American violinist Isaac Stern found friends and fans in China when he made pioneering visits to the country in its early reform days in the 1970s and 1980s. Though he died at age 81 in 2001, his spirit lives on in the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, a bi-annual international violin competition to be held starting Aug. 10 with winners to be announced on Sept. 1. The $100,000 first prize is the largest in the world for a violin competition.
The event, which is being organized by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, will be held against a backdrop of growing interest in classical music in China, according to Long Yu, the event president and a top China maestro.
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