to the Gala Concert at the Oslo Opera House on Monday evening.
The Gala Concert
A unique element of the Menuhin Competition is the number of concerts performed while the competition is being held. These concerts feature well-known musicians, including members of the jury and previous Menuhin winners. This years Gala Concert included Alexander Ryback, Arve Tellefsen and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, in addition to the two first-place prize winners.
The violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin founded the competition in 1983. It is held every other year, and this is the first time that the competition has taken place outside of France or the United Kingdom. According to Competition Director Gordon Back, Norway was chosen as this years site for its combination of outstanding facilities, a robust, dynamic music community, and the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of renowned Norwegian violinist and composer Ole Bull.
Five Norwegian violinists were selected to participate in this years competition, in which a total of 42 musicians took part. The competition in 2010 was a cooperative effort between five Norwegian music organisations: the Barratt Due Institute of Music, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Norwegian Council for Schools of Music and Performing Art, and the Norwegian Academy of Music.
The King and Queen opened the new MUNCH
"I think that I speak for all of us when I say that we have been looking forward to this day! It is finally possible for us to gather together, and soon the great doors will open up a new attraction – not just for our capital city, but for Norway, and for the world," said His Majesty The King.
Congratulations from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia.