The XII International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition excludes Russian participants from the competition
A record number of young violinists applied for the XII International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition organised in Helsinki in May 2022. The war in Ukraine and the atrocities that have been uncovered have led to a situation in which the Competition Committee has decided to exclude Russian participants from the competition in order to protect other competitors and the competition as a whole.
The preliminary jury of the XII International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition selected 49 young violinists to compete in the competition to be held in Helsinki on May 18–29, 2022. The competition, which was originally scheduled for late 2020 and postponed due to the pandemic, received a record number of applications.
On March 7, 2022, the Competition Committee decided that all competitors would be judged purely on their artistic merits. Two young Russian violinists qualified in the preliminary selection process. The preliminary jury followed the guidelines of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC) that competitors should not be excluded from the competition solely on the basis of nationality. The Jean Sibelius Violin Competition is a member of the world federation.
However, the situation has changed since the beginning of March as the war in Ukraine has continued to intensify. Therefore, on 8 April 2022, the Competition Committee re-examined the possibilities for Russian competitors selected for the Jean Sibelius Violin Competition and concluded that, in the current exceptional circumstances, participation in the competition was not possible. The horrors of the war and the recently uncovered atrocities have meant that the Competition Committee has no moral or ethical option but to exclude the Russians from the competition. With this decision, the Competition Committee also wants to guarantee a neutral and peaceful environment for all competitors.
The Jean Sibelius Violin Competition is one of the most significant and prestigious violin competitions in the world. The 12th International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition will be held on May 18–29, 2022 in Helsinki. The preliminary and semi-final rounds will take place on May 19–21. and May 23–25 in the concert hall of the R-building of the Sibelius Academy. The final, which culminates in the awards ceremony on May 29, will take place on May 27–29 in the concert hall of the Helsinki Music Centre.
The Sibelius Violin Competition, which is held every five years, is organized by the Sibelius Society and the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. The Competition Committee consists of Chairman Lauri Ratia, Vice Chairman Olli-Pekka Martikainen and Lea Rahkola-Kauranen, Miisa Järvi, Päivi Arjas, Jaakko Ilves, Petri Saavalainen, Emil Viitala, Miikka Maunula and Secretary General of the Competition Päivi Pousar.
Lauri Ratia, Chairman of the Sibelius Violin Competition Committee
tel: +358 50 2922
Secretary General of the Sibelius Violin Competition Päivi Pousar
tel. +358 40 710 4217
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