This week the Menuhin Violin Competition is taking place in Austin; this is the first time in 30 years that this international competition is taking place in the United States. The Menuhin Competition was founded in 1983 by Yehudi Menuhin and is a 10 day violin competition showcasing international musical talent through concerts, master classes, and community outreach. The Butler School of Music at the University of Austin is hosting this year’s Menuhin Competition with events taking place at the UT Austin Campus and the Long Center.
At ISSS, Andrew Thorley, Senior Immigration Employment Specialist, worked with the Butler School of Music to prepare and file O-1 visa applications for two of the judges for the Menuhin Competition. An O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in specific professions such as the arts. Filing for an O-1 visa requires the individual to show national and/or international achievements; it is intended for those who have risen to the top of their field. Filing the O-1 visa applications involved several months of preparation. Andrew worked with the two judges and with the Butler School of Music gathering letters of recommendation, university support letters, and an advisory opinion from the American Federation of Musicians. When asked about the Menuhin Violin Competition, Andrew said he felt it was “appropriate that UT Austin be the first to hold a competition of this caliber in the US. Austin is a music city that values the talented and unique.” This year’s competition is not just a competition, it’s more of a festival that celebrates talented, young musicians from all over the world.