Six violinists through to Auckland finals


Six top performers have progressed to the third round of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

In Queenstown on Monday night, a judges’ secret ballot selected as their semi-finalists. 

They are Marie-Christine Klettner, of Austria, Natsumi Tsuboi, of Japan and the United States, Canada’s Timothy Chooi, Eunae Koh, of South Korea, Elly Suh, of the United States and South Korea, and Australia’s Suyeon Kang.

The third semi-final round will be held at Auckland Town Hall’s concert chamber today and Thursday.

The last three will make Saturday night’s final, also at the Auckland Town Hall.

Chooi was the only male among the 18 competitors and is brother of 2013 winner Nikki Chooi.

South Korea’s Jung Min Choi won the $2000 prize for the best performance of a specially commissioned New Zealand work, as part of the repertoire of the initial rounds.

Each semi-finalist will perform a Beethoven piano trio with cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Michael Houstoun.

The competition winner’s prize is $40,000, an Atoll label recording contract, a professional development programme, a bespoke gown from Kiri Nathan or suit from Working Style, and a Michael Hill gold and diamond pendant from Christine Hill’s Spirits Bay Collection.

They will also return to New Zealand next year for a performance tour.