For the first time in a decade, a New Zealander has made it to the semifinal of an international violin competition.

Auckland violinist Natalie Lin, 24, was among the six contestants who proceeded to the third round of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition after performing in Queenstown at the weekend.

The violinists performed last night and will again play this evening for the semifinal stage of the competition before three are chosen for the grand final on Saturday.

Ms Lin said she'd had amazing support from her grandparents, who were in the audience in Queenstown, and her parents, who will attend the Auckland shows.


"I'm completely shocked and overwhelmed," an emotional Ms Lin said. "I really never expected to be here with these incredibly talented musicians."

Ms Lin's competition is Nikki Chooi (Canada), Sarah Christian (Germany), Ioana Cristina Goicea (Romania), Wonyoung Jung (South Korea) and Boson Mo (Canada).

The semifinalists each perform a piano trio with Ashley Brown on cello and Michael Houstoun on piano.

The seven-member international jury, which includes Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes and past competition winner Ning Feng, will select the final three to perform a concerto with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at the Auckland Town Hall. Amelia Wade