It takes talent, luck and charisma for a performer to get to the top of the classical music world. Young performers get a chance to demonstrate all three in International Competitions and there is a new competition in the world - the First International Violin Competition in Buenos Aires sponsored by Fundacion YPF and Comunidad Amijai. Jinjoo Cho from South Korea was announced the winner of that competition last night, July 21, 2010 at a gala concert in the Teatro Colón.
The contest began with 23 violinists who performed in a variety of situations for a panel of nine distinguished musicians from around the world led by Maestro Shlomo Mintz. Fittingly for Buenos Aires, one of the final stages of the competition required the contestants to play two tangos in a trio format with bandoneón and contrabass. All the tango compositions were arranged by Néstor Marconi, and of those from which the contestants could choose, at least two were Piazzolla compositions. To highlight the importance of this segment of the competition, a separate winner was named. The winner of the Tango Argentino Prize was Nigel Armstrong from the U.S.A. and today's video features Armstrong playing Adios Nonino in the competiton accompanied by Horacio Romo on bandoneón and Juan Pablo Navarro on contrabass.
The organizers of the Buenos Aires Violin Competition are to be congratulated for their communications during the competition. They have blogged results, maintained a Twitter feed and posted video on YouTube almost immediately after the performances. They have set a high standard for future competitions to meet. You can watch many of the tango perfomances here but don't miss Armstrongs performance below. He plays with a sweetness and touch of gypsy in the bow that puts him in the same class as Piazzolla's favorite violinist, Fernando Suarez Paz.
Our congratulations to both Jinjoo Cho and Nigel Armstrong for winning and to Maestro Mintz and the organizers for a successful competition.
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