Australian violinist Suyeon Kang has won the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.
Kang, 26, performed Sibelius’ Concerto in D minor with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in the finals of the prestigious competition at Auckland Town Hall last night.
Kang says: “I’m totally amazed – I didn’t expect it at all.
“The competition has been fantastic, so friendly and well run, and New Zealand so welcoming.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity and look forward to returning next year for the Winners’ tour.”
Kang wins $40,000, a recording contract on the Atoll label, and a personalised professional development programme.
And as it’s Sir Michael’s competition, the prize would not be complete without jewellery.
A gold and diamond pendant from Christine Hill’s Spirits Bay Collection, based on the iconic New Zealand shell the Totorere is also Kang’s, along with a bespoke gown from Kiri Nathan.
Kang will return to New Zealand in 2016 for an intensive performance tour across the country, presented in partnership with Chamber Music NZ and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
South Korea’s Eunae Koh came second receiving $10,000 and Canada’s Timmy Chooi was placed third, for which he receives NZ$5,000.
All three performed with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in last night’s finals.
Koh also received the $2,000 Chamber Music Prize as the top performer in Round Three.
Fourth place was given to Japan’s Natsumi Tsuboi, who receives NZ$3,000, South Korea’s Elly Suh placed fifth receiving NZ$2,000, and the sixth placed Marie-Christine Klettner from Austria, receives NZ $1,000.
The competition drew to a close last night after more than a week of intense competition during which 18 semi-finalists from around the world performed.
The winners were selected through secret ballot by an international jury.