March 01, 2021 Hanover

11th Joseph Joachim Violin Competition will take place in 2021.

Application period extended by three weeks.

The 11th International Joseph Joachim Violin Competition Hannover will take place in 2021 from September 26 to October 10. The world's best young violinists have been invited to the competition every three years since 1991. Despite the pandemic-related restrictions, preparations are in full swing: "We will take place – we want to send an important signal in these challenging times", says Oliver Wille, artistic director of the competition. "We want to motivate the young musicians to make the competition their goal and to pursue their musical careers", adds Antje Weithaas, artistic director of the com-petition.

The application period for the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover has been extended by three weeks. The preselection decision is based on two video files of each applicant. In the meantime, some music academies around the world were closed due to the pandemic or were subject to far-reaching restrictions. The competition wants to give everyone the opportunity to produce high-quality recordings. Violinists of all nations, aged 16 to 32, can submit applications via the website until April 15, 2021.

Competition facts

Since 1991, Stiftung Niedersachsen has been presenting the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover. Antje Weithaas and Oliver Wille, who took over the 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 April 15, 2021, violinists aged between 16 and 32 of all nations can apply via the application platform at

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 and Oliver Wille
Antje Weithaas
won the 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 Camerata Bern, 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 from 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 please contact:
Katharina Nitsch
Stiftung Niedersachsen
Communications Coordinator