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Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2010

IU Violin Virtuosi member wins international competition

July 23, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Brian Allen, a 16-year-old member of the Violin Virtuosi and the String Academy Chamber Orchestra at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, won the Lions Clubs International Global Youth Music Competition at the 93rd annual Lions Clubs International Convention June 30 in Sydney, Australia. It was his first international competition.

In addition to his expenses-paid trip to Australia as a finalist, Allen received $10,000 for his first-place win over eight other talented violinists from across the globe.

"I worked with Brian from age 7 through last year," said Associate Professor Brenda Brenner, assistant director of the IU Pre-College String Program. "He has been one of the hardest working and most dedicated students I have taught. The commitment he and his parents have made to the String Academy and the violin are unparalleled. Brian has developed tremendously over the past few years -- going from a fine student to someone who has command over the violin. I am very proud of his accomplishments and expect him to be a tremendous success in the future."

The Global Youth Music Contest is an annual competition featuring young musical talent from all over the world. Each finalist was chosen by Lions in their area to represent that part of the world. Finalists hailed from Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, England, Korea, Taiwan and Tunisia as well as the United States.

The violinists competed against each other via YouTube in the preliminary round. A panel of three judges residing in California, Pennsylvania and New York viewed the videos online and chose Allen to represent the U.S.

Allen, from Bedford, Ind., began playing the violin at age 3 and plans to make it his career.

For more information about the Jacobs School of Music, visit