Competition Requires Difficult Violin Repertoire

July 23, 2008 Updated: October 1, 2015

This portrait of Nicolò Paganini by the French artist Jean-August-Dominique Ingres was drawn in pencil in 1819.  The composers caprices will be played in the final round of NTDTV's Chinese Violin Competition on July 26.  (www.paganini.com)
This portrait of Nicolò Paganini by the French artist Jean-August-Dominique Ingres was drawn in pencil in 1819. The composers caprices will be played in the final round of NTDTV's Chinese Violin Competition on July 26. (www.paganini.com)
NEW YORK—During NTDTV's International Chinese Violin Competition some of the best Chinese violinists will gather at The Town Hall in New York City to play their hearts out.

A unique event in the world of classical music, the competition aims to stage an exceptional musical meeting of East and West. As the competition is the only one of its kind outside mainland China, it truly can claim to be open to Chinese artists from all over the world, who will perform works of classical Western violin repertoire from July 25-27.

To discover the greatest violin talent, the jury chose some of the most beautiful and artistically demanding works in violin literature. In the preliminaries the contestants will perform the first movement and cadenza of Mozart's violin concertos No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5.

Semifinal performances require either the first movement and cadenza of Beethoven’s Concerto Opus 61, the allegro ma non troppo of Kreisler’s violin concerto or the fugue from Bach’s Sonata No. 1.

The final round will challenge the virtuoso qualities of the contestants, as they must select one of Paganini’s six Caprices and one of these compositions by Wieniawski—the Scherzo-Tarantelle, Opus 16, Polonaise No. 1, or Opus 4. Both composers set a high standard of technical skill and melodious expression that mark a highpoint of violin playing.

The difficulty of Nicolo Paganini’s pieces is legendary. Regarded as the perhaps the greatest violinist of all time, the Italian early Romantic virtuoso (1782-1820) amazed his audience not only with incredible technique but also with his ability to tell stories with his instrument that were emotionally-involving. Contemporaries of Paganini report that his female listeners frequently fainted during his dramatic passages.

Polish violin virtuoso Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880) faced opposition from the parents of his fiancée Isabella Hampton. After he composed and played his Legend Opus 17 for them, they gave their blessings to the couple.

The NTDTV will broadcast the competition live. For more information about the competition please visit http://violin.ntdtv.com/eng/