How interesting to hear Stephanie Jeong and Anna Tifu in back-to-back recitals. Both are fine violinists, both are students of Aaron Rosand, and their musical personalities are very different from one another. Jeong seems to have a larger sound than Tifu, but Tifu is also an excellent violinist. Her interpretation of the Beethoven Spring is rather convetional to my ears, and her sound in it wasn't as strong as some of the other semi-finalists were in their Beethoven Sonatas. Her Franck was really fine, as was her Tzigane. The last performance of A Night at the Chinese Opera was just great, maybe one of the best of the 16 readings, but so was the penultimate performance by Jeong.
I feel for the judges because the musicians in this semi-final round are so impressive. My "short list" has eight people I would like to hear in the finals: Saeka Matsuyama, Simone Lamsma, Yura Lee, Bella Hristova, Augustin Hadelich, Celeste Golden, Stephanie Jeong, and Anna Tifu.