And now there are 18! Tuesday, August 23 marks the start of the grueling Semifinal Round of the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition.
The field is now down to 18 contestants for what’s being billed as the biggest prize ever given out in the world of violin competitions – a whopping $100,000 first prize; $50,000 for the runner-up, and $25,000 for the third-place finisher.
The 18 semi-finalists (including Heifetz Institute alum Ji-Won Song) have their work cut out for them: Over the next several days they will each be performing in a piano trio, then a Chinese work and a traditional violin sonata, and finally a violin concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. You can see the list of all of the semi-finalists and their performance order here.
The competition has also started to post some videos from the first round on their YouTube Channel. See if you recognize Contestant No. 18!
And for our Chinese speakers in the audience, you might enjoy seeing this Shanghai news broadcast segment about the Competition…