Eric Chen ‘19, who is currently a freshman at the New England Conservatory of Music, was recently invited as one of the 22 senior candidates to participate in the 2020 Menuhin Competition. The Menuhin Competition Trust and the Richmond Symphony recently announced the 44 competitors selected from a pool of 321 applicants to participate in the biennial Menuhin Competition, the world’s leading international competition for young violinists. This year’s competition will be hosted in Richmond, Virginia. The selected competitors – 22 Juniors (ages 15 and under) and 22 Seniors (ages 21 and under) – reflect the incredible diversity and prodigious global talent that distinguishes the Menuhin Competition as “the Olympics of the Violin.”
“I’m so honored and excited to be able to participate in the 2020 Menuhin Competition. Performing at the Menuhin Competition has always been a long-held ambition of mine, and getting to be a part of the Competition will be a major milestone in my growth as both a musician and a person. I look forward to learning from both the artists and my fellow competitors as well as exploring the city of Richmond!” notes Eric.
The dedicated pre-selection jury spent hundreds of hours considering each application individually before making their decisions. Gordon Back, Artistic Director of the Menuhin Competition and Chair of the pre-selection jury that identified this year’s competitors, says, “Each of the competitors who was selected brought some exceptional quality that distinguished them in a field of outstanding applicants.”
Kevin Chen ‘11, Eric’s older brother, recently received the offer of section first violin position with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. After graduating from PDS in 2011, Kevin went on to pursue a joint Juilliard-Columbia pre-med/music program followed by a Masters in Music from Juilliard. Kevin has previously played violin with New World Symphony, headquartered in Miami and led by famed artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas.
Strings and Orchestra Director, Dr. Tomasz Rzeczycki, recalls, "I had the privilege to work with both Kevin and Eric during their many years at PDS. Their work ethic, consistency and perseverance was incredible, all while always being humble and supportive of other students. They were always ready to perform."
Quotes courtesy of the Menuhin Competition website.
Images: Eric Chen '19 performing at PDS in 2019 for his Jacobson Recital. Kevin Chen performing in 2011 at the Spring Orchestra Concert.