From 140 applications from young violinists representing 32 different nationalities, 16 of the world’s finest young violinist will be brought to New Zealand.


The 2017 Michael Hill International Violin Competition Quarter-finalists in alphabetical order by last name are as follows:

01.   Benjamin Baker, New Zealand
02.   Elizabeth Basoff-Darskaia, Russia/USA
03.   Jung Min Choi, South Korea
04.   So Young Choi, South Korea
05.   Asako Fukuda, Japan
06.   Ioana Cristina Goicea, Romania
07.   Luke Hsu, USA
08.   Olga Šroubková, Czech Republic

09.   Jaeook Lee, South Korea
10.   Kunwha Lee, South Korea
11.   Mari Lee, South Korea/Japan
12.   YooMin Seo, South Korea
13.   Sumina Studer, Switzerland
14.   Natsumi Tsuboi, Japan
15.   Momo Wong, Japan/USA
16.   Galiya Zharova, Kazakhstan

Learn more about our semi-finalists, ordered by last name:

Benjamin Baker, New Zealand. Photo: Supplied.
Benjamin Baker (New Zealand)

“Benjamin is equally gifted in showing musicality as well as virtuosity. This most promising and talented player performs with impressive technique, a good sense of style, tonal variety and warmth.” – Dr Felix Andrievsky, Royal College of Music


Musical Education
Royal College of Music, Yehudi Menuhin School

Principal Teachers
Felix Andrievsky, Natasha Boyarsky

First Prize Young Concert Artists (2016); First Prize and Audience Prize Windsor International String Competition (2013); First Prize Young Classical Artists Trust London (2013)

Quarter-final Round I
Bach: Adagio and Fuga from Sonata No 3 in C major
Paganini: Caprice 11 from Caprices Op 1
Tchaikovsky: Melodie in E-flat major (from Souvenir d’un lieu cher) Op 42
Kreisler: Recitative and Scherzo with choreography by Loughlan Prior

Quarter-final Round II
Karlo Margetic: On an Imaginary Folk Song
Franck: Sonata in A major
Saint-Saens arr.Ysaye: Caprice in the form of a Waltz

Semi-final Round III
Mozart: Quintet in G minor, K516

Final Round
Brahms: Concerto in D major


TEXT BENJAMIN to 3323 TXT Voting Terms


Supported by John Boscawen


1. Fedor Rudin, Russia
2. Yu-Ting Chen, Taiwan

Development Prize Winners

Alexandra Lomeiko (New Zealand)

“She has an exceptional talent and a unique personality that is serious and focussed…her engagement with the violin, with music and with performance is something to be nutured and admired.” – Mark Messenger, Royal College of Music


Musical Education
Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Principal Teachers
Radu Blidar, Yuri Zhislin, David Takeno

Semi-finalist George Enescu International Violin Competition (2016); Best String Player Award Gisborne International Music Competition (2012)

Supported by Dr Bill and Rosemary Sanderson

All 16 competitors are eligible to win the 2017 Michael Hill Audience Prize. Live and online audience members can vote for their favourite competitor, either by txt-message (NZ mobiles only), or through our website’s online voting form.

Voting opens at 9.00am NZT on 2 June 2017 and closes at 9.45pm NZT on 10 June 2017. The winner of the Michael Hill Audience Prize will be announced during the prize giving on 10 June.

Txt voting is available within NZ only on any NZ mobile network. Standard txt costs apply. You can cast up to one txt and/or online vote per day for your favourite competitor.

2017 Competition Online Voting Booth