Competition Guidelines and Rounds

Any violinist under 30 could submit applications to the Bartók World Competition & Festival on the competition website latest by 26 March 2017.

Besides giving the usual data on the online application form, competitors were also asked to provide their selected repertoire. Another application condition was the uploading of three recent video recordings: one movement from a Violin Solo Sonata or Partita by Bach, one piece from Paganini’s Caprices, and one work of Bartók to be selected from the competition’s repertoire list. The three-member jury carrying out the preliminary selection of entries – Vilmos Szabadi, Géza Kapás and Péter Kováts, all professors at the Liszt Academy – chose 45 female and 20 male competitors to go forward to take part in the four-round contest.

Violinists going to the Preliminary round prepare at least one movement from Rhapsody No. 1 or 2 by Bartók, and minimum one movement from a Violin Solo Sonata or Partita by Bach, in a maximum 18 minute performance. In the Semi-final, those moving through are asked to test themselves in one of Bartók’s violin sonatas, or a 30-minute performance including one movement from the above sonatas, another sonata movement, and a virtuoso piece to be chosen from the competition’s repertoire list. The Final will see performances of Violin Concerto No. 3, 4 or 5 by Mozart with the accompaniment of the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. The best then progress into the Grand Final to be held in the Grand Hall of Liszt Academy. They will prepare a violin concerto (chosen from the works of Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms or Tchaikovsky), with the accompaniment of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by János Kovács.

The order of performances is decided by the 9 September draw carried out in front of the assembled competitors. The competition secretariat publishes the list of competitors making it through to the next round in alphabetical order following a discussion by the jury after the competitors’ performances. Throughout the entire competition the jury’s scoring is done in secret on scorecards printed for this purpose, and there is no recourse for appeal against any decision by the jury.

Total prize money in the competition amounts to €44,000, out of which three prizes may be awarded: €22,000 for first place, €14,000 for second, and €8,000 for third place. Prizes cannot be shared or modified. Special prizes are offered by the sponsors and partners of the competition.

Live online broadcasts of the Final and the Grand Final will allow the audience to follow proceedings from anywhere in the world.