International Violin Competition Henri MarteauThe International Violin Competition Henri Marteau ( Internationaler Violinwettbewerb Henri Marteau ) is a violin competition named after the famous violinist and violin teacher Henri Marteau. It is open to violinists of all nationalities aged under 25 and takes place every three years at Haus Marteau in Lichtenberg, Bavaria and at Freiheitshalle in Hof, Bavaria, Germany.
The 7th International Violin Competition Henri Marteau, scheduled from April 26 to May 9, 2020, was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. The next competition is planned for 2023.
Foundation, sponsorship and cooperationThe 125th birthday of the German-French violinist and composer Henri Marteau in 1999 inspired "Freundeskreis Haus Marteau e.V." to initiate the competition and to hold it in 2002 and 2005. In 2007, the District of Upper Franconia under its president Günther Denzler took over the sponsorship. Since then the artistic and general coordination has been conferred to the orchestra Hofer Symphoniker. The competition became a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in 2012.
Idea and promotionThe goals of the competition are to encourage highly skilled young violinists aged under 25 on their way to an international career and to underline the importance of musical education for young people, and to enable the exchange between young talented musicians and renowned violinists and violin professors. The competition tries also to make the name and work of Henri Marteau better known.
The competition promotes young musicians by providing cash and non-cash awards and by providing a subsequent support program which includes scholarships, the procurement of concerts and a broadcast production with Bayerischer Rundfunk which is the media partner of the competition and an ideal platform for the performances of the young musicians through an intense media coverage.
Commissioned worksSince 2011, the competition commissions works as required pieces for the participants. So far, the following compositions were created:
Admission: impartial juryAmong discussions about 'rigged' or unfair competitions, the International Violin Competition Henri Marteau has decided in 2017 to exclude current or former students of the jury members from participation:
Students of the jury members are not eligible to participate. A student is someone who either received tuition from a jury member between October 2019 and April 2020 and/or prior to the competition for a period exceeding six months. Violinists who participate in a master class held by a jury member between January 2020 and April 2020 are not eligible to participate in the competition either.
JuryChairman of the jury and artistic advisor of the competition is the conductor Gilbert Varga, son of the famous Hungarian violinist Tibor Varga and from 1980 to 1985 chief conductor of Hofer Symphoniker. In 2020, these jury members were engaged:
ProcedureThe International Violin Competition Henri Marteau opens with an opening concert performed by laureates of the former competitions at Haus Marteau in Lichtenberg.
The competition is split into three rounds. The participants play works for violin, soloistic, with piano accompaniment and in the final accompanied by orchestra. The first round and the semifinal take place at Haus Marteau in Lichtenberg. In the final, candidates play a great violin concerto together with the symphony orchestra Hofer Symphoniker at Freiheitshalle in Hof.
The competition closes with a celebratory gala concert of the laureates and Hofer Symphoniker at Freiheitshalle Hof.
PrizesThe prizes to be awarded have a total amount of €35,000 (~US$40,000): 1st prize €10,000, 2nd prize €7,500, 3rd prize €5,000. Additionally, there are numerous special prizes, also supplied with money (each €1,000), scholarships for master classes, the loan of a copy of the famous Maggini violin of Henri Marteau for three years, and a broadcast production with Bayerischer Rundfunk followed by a CD release.
LaureatesThe first laureates of the former competitions were:
;2005 Category A (born after December 31, 1987)
Category B (born between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1987)
;2002 Category A (born after December 31, 1984)
Category B (born between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1984)