12TH INTERNATIONAL JEAN SIBELIUS VIOLIN COMPETITION
The rules have been updated on April 28th 2020. In paragraph IV the phrasing has been specified, and in paragraphs IV and VIII there has been additions.
The 12th International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition will be held in Helsinki from 22 November to 3 December 2020, organized by the Sibelius Society and the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. The competition is open to all violinists born in or after 1990.
A registration link will be available here in May 2020. The closing date for applications is 11 August 2020.
A jury appointed by the Competition Committee will pre-select applicants based on their application documents and video recordings. Those accepted for the competition will be notified by 15 September 2020.
The order of performances will be decided by a draw at the competition’s opening ceremony in the Sibelius Academy’s R Building Concert Hall (street address Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9, Helsinki) at 12 noon on 22 November 2020. All contestants must be present in person or represented by a proxy. The order of performances will remain the same for all three rounds.
First round, 23–25 November 2020
Approximately 40 participants will be accepted to the first round.
Second round, 27–29 November 2020
18 participants will be accepted to the second round.Final round, 1–3 December 2020
Six participants will be accepted to the final round.
The Competition Committee encourages contestants to create a recital programme that reflects their personalities as violinists in the best possible way.
The competition consists of three rounds that are open to the public. The entire repertoire, with the exception of the commissioned work performed in the 2nd round and a possible chamber music piece, must be played from memory. In the 1st and 2nd rounds, the order of the programme is free. The duration of each programme shall be monitored by the Competition Committee in advance.
Preliminary audition round
The repertoire for the preliminary round must consist of the following works from the contestant's competition programme.
1. Bach: one movement from a Solo Sonata or Partita
2. Paganini: one Caprice or Ernst: 'Letzte Rose' variations or Ernst: ‘Erlkönig’ (Schubert)
3. Sibelius: 1st movement of Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
Due to the global impact of Covid-19, in the Preliminary audition round, videos without piano accompaniment are accepted, too.
1st round, 23–25 November 2020
1. 2-3 movements of Bach's Solo Sonata/Partita or Ciaccona
(In Bach's Partita in B minor, Double belongs to the previous movement.)
2. 2-3 pieces for violin and piano by Sibelius freely chosen from the following
2 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 2
2 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 77
4 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 78
6 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 79
5 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 81
Novellette for Violin and Piano, Op. 102
Danses Champêtres for Violin and Piano, Op. 106
4 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 115
Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 116
3. Two caprices by Paganini or Ernst: 'Letzte Rose' variations or Ernst: 'Erlkönig' (Schubert)
Duration: each participant is allowed a maximum of 35 minutes on stage.
2nd round, 27–29 November 2020
The programme may include works for solo violin or for violin and piano, but not violin concertos or parts of them with piano accompaniment.
Compositions from the 1st round cannot be played again in the 2nd round.
1. Sibelius: Two Humoresques, freely chosen from Op. 87 and Op. 89
2. Magnus Lindberg: Work for Solo Violin (7-9')
3. Recital programme of the contestant’s own choosing
Duration: each participant is allowed a maximum of 70 minutes on stage.
Final, 1–3 December 2020
1. Sibelius: Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
2. One of the following concertos: Bartók (No. 2), Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Britten, Korngold, Mendelssohn (Op. 64), Nielsen, Paganini (No. 1), Prokofiev (No. 1 or 2), Shostakovich (No. 1) or Tchaikovsky
Contestants may play with pianists provided by the competition. Each contestant is allowed one hour of rehearsal time with a pianist before the 1st round and two hours of rehearsal time before the 2nd round. Contestants can also bring their own pianist at their own expense.
Contestants (and their own pianists) will be provided family accommodation in Helsinki free of charge for the whole duration of the competition. Contestants and pianists will pay their own travel expenses to and from Helsinki. At its discretion, the Competition Committee can award travel allowances to contestants travelling to Helsinki from outside of Europe. The competition’s secretarial staff will reserve hotel accommodation for contestants and pianists who want to stay at a hotel at their own expense. Contestants and pianists who will need a visa to enter Finland will need to acquire one at their nearest Finnish mission.
The international jury consists of a Finnish chair and one Finnish and seven international members.
The competition will award the following prizes:
First prize €30,000
Second prize €20,000
Third prize €15,000
The three other finalists will be awarded a special recognition award of €3,000.
The jury reserves the right to change the prize scheme.
The Sibelius family will donate a special prize of €1,000 to all contestants accepted to the second round.
The Sibelius Violin Competition wishes to support the artistic development and careers of well performing contestants. The winner of the competition will receive personal mentoring from Chair of Jury Sakari Oramo and jury member Pekka Kuusisto. The mentoring will be carried out through four remote consultation sessions during 2021.
Award-winning contestants will be offered performance opportunities.
The winner agrees to play as a soloist with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra on 8 and 9 December 2020. He or she will receive a performance fee for one of the two concerts and remuneration for accommodation and travel expenses.
The finalist chosen by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO) agrees to play as a soloist with the RSO in a concert conducted by John Storgårds on 11 December 2020; the soloist will not receive a performance fee, but his or her accommodation and travel expenses will be compensated.
The finalist chosen by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra will be invited to perform as a solois with the orchestra in spring 2021.
The prizes will be presented on 3 December 2020 after the final round.
The competition organizer holds the unrestricted right to broadcast the competition performances on radio and TV, make audio and video recordings and to stream and share parts of the competition performances on the Internet and in other data networks without paying any remuneration to the contestants or their pianists.
The original language of these rules is Finnish. Any disputes will be settled based on the rules written in Finnish. Any issues caused by a force majeure will be settled by the Competition Committee.