VC INTERVIEW | Glen Kwok, Government Director of the Worldwide Violin Competitors of Indianapolis


The Worldwide Violin Competitors of Indianapolis (IVCI) in Indianapolis, Indiana, has named 40 violinists from all over the world to participate in its eleventh quadrennial version.

Open to violinists aged between 16 and 30 years outdated, the IVCI introduced its contributors right here. General, these chosen characterize 16 nations throughout 5 continents and vary from ages 17 to 29.

The Violin Channel had an opportunity to talk with Glen Kwok, Government Director of the Worldwide Violin Competitors of Indianapolis, to be taught extra about this yr’s version.


Are you able to inform us in regards to the Indianapolis competitors?

The quadrennial Worldwide Violin Competitors of Indianapolis (IVCI) made its debut 40 years in the past beneath the inventive path of the late Josef Gingold, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Indiana College and former Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra beneath George Szell. Gingold had served on the juries of each main violin competitors on this planet. On the Fourth Quadrennial Competitors in 1994, Gingold handed the torch to his most well-known scholar, Jaime Laredo, who then turned Jury President and Creative Director. Laredo has since carried on the reverence and professionalism that was so integral to Mr. Gingold’s musical and private philosophy for this competitors. At present, the IVCI has turn out to be considered one of the vital competitions for launching a profession as a result of its vital post-competition profession mentorship.


What are you searching for in a perfect candidate?

Fairly merely, the best candidate could be a well-rounded musician who is prepared for a global live performance profession. Because of this, we required probably the most intensive and broadest vary of repertoire ever requested for our screening spherical. This allowed the screening committee to see the candidates’ breadth of musicianship upfront.


Are you able to inform us in regards to the prizes that you simply provide?

The 2022 Competitors will provide the very best prize package deal in its historical past, valued at over $350,000. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medalists will obtain $75,000, $30,000, and $15,000, respectively. The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth place Laureates will obtain $10,000, $8,000, and $6,000. All semi-finalists who are usually not finalists obtain $1,000. Moreover, $20,000 in particular prizes are awarded for the very best performances of works in every spherical.

Past these money prizes, the IVCI gives intensive profession mentorship and live performance administration for the three Medalists for 4 years. The mentorship consists of monetary planning, publicity, style consultancy, and media relations for the Laureates. The Gold Medalist can even obtain a recording contract, a Carnegie Corridor recital debut, and a brand new web site full with upkeep for 4 years.

Moreover, Laureates may have the chance to make use of a violin from the IVCI assortment, together with the 1683 “ex-Gingold” Stradivarius, for a interval of 4 years for free of charge to them.


The finalists may have the privilege of performing with acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin. What are you hoping the candidates will take away from this excellent alternative?

Maestro Slatkin is very devoted to aiding younger artists and we hope that the six finalists take pleasure in each minute of this chance to work with and be taught from one of many nice musicians of our time.


What do you suppose are most the vital expertise to develop firstly of a global profession?

Launching a profitable profession entails a mess of musical and non-musical components, each of that are equally vital. It goes with out saying that that you must be in the very best musical situation potential always, and time administration turns into one of the vital expertise to develop shortly.

Most younger artists firstly of their careers have but to develop a big repertoire, so it’s vital to broaden one’s repertoire as shortly as potential. The pressures of a number of live performance engagements are inclined to restrict the period of time a violinist has to be taught new repertoire, and subsequently, shortly studying methods to juggle a number of duties turns into extraordinarily vital.

Concentrating on musical improvement is paramount, however maintaining with the non-musical components of 1’s profession is equally vital to start with. Web site improvement and common maintenance, social media, interplay together with your supervisor, mission planning, journey, and logistic planning all take a major period of time and characterize steady work.


Who’re some previous prize winners who’ve gone to realize celebrated careers?

To this point, the IVCI has a distinguished roster of sixty kaureates who’ve turn out to be a few of the most profitable solo and recording artists, concertmasters, chamber musicians, and pedagogues throughout the globe. A number of of our celebrated Laureates from every quadrennial embrace Mihaela Martin (1982 Gold Medalist), Leonidas Kavakos (1986 Silver Medalist), Martin Beaver (Tokyo String Quartet, 1990 Laureate), Stefan Milenkovich (1994 Silver Medalist), Liviu Prunaru (Concertgebouw Concertmaster, 1998 Silver Medalist), Barnabás Kelemen (2002 Gold Medalist), Augustin Hadelich (2006 Gold Medalist), Benjamin Beilman (2010 Bronze Medalist), Jinjoo Cho (2014 Gold Medalist) and most lately Richard Lin (2018 Gold Medalist) amongst many others. The entire checklist of Laureates might be discovered right here.


While you commissioned composer John Harbison to put in writing a chunk for this yr’s version of the competitors, did you give him particular directions?

We sometimes request a piece roughly 5 minutes in size and it’s the composer’s alternative whether or not it’s scored for solo violin or violin and piano. It’s our want that the composer creates a piece that may have a life past its world premiere on the Competitors. Certainly one of our foremost functions of commissioning a piece is to repeatedly contribute to the huge violin repertoire, and we’re extraordinarily proud that lots of our commissioned works during the last 40 years have performed simply that!


What are your objectives for the way forward for the Indianapolis competitors?

The Indianapolis competitors is devoted to not solely figuring out the best expertise worldwide but in addition to assist launch the careers of its Laureates. To try this, we should regularly concentrate on the modifications throughout the music trade and be keen to vary accordingly in order that we will finest help the subsequent era of nice violinists.


How can individuals watch the competitors?

A part of the complete competitors expertise for the Contributors is to carry out earlier than a reside viewers, and we extremely encourage patrons to take pleasure in every spherical in particular person. We offer extraordinarily reasonably priced tickets to all rounds – Preliminaries ($15 per ticket), Semi-Finals ($18), Classical Finals ($15-30), and the Last spherical with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra ($15-40).

For many who can not attend reside, we are going to livestream your entire competitors on-line, by way of the IVCI web site (, in addition to by means of our media associate The Violin Channel (, with reside commentary by Indianapolis’ Classical Music Indy Program Director Michael Toulouse and famend violinist Joel Smirnoff. This commentary can even be aired on 88.7 FM WICR, a public arts radio station owned by the College of Indianapolis.