Playing Famed Guarneri Violin is Reward for Paganini Winner By Anne Garside Bin Huang, a 23-year-old student at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, is the first-place winner in the 41st Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, Italy, out of a field of 50 competitors from around the world. The final round of competition was held earlier this month. Bin was awarded first place and the Paganini Prize, an additional honor given only if the judges decide the top winner is exceptional. Bin was awarded 15 million lira--about $10,000--and performed a winner's recital on Oct. 12, Columbus Day, in Genoa City Hall. She played on the famed Guarneri violin that belonged to Niccol• Paganini (1782-1840), who was born in Genoa and whom many regard as the greatest virtuoso violinist of all time. The violin is kept in a glass case in Genoa City Hall and only the winner of the Paganini Competition is allowed to play it once each year. Bin, a citizen of the People's Republic of China, will perform many recitals in Europe over the next few months as a result of her win. News of Bin's award was greeted with enthusiasm in both Genoa and Baltimore because the two are "sister cities." Bin began her violin study at age 4 in her hometown of Hunan. In 1980 she entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. After winning the Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Lubin, Poland, in 1985, she performed concerts throughout China and Europe. She came to the United States in 1988 to study with Berl Senofsky at Peabody. Since then, she has won international competitions in Paris, Prague and Brussels. Bin is currently an Artist Diploma student.
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