The Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of
Indianapolis invited 40 stellar young fiddlers to participate in its 2014
event. Three of these having bowed out at the last minute, we are running with
37. With the prelims lasting four days, Sunday was our longest session, featuring
ten performers while Monday through Wednesday's events each hosts nine.
These 37 will be winnowed to 16 for the semi-finals which starts this Friday and runs through Monday.
Monday's participants averaged a little higher than Sunday's
par, but no one I heard reached the level of Sunday's Tessa Lark. But I had an afternoon conflict causing me to
miss hearing 22-year-old Shannon Lee of the U.S.
and 28-year-old Dominika Przech of Poland,
so I could yet be surprised.
Of the seven players that I did hear, I give the nod to
21-year-old Daniel Cho of both the U.S.
and S. Korea. Starting with Mozart's Sonata in A, K.
305, Cho displayed excellent musicianship and top-tier tonal control. The
succeeding solos, Caprices No. 21 and 15 by Paganini, went nearly as well, with
perhaps two or three rough spots here and there. His four excerpts from Bach's Partita No. 1 in B Minor had him demonstrating more
top-tier tonal control. Finally his
Chopin Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor, in an arrangement by Nathan Milstein for
violin and piano showed an inconsistent vibrato but was interpretively excellent.
Almost as impressive was Mariya Krasnyuk, 25, from the
Ukraine. She especially
excelled in Mozart's K. 301 -- by then heard many times in the two days. Sept. 8; Indiana History Center