All New Strings: The 9th International LOUIS SPOHR Competition for Young Violinists in the Autumn of 2019

Anne Luisa Kramb | Photo: Maik Schuck
The young violinist Anne Luisa Kramb won the first prize at the last Spohr Competition in 2016 – and has made her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in the meantime. The 9th International LOUIS SPOHR Competition for Young Violinists from 22 October until 2 November 2019 in Weimar will be another springboard for young careers.

Once again, the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar invites the best young violinists in the world to compete in three age-groups – up to 14, 17, and 20 years of age – for recognition by an international jury.

Depending on age-group, the required pieces include Telemann Fantasies, Bach Partitas, Paganini Caprices, a Spohr Scherzo, and the choice between Carmen Fantasies by Sarasate or Waxman. According to category, the participants play violin concertos by Mozart, Bruch, Wieniawski, Mendelssohn Bartholdy or Tchaikovsky in the final round, together with the University Orchestra conducted by Prof. Nicolás Pasquet.

There are prizes and special prizes to be won totalling more than 17,000 Euros, as well as subsequent concert engagements. The ten-member, international jury chaired by the Weimar violin professor Dr. Friedemann Eichhorn will decide on the prize winners. At the laureate concert on 2 November at 7:30pm at the Weimarhalle, the prize-winning participants will perform with the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra. The application deadline for the Spohr Competition is 10 June 2019.

Since it was founded in the 1990s, the Weimar Spohr Competition has developed into one of the most internationally renowned venues for the next generation of string players. About 100 violinists from more than 20 countries around the world compare their skills, encounter like-minded peers, meet people and make new friends. Moreover, the competition has become a significant springboard for young careers.

Former laureates have been successful later on at the ARD Music-, the "Leopold Mozart"- and the Tchaikovsky-Competitions. Today, many hold important seats in orchestras, e.g. as concert master of the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, or the Philharmonia Orchestra London.

Louis Spohr was the German Paganini, a truly devilish violinist. And not only that: Spohr (1784–1859) composed at lightning speed and wrote almost 300 works that can be found on many music stands in the international violinists' scene.

The fifteen violin concertos, ten symphonies, thirty-six string quartets and numerous operas and oratorios by this versatile concert master, conductor, music festival impresario and teacher have become an indispensable part of the repertoire. Spohr worked as an instrumentalist and conductor in Gotha, Erfurt and Nordhausen – and has thus written an important chronicle of Thuringian music history.