January 12, 2021 Hanover

Warner Classics becomes partner of the Joseph Joachim Violin Competition and presents the Warner Classics Award

Debut album with worldwide distribution for one competitor

The Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover will cooperate with Warner Classics in 2021. The important major label for classical music donates the Warner Classic Award and will present one competitor with a debut album to the worldwide classical music audience. The renowned violin competition offers not only highly endowed cash prizes, but also international concert engagements and material prizes, including the loan of a valuable Guadagnini violin from the Fritz Behrens Foundation and digital sheet music from the G. Henle publishing house.

For the Stiftung Niedersachsen, this cooperation is a key element in the reorientation of the competition. 'The cooperation with Warner Classics is a coup,' says Antje Weithaas, artistic director of the competition, enthusiastically. 'We are seeking for outstanding young artistic personalities to start into the international concert life. With the Warner Classics Award, we are offering a valuable component to build up such a career'. The debut album will be released shortly after the competition and will be communicated and marketed internationally by Warner Classics. With this cooperation, the label underlines its commitment to the promotion of young musicians. Oliver Wille, artistic director of the competition, comments: ‘International marketing is accompanied by strong attention for the young artists. Both the contacts to the concert halls and festivals, the “being heard”, as well as the work in the social networks, we will now also support together with the strong label partner’.

‘We at Warner Classics are excited about this new collaboration. We share with the Joseph Joachim Violin Competition the strong ambition to find and support young artists in their career development by bringing them and their music to an international audience. Within the past 30 years the competition has had a significant impact on many young and brilliant violinists, and we are strongly convinced that the ideas and the agenda of the new artistic directors Antje Weithaas and Oliver Wille will continue this story of success. We are absolutely delighted to become a part of this journey with the creation of the Warner Classics Award’ stated Bertrand Castellani, Head of Warner Classics' international A&R Department.

Warner Classics, the classical music label of the New York-based and globally operating Warner Music Group, has been uniting four large and traditional labels under one roof since 2013, making it one of the largest classical music catalogs: EMI Classics, Virgin Classics, Erato and Teldec Classics. Warner Classics is home to a wide range of classical music stars – such as Joyce DiDonato, Nigel Kennedy, Martha Argerich, Diana Damrau, Philippe Jaroussky, Christina Pluhar, Artemis Quartett, Vilde Frang – as well as artists of the younger generation such as counter tenor Jakub Józef Orlinski, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, cellist Edgar Moreau, the ensembles vision string quartet, Quatuor Arod, and many others. Warner Classics already collaborates with other international music competitions, such as the Leeds International Piano Competition and the Concours Long Thibaut Crespin in France. The Joseph Joachim Violin Competition is the first cooperation with a German competition.

Competition facts

Since 1991, Stiftung Niedersachsen has been presenting the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover. Antje Weithaas and Oliver Wille, who took over artistic directorship in 2019 from competition founder Krzysztof Wegrzyn, are seeking open-minded musicians who demonstrate impeccable mastery of their instrument while remaining humble servants of great composers and their scores – young artists who bravely strive for individuality, making bold musical statements with the violin: Musicians whose voice inspires deep emotions and shows an exceptional degree of versatility. Strong partners supplement the monetary awards offered by Stiftung Niedersachsen with around 30 concert invitations. Additionally, G. Henle is awarding sheet music and a three-year-loan of a Guadagnini violin will be awarded by the Fritz Behrens Stiftung. Warner Classics completes the price package with the distribution of a debut album worldwide.

Between September 26 and October 10, 2021 in Hanover, Germany

Until March 25, 2021, violinists aged between 16 and 32 of all nations can apply via the application platform at www.jjv-hannover.de.

Stiftung Niedersachsen
Since 1987, Stiftung Niedersachsen has been supporting the arts, as well as cultural, academic, and educational programs throughout Lower Saxony. With its state-wide endowment efforts, the foundation supports non-profit projects, strengthening the region’s diverse cultural profile. In addition to its active involvement, Stiftung Niedersachsen supports around 200 projects per year.

Artistic Directorship: Antje Weithaas und Oliver Wille
Antje Weithaas
won First Prize in the first Joseph Joachim Violin Competition in 1991. She is therefore the first competition winner to be directing the competition. Today, she is a world-renowned concert violinist and violin pedagogue. As a soloist, Antje Weithaas performs with some of the world’s best-known ensembles. For over 10 years, she has directed the Bern Camerata, shaping the ensemble’s musical profile. Her CD recordings have become reference milestones, sparking enthusiastic reactions, among them the complete recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo and the Solo Sonatas of Eugène Ysaÿe.

Oliver Wille will continue the close cooperation between the competition and the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Dance. Since 2011, he is Professor of Chamber Music at the university, leading an internationally renowned quartet studio. As a founding member of the acclaimed and innovative Kuss Quartet, he has been shaping the chamber music scene for over 25 years. Apart of their international concert careers, the four musicians have become known for pioneering new concert formats. Since 2015, the renowned violinist has been the artistic director of the Hitzacker Summer Music Days.

Important players in the Hanoverian music scene merge together for the Joseph Joachim Violin Competition. Stiftung Niedersachsen collaborates with the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media and NDR Radiophilharmonie, NDR Kultur, Fritz Behrens Stiftung (Fritz Behrens Foundation), Warner Classics as well as music publisher G. Henle.

For further information contact:
Katharina Nitsch
Stiftung Niedersachsen
Communications Coordinator