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The Richmond Symphony, University of Richmond, VCU and WCVE Join Forces with The City of Richmond in a Bid to Host International Menuhin Competition – The ‘Olympics of the Violin’ – in 2020

November 30, 2017


The Richmond Symphony, University of Richmond, VCU and WCVE Join Forces with The City of Richmond in a Bid to Host International Menuhin Competition – The ‘Olympics of the Violin’ – in 2020

November 30, 2017 – Richmond, Virginia: The Richmond Symphony, The University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Community Idea Stations and The City of Richmond have placed a joint bid to host the 2020 Menuhin Competition, the World’s Leading Competition for Young Violinists. Named after the famed violinist and conductor, the late Yehudi Menuhin, the 11-day Competition takes the form of a spectacular music festival, attracting the greatest young violinists under the age of 22 from around the world, vying to win the world’s most prestigious competition of its kind. Gala concerts are held to open and close the festival and the finalists compete by performing concertos with the Richmond Symphony. Competitors are judged by a jury of some of the world’s most celebrated musicians, who also perform their own recitals and chamber concerts throughout the host City during the event.

Past competition hosts have included: Oslo, Norway (2010); Beijing, China (2012); Austin, Texas (the only other North American host, in 2014); London, England (2016); and Geneva, Switzerland (upcoming: April, 2018). During the 2016 Competition in London, over 300 young violinists from over 40 countries applied to participate, leading to the 44 best competitors being accepted from 17 countries.

Richmond, Virginia is understood to be the only North American venue still being considered by the Menuhin Competition as host city for 2020: Melbourne, Australia, and London, England are known to be under consideration by the Competition as potential alternatives.

The winning bid for host city will be announced from the stage during the upcoming competition’s finals in April 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. If awarded, the competition will be broadcast world-wide through international streaming, with components recorded for broadcast by the Community Idea Stations potentially for regional, national and international audiences. Leading up to the 2020 Competition, partners will work with local companies, individuals and foundations to secure the significant resources needed to host the Competition.

Richmond audiences already received a taste of the event when London’s 2016 Junior Competition 1st Prize Winner, Yesong Sophie Lee, performed with Joshua Bell as part of the opening of the Richmond Symphony’s 2017-18 season.

“As Governor and First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is our pleasure to offer Virginia’s support of the partnership bid by the University of Richmond, Richmond Symphony and Virginia Commonwealth University to host the 2020 Menuhin Competition in Richmond, our capital city,” say Governor Terence R. McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy S. McAuliffe in a joint message. “The Menuhin Competition is an incredible opportunity for Virginia’s musical community to grow and connect with the best of the world’s musical talent. Competitors and visitors will experience nothing but the very best of what our capital city has to offer.”

“On behalf of the City of Richmond, I want to express our enthusiasm in supporting the University of Richmond, Richmond Symphony and Virginia Commonwealth University’s bid to host the 2020 Menuhin Competition in Richmond. Our city would be honored to offer its hospitality to you,” says Mayor Levar M. Stoney, in the letter the City of Richmond submitted as part of the bid document. “The Menuhin Competition will provide an opportunity for creative synergies in Richmond’s music community. Furthermore, it will strengthen the international profile of the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University for young musicians and provide an opportunity for Richmond’s public school students to experience quality violin masterclasses.”

If awarded awarded, city-wide competition events will take place at the University of Richmond, VCU and the Dominion Arts Center in spring 2020. For more information about the competition visit http://menuhincompetition.org/home/.

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About the Richmond Symphony

Celebrating its 60th Anniversary Season in 2017/18, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 260 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy live concerts and radio broadcasts. The Symphony also provides educational outreach programs to over 55,000 students and teachers each year. The Symphony was recently named one of 21 American orchestras selected as a leader in orchestra innovation by the League of American Orchestras through its Futures Fund Initiative. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.richmondsymphony.com


About the Community Idea Stations

The Community Idea Stations, which includes 88.9 WCVE, WCVE PBS, WCVW PBS and WHTJ PBS provides public TV and public radio for central Virginia.  Every week, the Community Idea Stations reaches more than 300,000 people in central Virginia of every age, demographic and economic circumstance.  By providing the best of PBS and NPR programming and coupling that with a strong set of local, community-based programs and services, the Community Idea Stations makes an important impact in the areas of arts, news, history, science and education.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 220 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.

About University of Richmond

The University of Richmond is a top quality, selective and nationally ranked liberal arts university, creating new knowledge and educating ambitious students from across the U.S. and the world.


Scott Dodson, Director of Advancement and Patron Communications

804.788.4717 ext. 120



Erin Frye, Marketing and PR Manager

804.788.4717 ext. 121