Almost a hundred violinists applied for this year's Bartók World Competition

6 June 2023

Ninety-seven applications from twenty-six countries have been received for Liszt Academy’s violin edition of the Bartók World Competition, the pre-selection jury will decide by 22 June who will be invited to the live rounds in September.

The largest number of applicants are from the United States (12), and there are many Russian (11), Japanese (9), Korean (9) and Chinese (8) nationals, too. In addition, six each from Poland and Hungary, four each from Germany, Italy and Spain, three each from Czechia and the Netherlands, two each from France, Serbia, Türkiye and the United Kingdom, and one each from Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, Moldova, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland applied. Of the applicants, 52 are female, 44 are male and the youngest was born in 2008.

The above numbers prove the international prestige and appeal of Liszt Academy’s Bartók World Competition: the highly demanding repertoire requires a wide range of skills, including knowledge of Bartók's music, but many talented youngsters are willing to face this challenge.

The Bartók World Competition, which has a six-year cycle, has reached a new milestone in 2023: after the first cycle ended with last year’s competition for composers, Liszt Academy organises a round for violinists this year as it did at the start of the series in 2017.

Live rounds will take place between September 2 and 10 with the financial support of the Hungarian government. Based on video recordings submitted by each applicant, the pre-selection jury – consisting of renowned professors of Liszt Academy –, will select those who will advance to the live rounds. The preliminaries, the semi-finals, the final as well as the gala concert and award ceremony will be open to the public and also streamed online.

The members of the prestigious international jury presiding over the live rounds of the competition are: German violinist Stephan Picard, professor at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin; American violinist Daniel Phillips, professor at The Juilliard School in New York; Ukrainian–British violist-conductor Maxim Rysanov, who lives in Hungary; French violinist Roland Daugareil, professor at the Conservatoire de Paris and concertmaster of the Orchestre de Paris until 2021; as well as Japanese violinist Yayoi Toda. The Hungarian members of the panel are: Kossuth Prize-winning violinist Kristóf Baráti, head of the Strings Department at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music; Gyula Fekete, Erkel and Bartók–Pásztory Prize-winning composer, head of the Composition Department and Vice-President of the university; conductor Péter Halász, music director at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf; as well as András Keller, Kossuth Prize-winning violinist-conductor, music director of Concerto Budapest.



The winner of the first prize will be awarded 22,000 euros; the second prize comes with a monetary award of 14,000 euros, while the third prize is accompanied by an award of 8,000 euros. In addition, the jury may award special prizes, including numerous invitations to perform.

The compulsory repertoire includes Bartók’s and Bach’s most important pieces for violin, and one of the two award-winning works from last year’s round for composers: “Two Movements – Impromptu and Perpetuum Mobile” by Veljko Nenadić or “Fun-tasto: Reflection and Exhilaration” by Thomas Kornél. Other works to choose from include pieces by Paganini, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Brahms, Debussy, Lutoslawski and Stravinsky, among others.

Finalists must perform one of the following works: Violin Concerto No. 1 and No. 2 by Bartók, Violin Concerto in E minor by Mendelssohn, Violin Concertos in D major by Brahms, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, as well as Violin Concerto in D minor by Sibelius. In this round, the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of conductor János Kovács, will accompany contestants.

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