December 2016 issue
By Pauline Harding
"All around me, bamboo-like slates rise up to a ceiling made from giant, woven strands of what looks like flax; horizontal strips of wood demarcate different floors. I could be sitting in a giant dim sum basket - but in fact it is Shanghai's Symphony Chamber Hall, where I am awaiting the first contestant in the final section of the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition (SISIVC) semi-final. And indeed, things are about to heat up, as 18 contestants prepare to perform Mozart's Third Violin Concerto, all with their own cadenzas...."
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