UT’s Butler School to Host the “Olympics of Violin”

Prestigious International Violin Competition Comes to UT’s Butler School

Whether Austin will end up getting the X Games is still up in the air, but UT just scored the world’s most elite violin competition.

From Feb. 21-March 2, 2014, UT’s Butler School of Music will host the Menuhin Competition, a competition between some of the best young violinists in the world. The 10-day celebration will also include concerts and master classes with some of the top performers and teachers in the national and international music communities.

The competition has never before been held in North America—making it an especially big win for the Butler School.

The biennial event, founded by American violinist Yehudi Menuhin in 1983, attracts spectators and participants from around the world. Butler School of Music Interim Director Glenn Richter believes that the competition will attract more than just classical music buffs.

“Seeing these young stars born is something people like to do, whether it’s classical or bluegrass or a fiddler or a guitarist or a singer,” Richter says. “This competition … gives them the opportunity to say ‘I was here for the big break.’”

Richter believes UT was chosen to host the competition because of Austin’s strong music performance tradition, and because of the quality of the faculty at the Butler School. Like South By Southwest or Formula 1, the competition will bring in international visitors and give them the opportunity to see what Austin has to offer.

“Having [international visitors] come to our campus, some for the first time, will certainly give them an opportunity to realize what’s here in Austin, Texas, and what’s here at The University of Texas,” Richter says.

Kevin Zhu, center, first prize winner of the junior division in Beijing, performs during the 2012 Menuhin Competition. Photo courtesy the Menuhin Competition.


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