The rules have been updated on January 20, 2022.

The 12th International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition will be held in Helsinki from 18 to 29 May 2022, 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 November 2021. The closing date for applications is 23 February 2022.

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 1 March 2022.

Competition schedule
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) 18 May 2022. 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, 19-21 May 2022
Approximately 40 participants will be accepted to the first round.

Second round, 23-25 May 2022
18 participants will be accepted to the second round.

Final round, 27-29 May 2022

Six participants will be accepted to the final round.

Competition repertoire
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, 19-21 May 2022
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, 23-25 May 2022
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, 27-29 May 2022
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 will be provided hotel 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 pianists of contestants 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.

Instrument loan of a fine violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini from Turin dated 1772,  kindly loaned by Jane Ng through J & A Beare and the Beare’s International Violin Society for The International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition. The loan is for one year initially with the possibility of an extention.

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 Pekka Kuusisto. The mentoring will be carried out through four remote consultation sessions.

Award-winning contestants will be offered performance opportunities.

The winner agrees to play as a soloist with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä on 8 December 2022. The soloist will not receive a performance fee, but his or her accommodation and travel expenses will be compensated.

The winner agrees to play in a private concert on 10 December 2022 and in a concert in Concerts at the House of Nobility series in Helsinki on 11 December 2022, and will receive a performance fee for both 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 two concerts conducted by Sakari Oramo on 14 and 15 September 2022. He or she will receive a performance fee for one of the two concerts and remuneration for accommodation and travel expenses. 

The finalists chosen by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Oulu Sinfonia will be invited to perform as soloists with the orchestras.

The prizes will be presented on 29 May 2022 after the final round.

The competition organizer holds the unrestricted right to broadcast the competition performances and concert performances in 14 and 15 September 2022, 8 December 2022, 10 and 11 December 2022, 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.