XIII International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition to be held in May 2025


Ranking among the world's oldest and most prestigious violin competitions, the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition will attract the cream of young violinists to Helsinki, Finland in the Spring of 2025. The 13th edition will be held between May 18 to 29 and the final section of the competition will feature contemporary music alongside Sibelius' Violin Concerto. Violinist and conductor John Storgårds will serve as the chair of the jury.

The International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition, organized for the thirteenth time, will once again transform Helsinki into a city for music lovers for ten days in the Spring of 2025. The preliminary and semi-final rounds of the competition will take place from May 19th to 25th, and the event will culminate in the final concerts at the Helsinki Music Center from May 27th to 29th, 2025. The jury will be chaired by the chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds. Other members of the international jury include Elise Båtnäs, Levon Chilingirian, Jinjoo Cho, Lisa Ferschtman, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Sung Ju Lee, Réka Szilvay, and Jan Söderblom.

The final program of the 2025 competition will highlight contemporary composers. Competitors advancing to the final round will perform their chosen modern violin concerto alongside Jean Sibelius' violin concerto. The list of violin concertos include Kaija Saariaho's Graal théâtre (1994), Unsuk Chin's Violin Concerto No. 1 (2001), Oliver Knussen's Violin Concerto (2002), and Magnus Lindberg's Violin Concerto No. 2 (2015). The repertoire for the semi-final round includes Sibelius' works, optional repertoire, and a specially commissioned piece for violin and piano by Finnish composer Outi Tarkiainen.

"The international significance of the Jean Sibelius Violin Competition is considerable. For us Finns, it is at the same time both an esteemed and prestigious institution and a comfortable and familiar musical event. It is with joy and pride that I take on my own role in the realization of the next edition, in the Spring of 2025. We all look forward to a competition of the highest quality with a diverse program that is naturally rooted in our time," says the chair of the jury, John Storgårds.

"We aim to be the most encouraging of the world's leading music competitions, while simultaneously staying current and contemporary. This is why we want to offer modern repertoire for both the audience and the competitors, enhancing the musical experiences that the competition offers," adds Lauri Ratia, the chair of the competition committee.

Encouragement is particularly evident in a special mentoring award aimed at supporting the development of successful competitors as artists and helping them progress in their careers. The competition winner will receive personal guidance as a mentoring award from the chair of the jury, John Storgårds, as well as from the chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, professor of orchestral and conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki Sakari Oramo. The mentoring award was first awarded to the winner of the previous competition, Inmo Yang.

The Jean Sibelius Violin Competition, held every five years, was last held exceptionally in the spring of 2022, as the autumn 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 12th International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition was won by South Korean violinist Inmo Yang, followed by American Nathan Meltzer in second place and Ukrainian Dmitry Udovychenko in third. The competition was followed by an unprecedentedly large audience worldwide through the Finnish broadcasting company Yle’s online broadcasts and recordings. The International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition is organized by the Sibelius Society and the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki.

XIII International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition
May 18th to 29th, 2025

John Storgårds, Chair
Elise Båtnäs
Levon Chilingirian
Jinjoo Cho
Lisa Ferschtman
Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Sung Ju Lee
Réka Szilvay
Jan Söderblom

Competition Committee
Lauri Ratia, Chair
Jenni Lättilä, Vice Chair
Jaakko Ilves
Miisa Järvi
Mirette Kangas
Erkki Lahesmaa
Petri Saavalainen
Päivi Pousar, Secretary

Artistic Committee
Jaakko Ilves, Chair
Petri Aarnio
Réka Szilvay
Antti Tikkanen

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