The Mirecourt International Violin Competition, organized by the Jeunesses Musicales de Mirecourt, is scheduled to take place in Mirecourt and Thaon-les-Vosges, France, from November 4-12, 2023. The competition invites applications until July 1, 2023, and comprises a video pre-selection, 2 qualifying rounds, and a final round. Notably, all rounds are open to the public.
The 2023 jury includes renowned violinists Christian Altenburger (Austria), Nora Chastain (USA), Hu Kun (China), Alissa Margulis (Russia), Mihaela Martin (Romania), Lavard Skou-Larsen (Brazil), and Marianne Piketty (France), who is also the Artistic Director of the competition.
The Mirecourt International Violin Competition was established in 2010 to create an international event in the historic town of Mirecourt. The vision behind the competition was to provide young talents with opportunities to showcase their skills through recitals, orchestral performances, and interactions with exceptional teachers and performers. Despite its smaller scale compared to major competitions in larger cities, the Mirecourt competition is supported by the dedication of the town, its mayor, volunteers, and host families, all committed to offering an excellent experience for the candidates.
Over the years, the competition's vision has grown while remaining consistent. Each edition seeks to establish new partnerships to expand opportunities for the candidates' career development. By holding the competition in Mirecourt, renowned for its violin-making tradition, the event not only promotes the town's history and present life but also fosters collaborations between artists, performers, and craftsmen.
The competition's prizes reflect this commitment. Special prizes include the commissioning of bows from notable French bow makers, recognizing the importance of a quality bow for a performer. Additionally, since 2021, a modern violin has been lent to the winner for two years, establishing long-term relationships between young performers and violin makers.
A significant aspect of the competition is the emphasis on French composers in the repertoire. This focus aims to promote and explore the rich French musical heritage beyond well-known composers like Franck, Debussy, and Ravel. By introducing candidates to a variety of French sonatas and contemporary pieces, the competition aims to broaden their repertoire and encourage performances and recordings of these works. Special prizes are also awarded for outstanding performances and interpretations of French compositions.
Among the past winners and finalists of the Mirecourt International Violin Competition are accomplished artists, including prizewinners from other international competitions, soloists, chamber musicians, and members of prestigious orchestras. Notable past winners include David Castro-Balbi (2010), Shuichi Okada (2012), and Qingzhu Weng (2021), among others.