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.

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  • Pamela Frank (USA)

    American violinist Pamela Frank has established an outstanding international reputation across an unusually varied range of performing activity. In addition to her extensive schedule of engagements with prestigious orchestras throughout the world and her recitals on the leading concert stages, she is regularly sought after as a chamber music partner by today’s most distinguished soloists and ensembles. The breadth of this accomplishment and her consistently high level of musicianship were recognized in 1999 with the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists.

    Ms. Frank has appeared with such orchestras as the Baltimore Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the San Francisco Symphony and the Vienna Symphony. She has performed under many esteemed conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin and, most regularly, Yuri Temirkanov and David Zinman. She appears often at numerous festivals in Europe and the United States, including Aldeburgh, Berlin, Blossom, Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, the Hollywood Bowl, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Verbier.

    Her passion for chamber music continues to find a variety of outlets.. Her frequent collaborators, drawn from a large group of chamber music colleagues, include Yo-Yo Ma and Tabea Zimmermann. For many years she took part in the Marlboro Festival in Vermont as well as the subsequent Music from Marlboro tours. Ms. Frank has also participated in several of the Isaac Stern chamber music seminars at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Centre as part of a group of performer-colleagues assisting Mr. Stern. Ms. Frank also took part in the Leon Fleisher classes at Carnegie Hall, as well as her own, when they were ongoing.

    In the recording studio, Pamela Frank has made two discs for London/Decca: the Dvorak Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and the Brahms Sonatas with Peter Serkin. She has also recorded the complete Mozart Violin Concertos with David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra (Arte Nova), a Schubert album with Claude Frank (Arte Nova), and the Beethoven sonata cycle, also with Claude Frank (MusicMasters), now available as complete set on three discs. For Sony Classical, she has recorded the Chopin Piano Trio with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma, the “Trout” Quintet, and is featured on the soundtrack to the film “Immortal Beloved.”

    While committed to the standard repertoire, Ms. Frank also has an affinity for contemporary music, often including works by today’s composers on her programs. In March 1998 she gave the world premiere of a new concerto by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich commissioned for her by Carnegie Hall with Hugh Wolff and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In 1997, as part of her annual visit to Japan, Ms. Frank joined Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma and Richard Stoltzman at Toru Takemitsu’s Tokyo Opera City, playing works of Takemitsu and others. She has also premiered and recorded two works by Aaron Jay Kernis, a piano quartet (“Still Movement with Hymn”) and a piece for violin and orchestra (“Lament and Prayer”). A noted pedagogue, Pamela Frank presents master classes and adjudicates major competitions throughout the world. She is also on the faculties of Curtis Institute of Music and the Peabody Conservatory, and teaches and coaches annually at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Ravinia and Verbier Festivals as well as at several festivals in Europe. Pamela Frank frequents major festivals throughout North America and Europe, collaborating with artists that include Joshua Bell, Leonidas Kavakos, Christian Tetzlaff, Nobuko Imai, Antoine Tamestit, Stephen Isserlis, and Peter Wiley.

    Born in New York City, Pamela Frank is the daughter of noted pianists Claude Frank and Lilian Kallir. She began her violin studies at age 5 and after 11 years as a pupil of Shirley Givens continued her musical education with Szymon Goldberg and Jaime Laredo. In 1985 she formally launched her career with the first of her four appearances with Alexander Schneider and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. A recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1988, she graduated the following year from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

    Pamela Frank is married to Howard Nelson, a physical therapist, and they make their home in the New York area.

    > Website


    Supported by Michael Hill International

  • Ilya Gringolts (Russia)

    The Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts wins over audiences with his extremely virtuosic playing and sensitive interpretations, and is always looking for new musical challenges. As a sought-after soloist, he devotes himself to the great orchestral repertoire but also to contemporary and seldom-played works. He has premiered compositions by Peter Maxwell Davies, Augusta Read Thomas, Christophe Bertrand and Michael Jarrell. In addition, he is interested in historical performance practice, and recently caught attention in his collaboration with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, performing Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 on guts in its original key. He is also the first violinist of the Gringolts Quartet, which he founded in 2008.

    Ilya Gringolts has performed with leading orchestras around the world, such as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, NHK Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony and Warsaw Philharmonic amongst many others. In the current season he has been invited to the Musikfest Berlin, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Wigmore Hall, Helsinki Music Centre Musiikkitalo and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam to name but a few.

    As a keen chamber musician, Ilya Gringolts collaborates with artists such as Yuri Bashmet, David Kadouch, Itamar Golan, Peter Laul, Aleksandar Madzar, Nicolas Altstaedt, Andreas Ottensamer, Antoine Tamestit and Jörg Widmann.

    Following numerous recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon, BIS and Hyperion labels, Ilya Gringolts devoted himself to the chamber music of Robert Schumann from 2010 to 2011. In 2013/14, his recording of Paganini’s 24 Caprices for solo violin on Orchid Classics received many outstanding reviews.

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    Supported by Kensington Swan Lawyers

  • Dong-Suk Kang (South Korea)

    Hailed for his outstanding artistry, musicianship and virtuosity, violinist Dong-Suk Kang has performed on five continents to extraordinary acclaim. Dominic Gill, a London music critic, describes Dong-Suk Kang in his book « The Book of the Violin », as « already one of the world’s great violinists. His flawless technique and perfect bow arm certainly produce one of the most beautiful violin tones to be heard anywhere today ».

    Ormandy, Serkin, Menuhin, Francescatti, and other eminent musicians also have praised him as one of the most outstanding violinists of his generation and a musician of the highest order.

    Born in Korea, Dong-Suk Kang went to New York to study at the Juilliard School and later at the Curtis Institute with Ivan Galamian.

    Following a debut at the Kennedy Center and an appearance with Seiji Ozawa, he went on to win top prizes in a number of international competitions including the Montreal, the Carl Flesch in London and the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels.

    Since then, he has appeared with many great orchestras of the world including those of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington and Montreal in America, and Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonia, BBC Orchestras, Halle, Birmingham, Scottish National, Munich, Stuttgart, Gewandhaus, French and Belgian National Orchestras, Gothenburg, Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Polish National and Rotterdam in Europe.

    The conductors he has worked with include Dutoit, Ozawa, Masur, Jarvi, Menuhin, Salonen, Slatkin, Chung, Barshai, Jansons, Norrington, Foster, Svetlanov, Berglund, Lazarev and Herbig.

    He has performed at major music centers and festivals throughout the world and his concerts, such as London Proms, were frequently televised and broadcast on the radio in many countries. His strong interest in chamber music has resulted in his participation at various chamber music festivals including those in Spoleto, Santa Fe, Kuhmo, Korsholm, Seattle, Vancouver, Newport and Australian Festival of Chamber Music. As a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center he has performed in New York and toured throughout the country.

    In the field of recording, in addition to the well-known works, such as Vivaldi Four Seasons (with The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields), he has recorded Nielsen and Elgar concertos, complete chamber music of Honegger and Alkan, and Furtwängler Sonata.

    His recordings have won critical acclaim and awards among which are the Grand Prix du disque from both the Académie Charles Cros and the Nouvelle Académie du disque. His Walton Concerto CD was chosen as the CD of the month by the Gramophone magazine and nominated for the Gramophone Award.

    Dong-Suk Kang is a professor at Yonsei University in Seoul and artistic director of MusicAlp Festival in France and the Seoul Spring Festival in Korea.

    He is also Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, a distinction received from French Government.

  • Vesa-Matti Leppänen (Finland/New Zealand)

    Born and raised in Turku, Finland, Vesa-Matti Leppänen moved to New Zealand in 2000. He was appointed NZSO Concertmaster in 2004 and has earned international recognition for his musicianship as a chamber musician, teacher, jurist and soloist. He has performed as a soloist with all the major orchestras in New Zealand. Internationally, Leppänen has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Australia, China, Japan, Philippines and Scandinavia. In 2005, he led the NZSO on its European/Japanese Tour and again in 2010 including the Musikverein in Vienna and Lucerne Festival Hall. On both of those tours he was also featured as soloist. He has worked alongside internationally renowned soloists like Hilary Hahn, Pinchas Zukerman and Janine Jansen and he has also appeared as guest Concertmaster with orchestras including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. Leppänen teaches at the New Zealand School of Music, gives masterclasses and has coached the Asian Youth Orchestra and the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.

    > New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
  • Silvia Marcovici.Photo: Supplied.

    Silvia Marcovici (Romania)

    Silvia Marcovici, born in Romania, is one of the most renowned and highly regarded violinist performing today.

    As the Berlin Morgenpost wrote of her performance with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Marcello Viotti: “In her performances of the Tchaikovsky concerto, Silvia Marcovici displayed a totally stunning sonority, which shows her artistic dimension; admirable tone, fascinating flexibility of each phrase, flaming temperament and extraordinary energy, which give her interpretation impressive power, without sentimentality.”

    A student of Professor Stefan Ghiorghiu at the conservatory in Bucharest, she made her professional debut at the age of sixteen with the Residentie Orkest of The Hague under Bruno Maderna. A few years later she won first prize in the Marguerite Long/Jacques Thibaut competition in Paris, the special prize of Prince Rainier of Monaco for the
    interpretation of a contemporary work; and first prize in the George Enescu International Competition in Bucharest.

    Since then, Ms. Marcovici ‘s performances have brought her to the leading orchestras throughout Europe, Israel, Japan, North and South America, appearing with the most celebrated conductors of our time including Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Simon Rattle, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur André Previn, Jesús López-Cobos, Zubin Mehta, Neeme Järvi, Eliahu Inbal, Yoël Levi, David Zinman and many of the great masters of the recent past, such as Eugene Ormandy, Erich Leinsdorf, Mstislav Rostropovich and Segiu Comissiona. She has been soloist with most of the world’s great orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, L’Orchestre National de France, Orchestra Sinfonica de L’Accademia Nazionale de Santa Cecilia, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony among many others.

    A multifaceted musician and fascinating stage presence, she maintains a rich involvement in chamber music as well. She appears frequently in recitals with such pianists as Pascal Roger, Boris Berezovsky, Valentin Gheorghiu, and her son, Aimo Pagin; and cellists David Geringas, Antonio Meneses and Boris Perganenscikov. Among her memorable recent performances was a collaboration with Evgeny Kissin and Alexandre Kniasev at the Festival de Radio France in Montpellier playing trios of Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky. And not to be forgotten, a concert with her daughter, Sarah Pagin, under the baton of Eliahu Inbal in Turin.

    Silvia Marcovici has numerous critically acclaimed recordings including the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Goteborg Symphony Orchestra under Neeme Järvi, the Nielsen Violin Concerto, with the Orchestra Symphonique de Montpellier under Yoël Levi and the complete Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano. The Canadian record company DOREMI has released several CDs and a DVD in its “Legendary Treasures” series of performances by Silvia Marcovici.

    Silvia Marcovici is a passionate and active teacher.  She is currently a professor at the Université des Arts in Graz, Austria.


    Sponsored by Villa Maria Estate

  • Dene Olding (Australia)

    Dene Olding is recognised as one of Australia’s most outstanding violinists. He is currently first violinist for the Goldner String Quartet and the Australia Ensemble (resident at the University of New South Wales) and Concertmaster Emeritus of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

    As a soloist he has worked with all of the Australian Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in a range of repertoire. He has performed over forty concertos and worked with some of the world’s leading conductors including Edo de Waart, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Stuart Challender, Sir Charles Mackerras, Jorge Mester, Gunther Herbig, Werner Andreas Albert, David Porcelijn and Vladimir Ashkenazy. He gave the Australian premiere performance of Lutoslawski’s Chain 2 with the composer conducting, Elliott Carter’s Violin Concerto and the Violin Concerto of Philip Glass. In addition, he has performed world premieres of violin concertos by Carl Vine, Ross Edwards , Bozidar Kos and the Double Concerto for violin and viola by Richard Mills, written for himself and his wife, Irina Morozova.

    Dene has also held the position of Leader and Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and is often sought after to lead/direct concerts with many other orchestras. He has also been the Artistic Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Festival Chamber Music Concert Program. He appears regularly at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and at many festivals in Australasia and Europe. In 2010 he appeared at the Edinburgh Festival as soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and conductor, Vladimir Ashkenazy.

    Dene attended the Juilliard School In New York from the age of fourteen as a scholarship student of Ivan Galamian and Margaret Pardee. He graduated in 1978 with the Master of Music Degree and was awarded the Morris Loeb Prize. Other studies included master classes with Nathan Milstein and further lessons with Herman Krebbers and Gyorgy Pauk. In 1985, he was awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to further his musical studies and during that year, became a Laureate of the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Violin Competition.

    Solo recordings include a sonata disc of Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart for ABC Classics with his father, Max Olding, the CD premiere of concertos by Frank Martin and Milhaud and concertos by Samuel Barber and Ross Edwards (Maninyas) – winner of the 1994 A.R.I.A. award for “Best Classical Recording” and the prestigious Cannes award. He has also recorded the Hindemith violin concerti with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under Werner Andreas Albert for CPO. His numerous chamber music CD’s have also received acclaim. Recently, the recording of chamber music of Edward Elgar with the Goldner Quartet and pianist Piers Lane for the Hyperion label was selected as Gramophone magazine’s “Record of the Month” and spent time on the “Classical top 10” in the UK. His recording of the complete Beethoven string quartets with the Goldner quartet for ABC Classics was chosen Classical album of the year by Limelight magazine and a recording of rare Rachmaninov violin works with pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy also received praise from The Strad magazine.

    In 2011, he gave the premiere performance of the Carl Vine violin concerto with the Australian Youth Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House.

    As a member of the Goldner String Quartet and the Australia Ensemble, he regularly tours to Europe, Asia and New Zealand. He has been awarded the Centenary Medal of Australia and has received numerous awards and accolades for his performances in all spheres of music-making. Dene is passionate about the future of classical music and sees his role as Artistic Adviser and frequent jury member for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition as making an important contribution to that end. He also directs the annual Music in the Hunter Festival, a chamber music event that takes place in the Hunter Valley wine-making country near Sydney and manages to combine a passion for Aikido and sailing with his busy musical career and spending time with his wife, Irina and son, Nikolai.

    Dene Olding plays a fine Joseph Guarnerius made in Cremona in 1720.

    > Sydney Symphony Orchestra
    > Goldner String Quartet


    Supported by ANZ Bank

  • Krzysztof Wegrzyn (Poland/Germany)

    Krzysztof Wegrzyn, the Founder and Artistic Director of the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover was born in Gdansk, Poland. He studied in Warsaw, Freiburg and London. His musical personality has been strongly influenced by Wolfgang Marschner, Yfrah Neaman and Dorothy DeLay. He was the winner of the Karol Szymanowski- and Rodolfo Lipizer Competitions and was a laureate at another renowned international competitions (Spohr, Montreal).

    His concert activities have taken him around the world and he has made numerous recordings for radio, television and CD. His broad repertoire also features works by Lutoslawski, Ligeti, Nono, Schnittke, Pärt and Penderecki. Krzysztof Wegrzyn served as concertmaster of the Hanover State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra for many years and since 1993 has been a professor at the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover. Many of his students have won top prizes in major international competitions and have become members of leading European orchestras. Krzysztof Wegrzyn regularly holds master classes in Europe, the United States and Asia including at the Holland Music Sessions, the Ishikawa Music Academy, the Great Mountains International Music Festival, the Bowdoin Music Festival, the Aurora Scandinavian Master Classes the Keshet Eilon and the Conservatories in Geneva, Madrid, Florenz, New York, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. He has served on the juries of numerous international competitions (e. g. the Tchaikovski, Kreisler, Paganini, ARD, Singapore and Sendai). Furthermore, he has also been greatly involved in chamber music and has founded the Ensemble ‘il gioco col suono’.

    In 2004 he was awarded the State Music Prize.

    He plays a venezian violin of Domenico Montagnana.


    Supported by PriceWaterhouseCoopers

  • Dr Robin Congreve.Photo: Supplied.

    Dr Robin Congreve (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 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 and is delighted to be returning to the Chairman of the Jury role of after a couple of years’ sabbatical.

  • Previous International Juries

    As with the Preliminary Panel, previous International Jury are rotated from the “Jury Pool” to ensure, over the years, that a breadth of musical traditions and nationalities are represented.

    2015 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Young Uck Kim, South Korea
    Joseph Lin, USA
    Susie Park, Australia
    Helene Pohl, New Zealand
    Benjamin Schmid, Austria
    Sergiu Schwartz, Romania
    Dr Lloyd Williams, New Zealand (Chair)

    2013 Competition
    Christian Altenburger, Austria
    James Ehnes, Canada
    Ida Kavafian, Armenian/USA
    Ning Feng, China
    Dene Olding, Australia
    Helene Pohl, New Zealand
    Dmitry Sitkovetsky, United Kingdom
    Dr Lloyd Williams, New Zealand (Chair)

    2011 Competition
    Michael Dauth, Germany/Australia
    Boris Garlitsky, Russia/UK
    Mark Kaplan, USA
    Vesa-Matti Leppänen, Finland/NZ
    Cho-Liang Lin, Taiwan/USA
    Tasmin Little, UK
    Lara St John, Canada

    2009 Competition
    Shmuel Ashkenasi, Israel
    Pamela Frank, USA
    Philippe Graffin, France
    Dong-Suk Kang, Korea
    Oleh Krysa, Ukriane/USA
    Wilma Smith, NZ/Australia
    Radoslaw Szulc, Poland/German

    2007 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Justine Cormack, New Zealand
    Pamela Frank, USA
    Mark, Kaplan, USA
    Hu Kun, China/UK
    Boris Kuschnir, Russia/Austria
    Dene Olding, Australia

    2005 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Justine Cormack, New Zealand
    Dong-Suk Kang, Korea
    Mark Kaplan, USA
    Paul Kantor, USA
    Dene Olding, Australia
    Krzysztof Wegrzyn, Poland/German

    2003 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Justine Cormack, New Zealand
    Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Peru/USA
    Chad Smith, USA
    Simon Morris, United Kingdom
    Takako Nishizaki, Japan/Hong Kong
    Dene Olding, Australia

    2001 Competition
    Pierre Amoyal, France/Switzerland
    Justine Cormack, New Zealand
    Michael Dauth, Germany/Australia
    Rosemary Gent, United Kingdom
    Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Peru/USA
    Paul Kantor, USA
    Takako Nishizaki, Japan/Hong Kong
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