The Carl Nielsen Violin Competition

Ambitious young musicians travel across the world to establish themselves in international competitions. Last week, however, a competition traveled a few thousand miles to the West to increase its name recognition. The International Carl Nielsen Violin Competition, which has taken place in the Danish city of Odense every four years since 1980, did an extra round (Oct. 24-31), to top off an eight-week-long festival of Danish culture in New York. The festival was called "The Danish Wave '99," and under the auspices of the Danish Consulate, it showcased theater, film, and music events. The Nielsen Competition, which is hosted by the Odense Symphony Orchestra, has also the purpose of promoting Danish music worldwide. This year, obligatory pieces for the candidates included works by Nils Gade and Carl Nielsen, who died in 1931. The German competitors were Ikki Opitz, who lives in Berlin, and Annette von Hehn. She is originally from Kiel but currently enrolled at the Juilliard School in New York. Opitz and von Hehn reached round two and three, respectively, while the first prize of $ 20,000 went to a 23-year-old native of Israel. Georg Hirsch has the story.

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