May 25, 2021 Hanover, Germany

Stiftung Niedersachsen invites 36 participants to the 11th Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hanover

For the first time, the principals of the NDR Radiophilharmonie will form the pre-selection jury of the competition

Die Vorauswahljury des JJV 2021 am 17. Mai im Landesfunkhaus des NDR in Hannover: Oliver Kipp, Anna Lewis, Kathrin Rabus, Friederike Starkloff und Nikolai Schneider (v.l.n.r.). | © Stiftung Niedersachsen

The participants of the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover 2021 have been determined. The pre-selection jury selected 36 violinists from over 160 international applications, who will now present themselves in the competition in Hanover from September 26 to October 10, 2021. For the first time, the pre-selection was made by the principals of the string instruments of the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Kathrin Rabus, Friederike Starkloff, Oliver Kipp, Anna Lewis, and Nikolai Schneider – one of the important innovations in the new orientation of the competition.

"Our goal is to promote strong soloists for a future concert life. We are therefore pursuing a new idea of having the concertmasters and section leaders of our partner orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, make the pre-selection,” explains Oliver Wille, who, together with Antje Weithaas, has taken over the artistic directorship of the competition. "Making the pre-selection for the competition was both an honor and a responsibility for us", says Nikolai Schneider, principal cellist of the NDR Radiophilharmonie. "In line with the idea and concept of the Artistic Directors, our main focus in selecting the 36 candidates was not only on instrumental competence, but also on personality and artistic complexity.”

Among the selected violinists are almost 50% Europeans from 12 different countries, including four Germans. The other competitors come from Japan, South Korea, China, the USA, and Canada. The average age of the participants is 23, with the youngest being 17 and the oldest 29. In total, the Stiftung Niedersachsen received applications from 34 nations worldwide. Applicants from Asia (43%) and Europe (38%) were strongly represented. For the first time in the 30-year history of the competition, applications also came from Cuba, Ecuador, and Liechtenstein.

"The pandemic has fatally limited operations at music conservatories around the world. We are very happy that so many ambitious young violinists are taking up the challenges of our competition and that our partly new orientation is meeting with such lively interest," says Antje Weithaas. "We can currently be very optimistic that we will be able to open the 11th Joseph Joachim Violin Competition in September with international guests," adds Lavinia Francke, Secretary General of the Stiftung Niedersachsen.

The participants now have four intensive months of preparation for the competition ahead of them. Those who want to make it to the final concert alongside the NDR Radiophilharmonie must prove themselves in two preliminary rounds and two semifinal rounds with a challenging repertoire. Each performance from the semifinals onwards is also a presentation to leading concert promoters. A total of 26 major concert organizers will come to the competition at the invitation of the artistic directorship and select one of the ten semi-finalists for their concert series, festival, or venue.


The participants of the 11th Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover

(Including age und nationality)

Yurina Arai (26) | Japan

Clarissa Bevilacqua (19) | Italy & USA

Claire Bourg (26) | USA

Jane-Hyeonjin Cho (24) | South Korea

Elli Choi (19) | USA

Javier Comesaña (22) | Spain

Daniel Dastoor (25) | Canada

Sara Domjanic (23) | Liechtenstein

Hawijch Elders (22) | The Netherlands

Fanny Fheodoroff (24) | Austria

Irenè Fiorito (21) | Italy

Yuki Hirano (17) | Japan

Maria Ioudenitch (25) | USA

Lorenz Karls (20) | Sweden & Austria

Alexander Won-Ho Kim (28) | South Korea

Namhyun Kim (26) | South Korea

Adam Koch Christensen (21) | Denmark

Agnes Langer (28) | Hungary

Anna Lee (25) | USA & South Korea

Jaeook Lee (29) | South Korea & USA

Charlie Lovell-Jones (22) | United Kingdom

Charlotte Marckx (19) | USA

Mathilde Milwidsky (26) | United Kingdom

Elias David Moncado (20) | Germany

Yukari Ohno (26) | Japan

Seiji Okamoto (26) | Japan

Eva Rabchevska (24) | Ukraine

Enrique Rodrigues (19) | Canada

Chiara Sannicandro (23) | Germany

Dongyoung Jake Shim (19) | South Korea

Dorothea Stepp (24) | Germany

Alexandra Tirsu (29) | Moldova & Romania

Julian Walder (20) | Austria

Alexandra Weissbecker (19) | Germany & Russian Federation

Minami Yoshida (22) | Japan

Zhixin Zhang (20) | China

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

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