Romanian violinist Ioana Cristina Goicea has won the 2017 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.
Announced tonight at the Auckland Town Hall, Goicea receives NZ$40,000, a recording contract with the Atoll label, an intensive performance tour across New Zealand and Australia in 2018, a Michael Hill Spirits Bay pendant designed by Christine, Lady Hill, and a personalised professional development programme.
She is also invited to perform on Sir Michael Hill’s magnificent personal violin, a 1755 Guadagnini named “The Southern Star”, on her Winner’s Tour, and will receive a gown by Kiri Nathan to perform in.
In tonight’s Grand Finale, the three finalists, USA’s Luke Hsu, Goicea and New Zealander Benjamin Baker, each performed a concerto with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Giordano Bellincampi.
Of the 2017 Competition, Sir Michael Hill says, “Nineteen years ago the idea for this Competition was sparked and, since inception, has never faltered in standard or its ability to put violinists on the international stage.
“Tonight’s winner was a competitor four years ago and at the time said wouldn’t return until she was capable of winning. She’s worked very hard and her playing has matured - she proved what commitment, perseverance and tenacity can do.”
The full top prize list was:
First Prize: Ioana Cristina Goicea, Romania
Second Prize: Luke Hsu, USA
Third Prize: Benjamin Baker, New Zealand
Fourth Prize: Olga Šroubková, Czech Republic
Fifth Prize: Sumina Studer, Switzerland
Sixth Prize: Kunwha Lee, South Korea
Luke Hsu also won the Chamber Music Prize for his poised and colourful performance of Mozart’s String Quintet.
Olga Šroubková won the Prize for the Best Performance of the NZ Commissioned Work, awarded in Queenstown at the end of Round II.
Also awarded tonight was the Michael Hill Audience Award, which went to Sumina Studer from Switzerland.