2019 International Jury
The artists serving on the International Jury embody the glorious traditions of violin playing from all over the world. Mindful of the possibilities available and multi-faceted skills required for a successful career as a violinist in the 21st century, these judges represent various pathways, and amongst them typify soloists, chamber musicians, recording artists, pedagogues, orchestra leaders and conductors of the highest standards.
Dale Barltrop, Australia
Brisbane-born violinist, Dale Barltrop, is Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and First Violinist of the Australian String Quartet. He previously served as Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in Canada and Principal Second Violin of the St Paul Chamber Orchestra in the United States, having performed with all of these orchestras as soloist and director. Barltrop has also appeared as Concertmaster of the Australian World Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, guest director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, ACO2 and the Camerata of St John’s chamber orchestra in Brisbane. He has performed at numerous music festivals across North America, including Mainly Mozart, Festival Mozaic, Music in the Vineyards, Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, Tanglewood and the New York String Seminar.
Barltrop began his violin studies in Brisbane, made his solo debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15 and was Concertmaster of both the Queensland and Australian Youth Orchestras. He moved to the United States in 1998 to attend the University of Maryland and continued his studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. His teachers have included William Preucil, Gerald Fischbach, the members of the Guarneri Quartet, Elizabeth Morgan and Marcia Cox.
A passionate educator, Barltrop has served on the faculties of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music and the Vancouver Academy of Music. He has also taught at the University of British Columbia, National Orchestral Institute in Maryland, Australian National Academy of Music and Australian Youth Orchestra.
Barltrop performs on a violin crafted by JB Guadagnini, Turin, 1784. It is on loan from the Ukaria Cultural Centre and was purchased through the generosity of Allan J Myers AO, Maria J Myers AO and the Klein Family.
James Ehnes, Canada
James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favourite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Denève, Elder, Ivan Fischer, Gardner, Paavo Järvi, Noseda, Robertson and Runnicles. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New York, London Symphony, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, DSO Berlin and the NHK Symphony orchestras.
Recent and future orchestral highlights include the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Noseda, London Symphony with Alsop, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Shelley, Vienna Symphony with Elder, New York Philharmonic with Mena, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with Slatkin, Chicago Symphony with Gaffigan, Orchestre National de France with Gardner, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Boston Symphony Orchestras with Denève, Frankfurt Radio Symphony with Orozco-Estrada, Pittsburgh Symphony with Honeck, Minnesota Orchestra with Vänskä, Sydney Symphony with Søndergård, Hong Kong Philharmonic with van Zweden and Oslo Philharmonic with Petrenko. In 2017, Ehnes premiered the Aaron-Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Toronto, Seattle and Dallas Symphony Orchestras; future performances of the piece include with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Ehnes was awarded the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Instrumentalist category.
Alongside his concerto work, James Ehnes maintains a busy recital schedule. He performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center Chicago, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Festival de Pâques in Aix, and in 2009 he made a sensational debut at the Salzburg Festival performing the Paganini Caprices. In 2016, Ehnes undertook a cross-Canada recital tour, performing in each of the country’s provinces and territories, to celebrate his 40th birthday.
As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with leading artists such as Andsnes, Lortie, Vogler and Yo-Yo Ma. In summer 2017, Ehnes makes his debut at the Verbier Festival performing with artists including Antonio Pappano, Yuja Wang, Nikolaï Lugansky, Antoine Tamestit and Mischa Maisky. In 2010, he formally established the Ehnes Quartet, with whom he has performed in Europe at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix, amongst others. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings including a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with Sir Andrew Davis and the Philharmonia Orchestra. His recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton violin concertos won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’ and a JUNO award for ‘Best Classical Album of the Year’. His recording of the Paganini Caprices earned him universal praise, with Diapason writing of the disc, “Ehnes confirms the predictions of Erick Friedman, eminent student of Heifetz: ‘there is only one like him born every hundred years’.” Ehnes’s recent recording of the Bartók Concerti was nominated for a Gramophone Award in the Concerto category. Recent releases include sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Elgar and Respighi, and concertos by Britten, Shostakovich and Prokofiev, as well as the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze, which was released in October 2017 (Onyx Classics)
Ehnes began violin studies at the age of four, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin aged nine, made his orchestral debut with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal aged 13 and graduated from The Juilliard School in 1997, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.
Mauricio Fuks, Uruguay/ USA
Professor of Violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Visiting Professor at the Kronberg Academy, Mauricio Fuks began his violin studies in his native Uruguay with Ylia Fidlon, a pupil of Leopold Auer. After graduating from the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Joseph Fuchs and Ivan Galamian, he furthered his studies at the University of Southern California with Jascha Heifetz. In 1964 he won 1st Prize at the Young Concert Artists Competition. Following a distinguished international career as concertmaster, chamber musician and soloist, he now devotes himself entirely to pedagogy.
Mauricio Fuks has been a visiting professor at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England, the University of Limerick in Ireland, and the Hochschule fur Müsik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin.
He is regularly invited to give master classes at the Reina Sofia School in Madrid, the Scuola di Musica in Fiesole, the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Baratt-Due School in Oslo, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, as well as the Shanghai and Beijing National Conservatories. He has participated in summer festivals such as the Salzburg International Summer Academy of the Mozarteum, the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Studies in Aldeburgh, the Aurora Music Festival in Sweden and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. He continues to teach at the Sarasota Music Festival, the Orford Summer Festival in Quebec and is the Director of the Summer Music Academy at the Ferme de Villefavard in France.
Mauricio Fuks has served as jury member in numerous international competitions. He was featured in The Strad Magazine of March 1993 and was appointed an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in 1999.
Professor Fuks is regarded as one of today’s finest violin pedagogues.
Clara-Jumi Kang, Germany/South Korea
“…supremely sophisticated, sparklingly balanced, intensely beautifully toned, meticulous and honest”
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger 5 June 2018
An artist of impeccable elegance and poise, Clara-Jumi Kang has carved an international career performing with the leading orchestras and conductors across Asia and Europe. Winner of the 2010 Indianapolis International Violin Competition, Kang’s other accolades include 1st prizes at the Seoul Violin Competition (2009) and the Sendai Violin Competition (2010).
Kang regularly performs with leading European orchestras including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Belgique and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
In the USA highlights have included appearances with the Atlanta, New Jersey, Indianapolis and Santa Fe Symphony Orchestras, whilst elsewhere highlights have included appearances with the Mariinsky Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, NCPA Beijing Orchestra, Macao Philharmonic and the Taipei Symphony. A prominent figure in Korea, Clara-Jumi Kang has performed with all of the major Korean orchestras and in 2012 was selected as one of the top 100 “Most promising and influential people of Korea” by major Korean newspaper Dong-A Times.
She has collaborated with eminent conductors including Valery Gergiev, Lionel Briguier, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Andrey Boreyko, Christoph Poppen, Vladimir Spivakov, Yuri Temirkanov, Gidon Kremer, Gilbert Varga, Lü Jia, Myun-Whun Chung, Heinz Holliger and Kazuki Yamada.
European concerto highlights of the 2018/19 season include engagements with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Petrenko, Musikkollegium Winterthur/ D. Jurowski, Nordic Chamber Orchestra/Ollikainen, Rheinische Philharmonie/Walker, Deutsche Radio Philharmonic/Delamboye, Dalasinfoniettan/Blendulf, Moscow Soloists/ Bashmet and Concerto Budapest/ Keller. Further afield, she returns to Japan for performances with the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra/Koizumi, whilst engagements in China take her to the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra/Sinaisky and the Shenzen Symphony Orchestra.
Clara-Jumi Kang currently plays the 1708 “Ex-Strauss” Stradivarius, generously on loan to her from the Samsung Cultural Foundation Korea.
Anthony Marwood, United Kingdom
Anthony combines appearances as soloist and director/soloist with orchestras around the world with recitals and participation at international chamber music festivals. He is currently Principal Artistic Partner of the celebrated Canadian chamber orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, and enjoys regular collaborations with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (Artist in Residence in the 16/17 season), Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta in Helsinki, Amsterdam Sinfonietta and St Louis Symphony in the USA. Recent solo engagements have also included concerts with the Boston Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Paris.
His regular chamber music partners include the pianist Aleksandar Madzar and Alexander Melnikov, the cellist Steven Isserlis, the violist Lawrence Power and the accordionist James Crabb.
Anthony has had many works written for him, including Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto “Concentric Paths”, which he premiered at the Berlin Festival and at the BBC Proms with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by the composer, followed by many national premieres around the globe, and a live CD release on EMI in 2010. Also composed for Anthony were Steven Mackey’s “Four Iconoclastic Episodes”, premiered in 2009 with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and concertos by Sally Beamish and the young American Samuel Adams.
Marwood’s most recent CD release – his 50th on the Hyperion label – is a recording of Walton’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins. The disc has received great critical acclaim, including a 5-star review in The Guardian and Classical Source and a ‘Recommended Recording’ in The Strad Magazine, whilst the Sunday Times described him as “a thrilling, virtuosic soloist”.
In summer 2018 Anthony performs at four festivals in the USA and returns to the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove, Cornwall in September. In the autumn he returns to the New World Symphony in Miami and makes his debut as director/soloist on tour with the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco.
Anthony was violinist of the award-winning Florestan Trio for sixteen years. He is co-Artistic Director of the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival, performs annually at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont, and enjoys a close association with the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year Honours list. He plays a 1736 Carlo Bergonzi violin, kindly bought by a syndicate of purchasers, and a 2018 violin by Christian Bayon.
Ning Feng, China
Established at the highest level in China, Ning Feng performs regularly in his native country with major international and local orchestras, in recital and with the Dragon Quartet which he founded in 2012. Now based in Berlin and enjoying a global career, Ning Feng has developed a reputation internationally as an artist of great lyricism and emotional transparency, displaying tremendous bravura and awe-inspiring technical accomplishment.
Recent successes for Ning Feng have included a return to Budapest Festival Orchestra with Iván Fischer in Budapest and on tour to China performing Dutilleux L’arbre des songes, and on tour with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and van Zweden which included performances in Singapore, Seoul, Osaka, Sydney and Melbourne, following his critically-acclaimed European tour with the orchestra in 2015, as well as successful debuts with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In recital and chamber music he performs regularly with Igor Levit, amongst others, in many of the major festivals in Germany and elsewhere, including Kissinger Sommer, Heidelberg, Moritzburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schubertiade and La Jolla Music Society (California).
Highlights of Ning’s 2017/18 season include debuts with City of Birmingham Symphony with Gražinytė-Tyla playing Bruch Scottish Fantasy and Brahms Violin Concerto, with Royal Scottish National Orchestra performing Korngold, with BBC Scottish Symphony performing Bernstein’s Serenade with John Wilson and with New Jersey Symphony/Slobodeniouk. Ning also returns to Bilbao Symphony Orchestra with Giancarlo Guerrero, China Philharmonic with Michael Stern, and Guangzhou Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic, both under the baton of Long Yu. Chamber music highlights include returns to Wigmore Hall and Schubertiade to perform the Schubert Piano Trios with Igor Levit and Daniel Müller-Schott, and two all-Schubert programmes with Nicholas Angelich and Edgar Moreau in Lucerne, as well as his debut at Moritzburg Festival and a performance at Premiere Performances Hong Kong’s 10th anniversary gala concert.
Ning Feng records for Channel Classics in the Netherlands and his latest disc, Apasionado, with Orchestra Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias and Rossen Milanov, features works by Sarasate, Lalo, Ravel and Bizet/Waxman and was released in March 2016. Two further discs are due for release in the 2017/18 season: Bach’s complete solo works for violin, and the Elgar and Finzi Violin Concertos with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto.
Born in Chengdu, China, Ning Feng studied at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, the Hanns Eisler School of Music (Berlin) with Antje Weithaas and the Royal Academy of Music (London) with Hu Kun, where he was the first student ever to be awarded 100% for his final recital. The recipient of prizes at the Hanover International, Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin International violin competitions, Ning Feng was First Prize winner of the 2005 Michael Hill International Violin Competition (New Zealand), and in 2006 won first prize in the International Paganini Competition.
Ning Feng plays a 1721 Stradivari violin, known as the ‘MacMillan’, on private loan, kindly arranged by Premiere Performances of Hong Kong, and plays on strings by Thomastik-Infeld, Vienna.
Wilma Smith, New Zealand/Australia
Former Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wilma was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She studied at Auckland University then in Boston at the New England Conservatory with the legendary Dorothy DeLay and Louis Krasner before becoming first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, winners of the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music and multiple prizes at the Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International String Quartet Competitions.
The quartet was her professional focus in Boston but she also worked regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was Concertmaster of the Harvard Chamber Orchestra and Handel and Haydn Society. Invited to return home to form the New Zealand String Quartet, Wilma was first violinist for five years until the NZSO appointed her Concertmaster in 1993, a position she held for nine years until taking up the same position with the MSO from 2003 to 2014.
In addition to her chamber music series, Wilma & Friends, now in its seventh season, Wilma has appeared as Guest Concertmaster with SSO, WASO, TSO, ASO, OV and APO, and teaches at Melbourne and Monash Universities, Scotch College and Korowa Anglican Girls School. In 2016, she was appointed Artistic Director of the Melbourne Chamber Music Competitions by Musica Viva.
Robin Congreve, Chairman of the Jury, New Zealand
Robin is an Auckland based lawyer and businessman. He has had a life-long interest in the arts. He was the founding chairman of New Zealand Opera and established and continues to fund the Walters Prize for contemporary art in New Zealand. He was a founding donor of the Auckland Writers Festival, has served on the International Councils of Tate and MOMA and has sat on committees here and in the UK reviewing various aspects of the arts and philanthropy.
As a musical performer Robin’s experience is limited to some indifferent recorder playing in the Auckland Town Hall in 1953. However he has great affection (and more knowledge than he lets on) for violin repertoire.