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Enescu International Competition Opens Applications Worldwide, Plus Concerts, Masterclasses and New Well-Being Sessions

April 18, 2024 | By Katy Salomon
Primo Artists | VP, Public Relations

Katy Salomon | Primo Artists | VP, Public Relations 
katy@primoartists.com | 212.837.8466 

George Enescu International Competition 2024 
Opens Applications Worldwide

August 31 – September 27, 2024 | Bucharest, Romania

Part of Romania’s Foremost Cultural Initiative, Biannual Competition 
Provides Launchpad for International Rising Stars

Division Juries Helmed by Lylia Zilberstein, David Geringas, 
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, and Zygmunt Krauze 

Plus, Concerts by Jury members and Competition Laureates, 
Well-Being Sessions for the Participants, and Conducting
Masterclasses Led by Artistic Director Cristian Macelaru

Application Deadlines:
Cello, Violin and Piano Divisions – May 10, 2024
Composition Division – June 30, 2024
Masterclasses – June 7 (Competitors) & June 30, 2024 (External)

“a global artistic exchange” – The New York Times 


Bucharest, Romania (April 18, 2024) – The 2024 edition of the biennial George Enescu International Competition will take place from August 31 to September 27, 2024, in Bucharest, Romania, with four divisions for entrants in Composition, Cello, Violin, and Piano. Now in its 19th edition, this worldwide showcase of young talent is open to participants of all nationalities born after August 1, 1989. Application deadlines are May 10, 2024 for the Cello, Violin and Piano divisions, and June 30, 2024 for Composition entries. In addition to cash prizes, winners will have the opportunity to perform at the next George Enescu International Festival in summer 2025, a global celebration of the great early 20th century Romanian composer that is one of the world’s largest meetings of international orchestras and widely regarded as the nation’s foremost cultural event. This year’s panel of esteemed jurors is led by divisional Jury Presidents David Geringas (Cello), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (Violin), Lylia Zilberstein (Piano) and Zygmunt Krauze (Composition). (A complete juror listing appears below.) Maestro Zubin Mehta serves as Honorary President alongside Enescu Festival Artistic Director Cristian Macelaru, who will lead masterclasses from September 23-27, 2024. Performances featuring previous competition laureates, jurors and special guests will also be held in tandem with this year’s competition. For the first time, the Competition will provide unprecedented mental well-being sessions for all participants.

The George Enescu International Competition is held in alternating years with the George Enescu International Festival, representing two halves of a key initiative of the Romanian Ministry of Culture. The effort makes a fitting tribute to the great composer, who supported young musicians during his lifetime through scholarships, tours, and prizes. Held for the first time in 1958, the competition has since gained a reputation as a launchpad for exceptional next-generation classical artists. Past winners have included the renowned Romanian pianist Radu Lupu, multi-award-winning composer Sebastian Androne-Nakanishim, rising-star cellist Zlatomir Fung and violinist Nemanja Radulovic, an in-demand international soloist. Since 2002, the event has been part of the World Federation of International Music Competitions. In accordance with Federation guidelines, the Enescu Competition is for the first time accepting entrants up to age 35. After adapting its 2020 and 2022 editions for the pandemic, the competition returns this year to its traditional format, with juried events and performances held at the National University of Music Bucharest and the Grand Hall of the Romanian Athenaeum. 

“We are delighted to return to normal in regards to organizing the George Enescu International Competition after two challenging editions,” said Cristina Uruc, Executive Director of the Enescu Competition and Interim Manager of ARTEXIM, the competition’s organizer and an institution under Romania’s Ministry of Culture. “We propose to the Romanian audience that they meet with the most talented young musicians in the world, future stars that we will discover together throughout the three weeks of the Competition.”

To enter the competition, musicians should fill out the entry form on the official website of the George Enescu International Competition. The competition’s pre-selection jury will take place online, based on performance video submitted by competitors. Following pre-selections, selected participants will proceed to the competition’s four stages held in Bucharest. Stages I and II for each division will take place at the National University of Music Bucharest, while the Semifinals and Finals will be held in the Grand Hall of the Romanian Athenaeum.

The prize value to be awarded across the competition’s four divisions totals €125,000. In addition to cash prizes, winners will benefit from national and international promotion and artistic launch through partnerships established by ARTEXIM, with artistic management agencies and orchestras from Romania and abroad. First place winners in each division will have the opportunity to perform alongside world-class orchestras in the 2025 edition of the George Enescu International Festival.

During the competition, participating young artists will engage with fellow musicians from around the world, receiving valuable feedback from jurors and artist managers. In a new feature this year, musicians who pass the pre-selection stage and advance to the live rounds in Bucharest will be offered complimentary well-being sessions geared to the demands of high-level musicianship, comprising guidance on career development and healthy lifestyle choices, as well as community support and physical and mental health resources.

“Beyond the awards and opportunities offered by the Enescu Competition, I believe the journey that a young musician goes through when deciding to participate in this competition is very important,” said Cristian Macelaru, Artistic Director of the Festival and International George Enescu Competition. “Even if in the end we will have only three winning instrumentalists and two composers, I think all those enrolled will gain something from this experience. Now they will get acquainted with Enescu’s music, have the opportunity to perform on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum, and will be able to discover the audience from Bucharest.”

In conjunction with the competition, Macelaru will lead one of this year’s new additions to the Enescu experience: a Masterclass of conducting interpretation, instrumental interpretation, and furthering the study of music. Held at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest from September 23-27, the masterclass includes workshops designed for young musicians specializing in conducting, violin, cello, or piano. Six musicians will be selected as active participants in the class, while a limited number of others will also given access to attend as passive participants. Registration for those applying to be active participants runs through June 7. For passive participants, the deadline is June 30. Complete rules, schedule, and application link can be found at: https://concurs.festivalenescu.ro/conducting-masterclass-with-cristian-macelaru/.

Other events held during the 2024 George Enescu International Competition will include concerts and recitals featuring laureates from previous editions, members of the jury, and special guests. The competition opens at the Romanian Athenaeum on August 31, 2024 with a Gala Concert performed by the National Radio Orchestra. A performance of Paul Constantinescu’s triple concerto for violin, cello, piano, and orchestra will feature Luxembourgish cellist Benjamin Kruithof, Romanian-born violinist Maria Marica and Israeli pianist Alexandra Segal.

2024 George Enescu International Competition Information
August 31 – September 27, 2024
National University of Music & Romanian Athenaeum | Bucharest, Romania
Application Deadlines:

        Cello, Violin and Piano divisions: May 10, 2024
        Composition division: June 30, 2024
        Masterclasses: June 7 (Competitors) & June 30, 2024 (External)
Entry Form: https://concurs.festivalenescu.ro/apply/
Prizes: https://concurs.festivalenescu.ro/competition-rules-2024/awards/ 
Rules: Download PDF

Cello: David Geringas (President), Leonid Gorokhov, Meehae Ryo, Valentin Radu?iu, Marin Cazacu, Enrico Dindo, Arto Noras – joined in the semi-final and final rounds by Charlotte Lee and Raimund Trenkler

Violin: Dmitry Sitkovetsky (President), Mihaela Martin, Liviu Prunaru, Silvia Marcovici, Shlomo Mintz, Boris Garlitsky, David Halen – joined in the semi-final and final rounds by Doug Sheldon and Didier de Cottignies.

Piano: Lylia Zilberstein (President), Dana Bor?an, Andrei Pisarev, Vovka Ashkenazy, Luiza Borac, Alexander Shtarkman, Sina Kloke – joined in the semi-final and final rounds by Martin Campbell White and Simon Trpceski.

Composition: Zygmunt Krauze (President), Tim Benjamin, Dan Dediu, Adrian Iorgulescu, Doina Rotaru, Pascal Dusapin, Outi Tarkiainen, Jennifer Higdon, Magnus Lindberg, Gerard McBurney, Elsa Vautrain.

Competition Schedule
Cello Section
       First Round: September 1-3, 2024
       Second Round: September 5-6, 2024
       Semifinal: September 8, 2024
       Final: September 10, 2024

Violin Section
       First Round: September 7-9, 2024
       Second Round: September 11-12, 2024
       Semifinal: September 14, 2024
       Final: September 16, 2024

Piano Section
       First Round: September 13 -15, 2024
       Second Round: September 17-18, 2024
       Semifinal: September 20,  2024
       Final: September 22, 2024

Cash Prizes
       Prize for the symphonic music section – €10,000 net
       Prize for the chamber music section – €7000 net
       Special prize for originality – €5000 net

Top finishers in each of the Cello, Violin and Piano sections receive:
       First prize – €15,000 net
       Second prize – €10,000 net
       Third prize – €5000 net

       Radu Lupu Prize for the best interpretation of a work by George Enescu – €3000 net
       Constan?a Erbiceanu Prize – €2000 net
       Prize offered by the Purcari Winery for the highest ranked competitor from the Republic of Moldova –  €2000 gross
       Prize for the best performance of the imposed work – €2000 net
       Audience Award – €1000 net

       Stefan and Valentin Gheorghiu Prize for the best performance of a George Enescu Sonata – €3000 net
       Prize offered by the Purcari Winery for the highest ranked competitor from the Republic of Moldova – €2000 gross
       Prize for the best performance of the imposed work – €2000 net
       Audience Award – €1000 net

       Serafim Antropov Prize for the best performance of George Enescu’s Cello Sonata No. 2 in C major Op. 26 – €3000 net
       Prize offered by the Purcari Winery for the highest ranked competitor from the Republic of Moldova – €2000 gross
       Prize for the best performance of the imposed work – €2000 net
       Audience Award – €1000 net

About the George Enescu International Competition
Organized for the first time in 1958, simultaneously with the George Enescu International Festival, the Enescu Competition operates as an international launching platform for future world-renowned musicians. Additionally, the Competition promotes the compositions of the great Romanian musician and composer among the new generation of artists worldwide, thus being a natural complement to the George Enescu International Festival, Romania’s most important international cultural event.

Since 2002, the Enescu Competition has been a member of the World Federation of Music Competitions, being the only classical music competition in Romania organized in accordance with the standards and status of the Federation. Starting in 2014, the Enescu Competition became a distinct event from the Festival and is organized every two years (alternatively with the years in which the Festival is organized).

The producer of the Competition is the Government of Romania, through the Ministry of Culture. The organizer is ARTEXIM, an institution under the Ministry of Culture. The George Enescu International Competition takes place under the High Patronage of the President of Romania. Organizing each edition is supported by institutional partners and sponsors from the private, artistic, and academic environments.

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