Twenty-four-year-old Danish violinist Christine Bernsted has been awarded first prize at the inaugural Melbourne International Violin Competition. She wins $5000 in cash and a set of Nuraphone headphones, having impressed the judges with her reading of Bach’s Second Partita. All three finalists were required to perform a piece by Bach.

“I am very honoured to receive first prize as the adjudicating panel was so extraordinary and wide-ranging and since I have worked so intensively on my interpretation of the Partita No 2,” Bernsted told Limelight. “I greatly appreciate this award because I respect the large number of experienced musicians who rated my performance and personal interpretation. The fact that the competition has extended over such a long time, calling for the submission of a lot of material, has also meant that the first prize is mentally very rewarding.”

Speaking about the advantages of music competitions, Bernsted says “it is an opportunity to strive towards the most perfect interpretation you can possible achieve. They are also a platform to reach out to people who show similar interests… [this competition] has been such a giving and heart-warming experience.”

Bernsted’s fellow finalists were Anna Dorothea Mutter from Germany and Edward Walton, an Australian. Mutter also...