Michael Hill International Violin Competition audiences in Queenstown this weekend have a Kiwi to cheer for.
Natalie Lin, 24, is the first New Zealander to enter the biennial competition since 2005 and only the fourth since it began in 2001.
Born in Christchurch to Taiwanese parents, Lin was raised in Auckland and recalls attending the final of the first competition, won by American Joseph Lin.
Natalie Lin met her namesake for the first time several months ago after being based in America for six years, latterly at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
“It was kind of fun to meet him,” she says.
Lin, who’s never visited Queenstown, returns to America in July to study for a violin teaching doctorate at Rice University in Houston.
This weekend’s competition will be her biggest yet: “I hope there’ll be some local support.
“There’s going to be nerves – a little bit is good, but not too much.”