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Konstantin Ishkhanov: I’m Happy To Bring the ‘Classic Strings’ Competition to Israel

Between the 9th and 23rd of May 2022, Tel Aviv will play host to the third edition of the esteemed ‘Classic Strings’ Violin & Cello International Competition organized by the European Foundation for Support of Culture

Between the 9th and 23rd of May 2022, Tel Aviv is set to play host to the third edition of the esteemed “Classic StringsViolin and Cello International Competition organized by the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC), and its president Konstantin Ishkhanov, as it looks to bring together some of the finest young musicians in the world to exhibit their musical talents.

The EUFSC’s premier strings competition has already enjoyed two highly vaunted iterations, with the inaugural 2018 edition being held in Riga, the capital city of Latvia, followed by the 2019 incarnation in Vienna, Austria. Now, the global city of Tel Aviv, with its world-renowned artistic legacy, has been chosen as the place to hold the grandest and most ambitious edition of this event yet, the first time that a competition of such magnitude for violin and cello will take place in Israel, as artistic director Dmitry Yablonsky noted.

“The Classic Strings competition for violin and cello will be the first competitive event of this size for these instruments in the state of Israel, and I am very proud that we will be holding the third edition of this competition in this beautiful country. The first two editions of Classic Strings were unparalleled successes, and I have no doubt that the 2022 event will prove to be a wonderful experience for all involved once more,” he said.

The event will see the competitions for the two instruments being held simultaneously, with the violin competition taking place between the 10th and 23rd of May, while the cello competition will run from the 9th to the 19th. Applicants from all nationalities shall be allowed to take part, with the only caveat being that they must not be older than 35 years of age at the time of the opening ceremony on March 9th

Both competitions will be divided into three rounds, with the repertoire featuring works by some of the greatest composers in world music, as well as pieces by the competition’s composer-in-residence Alexey Shor. A team of distinguished jurors will decide which of the competitors will progress from one round to the next, with the jury members themselves representing some of the most acclaimed talent in the worlds of violin and cello today.

In fact, the violin jury – which will be chaired by Marc-Olivier Dupin (France) – will see artists like Zakhar Bron (Germany/Switzerland), Dora Schwarzberg (Israel), Pavel Berman (Italy), Ana Chumachenco (Argentina/Germany), Michael Guttman (Belgium), Pierre Amoyal (France), Boris Kuschnir (Austria), Eduard Wulfson (Switzerland), Maria Sozolobova (Switzerland), and Michael Haefliger (Switzerland) among its ranks. The cello jury, meanwhile, will be chaired by Sir Clive Gillinson (UK) and will consist of Hillel Zori (Israel), Enrico Dindo (Italy), Alexander Knyazev (Russia), Julian Lloyd Webber (UK), Ralph Kirshbaum (US), Boris Andiranov (Russia), David Geringas (Lithuania/Germany), Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi (Japan), and Meehae Ryo (South Korea).

Those musicians who make it to the final round will then perform alongside the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov,” with a total prize fund of €210,000 reserved for the most accomplished among them. This includes a €50,000 cash prize for the winners of both the violin and cello competition, €30,000 for the second-ranked individuals, and €15,000 for the third. There will also be a special €5,000 prize awarded in recognition of the best performance of a composition by the composer-in-residence, as well as a €1,000 for each of the five finalists. 

Furthermore, the two winners will be given the opportunity to embark on a 10-country tour organized by the European Foundation for Support of Culture, where they will perform alongside 10 different orchestras in some of the most prestigious venues around the world, including the Mozarteum (Salzburg), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Tonhalle (Zürich), Musikverein, Goldener Saal (Vienna), Berliner Philharmoniker, Grossersaal (Berlin), and the Smetana Hall (Prague).

Konstantin Ishkhanov, president of the European Foundation for Support of Culture ( EUFSC )

“I am very happy to be bringing the European Foundation for Support of Culture’s ‘Classic Strings’ Competition to Israel. This city, and this country, stand as a symbol for the wonderful mingling of world culture, and the multicultural marvel that is Tel Aviv shall serve as the perfect backdrop to our competition, and to the celebration of classical music that it represents. With our third edition of this event, we have spared no effort, with an illustrious jury composed of some of the most respected violinists and cellists working today prepared for both the violin and the cello competitions, and with grand prizes awaiting the most talented musicians. I am certain that this event shall once again be a glorious experience for all, competitors and audiences alike, as we get the chance to revel both in the beauty of classical music, and of the city of Tel Aviv,” said Konstantin Ishkhanov, president of the EUFSC.

Applications for the competition are currently open and can be accessed on the official website

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