(Eng.) International Viola Competition

“Città di Cremona”

Final Round


October 6, 2016 at 8:30 pm

S.Agostino Church

Viola Concertos with Orchestra

dedicated to the memory of Piero Farulli

Matthew Cohen, Raphaël Pagnon, Muriel Razavi

I Virtuosi Italiani, Orchestra

Pietro Mianiti, Conductor


William Walton (1902 – 1983), Viola Concerto

Andante comodo, Vivo, con moto preciso, Allegro moderato


Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945), Viola Concerto

Moderato, Adagio religioso, Allegro vivace


William Walton (1902 – 1983), Viola Concerto

Andante comodo, Vivo, con moto preciso, Allegro moderato


 Open to the public free of charge




October 4, 2016

The three finalists have been announced.  Congratulations to Matthew Cohen, Raphaël Pagnon, Muriel Razavi !


October 4, 2016

The semifinal round has taken place today at the Teatro Filodrammatici in Cremona.

Heartfelt Thanks to the jury!


Marcello Bufalini has conducted orchestras in Italy and abroad, including the Suisse Romande Orchestra, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, “Giuseppe Verdi” di Milano, ORT, Teatro La Fenice and the Arena di Verona, Radio Symphonieorchester (Vienna), Filarmonica “Enescu” (Bucarest), Opéra du Rhin (Strasburg), Wiener Kammeroper, Slovak National Theatre. A professor at the Conservatorio dell’Aquila, he realized the reconstruction of the Concerto n.3 for piano and orchestra by Mendelssohn, recorded by R. Chailly.



Viennese born violist Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot settled in Canada in 1987. She has been a full professor of viola and chamber music at the Université de Montreal since 1990. She is principal violist of the Laval Symphony Orchestra and has an exhaustive background in chamber music and solo playing, performing in various formations and at various international Festivals. Jutta likes to tour the world via the International Viola Congresses, where she shares her new discoveries of forgotten music written for the viola.



Ula Ulijona (Vilnius, Lituania), graduated from the Musikhochschule “Hanns Eisler” of Berlin with Tabea Zimmermann and from the “Accademia di Musica di Basilea” with Hatto Bayerle. She is the winner of many international competitions, including the “William Primrose” in Chicago. She has performed as a soloist with groups including the Moscow Solists, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Concertgebouw and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  Since1997 she is the viola soloist of the  Kremerata Baltica, founded and directed by Gidon Kremer and since 2010 she holds the position of principal viola with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, Turin.


October 3, 2016

Unfortunately, Julia Clancy had to withdraw because of an injury and will not be able to take part in the semifinal round.  We wish her a speedy recovery!

The Semifinal Round will therefore have six contestants.



Sept. 20, 2016

It was unfortunately impossible for runner-ups to join the competition this close to the date of the Semifinals.

The Semifinal Round will have therefore seven contestants.


Sept. 14, 2016.

Unfortunately, because of work-related scheduling conflicts, Jarita Ng will not be able to take part in the semifinal round.  We wish her all the best for her endeavours!

We are now in the process of contacting the runner-ups to verify their availability to take part in the competition.

News will be posted as soon as they’ll be available.


Heartfelt congratulations to the eight Semi-Finalists!

Here they are, in alphabetical order:

bio semifinalisti concorso con fotor


bio semifinalisti concorso con fotor2


bio semifinalisti concorso con fotor3


bio semifinalisti concorso con fotor4


bio semifinalisti concorso con fotor5


bio semifinalisti concorso con fotor6


bio semifinalisti concorso con fotor7


bio semifinalisti concorso con fotor8


Eliminatory Round Jury

Alfonso Ghedin

Violist Alfonso Ghedin worked early in his carreer with the Chigiana Quintet. He was later solo viola of I Musici, I Virtuosi di Roma and I Solisti Italiani. He has performed chamber music with musicians such as Salvatore Accardo, Uto Ughi, Carmignola, Bruno Giuranna, Mario Brunello, Michele Campanella, Bruno Canino, Rocco Filippini, Franco Petracchi, etc. He has participated in the most important chamber music festivals including Athens, Rio de Janeiro, Settimane Internazionale di Musica da Camera of Naples, and more. He is a founding member of the Quartetto Beethoven of Rome. He served as principal violist of the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia. Recently, he has been named Accademico Effettivo dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He is currently a professor of Chamber Music at the Academia di Santa Cecilia for students who attend the specialization courses for soloists.

Wayne Foster-Smith, Presse 001
Wayne Foster-Smith

Cellist Wayne Foster-Smith is the chamber music coordinator at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin. Prior to assuming this position he taught cello, chamber music and theory in the Starling Project at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and theory and ear training at the Juilliard School. As director of the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program. he founded a masterclass series and presented yearly concerts in Merkin and Weil Halls.

Mr. Smith taught cello and chamber music for many summers at the Aspen Music School in Aspen, Colorado and at the Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont. He has presented masterclasses in Denmark, Iceland, Paris, Berlin and Australia. Mr. Foster-Smith was the cellist of the Newberry Quartet and founder and director of the Edgehill Ensemble in New York City.  He was principal cellist of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and performed with the New Haven, Stamford and Aspen Chamber Orchestras.

His teachers have included Daniel Pollack (piano). Henri Lazarof and Joel Hoffman (composition), and Gabor Rejto, Yehuda Hanani, Harvey Shapiro and Leonard Rose (cello).  An advocate of new music, Mr. Foster-Smith has premiered works by composers such as Gudmundur Hafsteinsson, Ron Minor and has a special interest in the works of Halsey Stevens and Ursula Malmok. Recently he helped organize a festival of four concerts at the Hochschule Hanns Eisler dedicated exclusively to the music of György Kurtág. Amongst his former students are members of the Calder and Daedalus String Quartets.


Won-Bin Yim

Violinist Won-Bin Yim has served as concertmaster of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Reno Philharmonic, and he was first violinist of the Fairmount String Quartet and violinist of the Argenta Trio. Yim is an associate professor of violin at CCM where he received the Glover Award for the Excellence in Teaching, and during the summer, he teaches at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont and at the Aria International Summer Academy in Massachusetts.
Previously, Yim was a violin faculty member at the Juilliard School pre- college and an assistant violin faculty member at the Juilliard School college division, a violin faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival, CCM/ Spoleto Music Festival in Italy, director and violin faculty member of the PAX Summer String Program, and Dean and violin faculty member at the Great Mountain Music Festival and School in Korea.
His students have won prizes at national and international competitions, and former students are playing in major symphony orchestras including the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Washington Opera Orchestra, and Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Yim’s former students are currently teaching at universities and conservatories throughout the U.S., Canada, Korea, China, Brazil, Mexico and Europe, as well performing as members of professional chamber music ensembles.  Yim’s teachers include Dorothy Delay, Jens Ellerman, Berl Senofsky, Joon Woo Lee and Jae Hyun Lee. He assisted Dorothy Delay at The Juilliard School and at the Aspen Music Festival and School as a faculty member. BM, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, MD; MM and DMA, The Juilliard School, New York, NY.


The names of the eight finalists will be announced in a press conference in Milan on June 17, 2016.


The eliminatory round jury is evaluating the recordings submitted.


The 43rd International Viola Congress welcomes the 44 contestants of the International Viola Competition “Città di Cremona”

from Austria, China, Colombia, Korea, France, Germany, Japan, England, Italy, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, United States of America.


April 1, 2016: the application deadline is past.


Application deadline: March 31, 2016
Selection announcement to competitors by May 16, 2016
Final rounds Cremona 4th-6th October 2016


A) General characteristics

  1. The competition consists of a preliminary round (video-taped), a semi-final and a final round.
  2. Age limit: competitors must be born on or after January 1, 1988.
  3. Competitors must be members in good standing with the Associazione Italiana della Viola (if Italian or from a country in which there is no viola society affiliated with the IVS) or of any section of the International Viola Society on 31 March 2016.
  4. Application deadline: by 11:59 p.m. (Italian time) on 31 March 2016.
  5. Preliminary Round: The jury will evaluate the videos received with the applications and select up to eight semifinalists by May 2, 2016. The names of the semifinalists will be announced by e-mail to the participants by May 16, 2016, and immediately afterwards to the public via press, conference blog and on our Facebook pages.
  6. Accommodation in Cremona will be provided to all semifinalists for the duration of the Congress.
  7. Semi-final round (with piano): Cremona, October 4, 2016 from 9,30 to 12,30 and from 14,00 to 17,00. The jury will evaluate the performances and select three finalists. The three finalists will be announced at the opening concert of the 43rd IVC, which will take place on October 4 at 20,30.
  8. Board and accommodation in Cremona will be provided for all finalists for the duration of the congress.
  9. Final round (with orchestra): Cremona, evening concert on October 6, 2016. The announcement of the standings and awards will take place at the end of the concert.


B) Audition rounds

Preliminary Round (recorded round): March 31, 2016.

  1. Applicants must submit two (2) pieces, one for each category (see list).
  2. Candidates enrolled in the International Viola Competition of the 43rd International Viola Congress will be selected based on their video recordings. To this end, applicants must upload online video recordings of a performance of approximately 15 minutes total time, and send the links to the following address: IVC.Viola.Competition@gmail.com
  3. The video recording is the only accepted format for the preliminary round. Recordings will be accepted on condition that there is only one take per movement (no editing whatsoever) and that there are no fade-ins or fade-outs (fading). The camera must remain still from the beginning to the end of the movement and the recording must include the viola player at all times. The camera must be as close as possible to the violist, and the face, as well as both arms and hands of the performer should always be visible. For best results, we recommend using a high quality microphone separate from the camera feeding the audio signal into the VCR.
  4. Faulty recordings will be automatically disqualified by the commission.
  5. A maximum of 8 (eight) candidates will be admitted to the semi-finals.
  6. Only candidates who score a minimum of 8 points (out of 12) in the preliminary round will be admitted to the semi-finals.
  7. Competitors selected to participate in the semi-final round will be notified by May 16, 2016.


Semifinal Round, with piano accompaniment, open to the public: Cremona, October 4, 2016.

  1. Violists accepted for the semifinal stage of the competition must provide three copies of the sheet music of their program for the jury.
  2. Applicants must prepare three (3) pieces of their own choice, one from each category (see list).
  3. The competitors will be informed of the results on October 4, 2016.
  4. The 43rd International Viola Congress will provide a piano accompanist. There will be the opportunity to rehearse for up to one hour with the pianist, before the competition. Competitors may, however, choose to play with their own accompanist at their own expense.
  5. The order of the candidates admitted to the semi-final will be drawn at random on Oct. 4, 2016, immediately after the summons.
  6. Only candidates who scored a minimum of 10 points (out of 12) in the semi-final will be admitted to the final round. A maximum of three (3) candidates will be admitted to the final round.


Final Round with orchestra and award presentation, open to the public: Cremona, October 6, 2016.

  1. Candidates will perform a Viola Concerto with orchestra from memory (see list). The concerto will be performed in its entirety.
  2. The Congress board will determine the program order for the final round on the basis of artistic and organizational needs.
  3. The duration of the final round will correspond to the length of the chosen concertos.
  4. The competitors will be informed of the results on Oct. 6, 2016 at the conclusion of the competition.


C) Registration

  1. How to apply. Please send an email with a link to the video recording and pdfs of registration form, proof of age (scan of the passport or identity card), proof of payment of the registration fee, by March 31, 2016 to: IVC.Viola.Competition@gmail.com. Only completed applications received by 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2016 (Italian time) will be accepted.
  2. The registration fee is € 50. The payment must be made by March 31, 2016, and should be made payable to:

Associazione Italiana della Viola

Banca Popolare Etica, Florence, Via dell’Agnolo 73r

IBAN: IT 78 X 05018 02800 000000220761

BIC or SWIFT CODE: CCRTIT2T84A (for foreign payments only).

Specify the reason for payment: registration fee for the Viola Performance Competition IVC 2016.


D) Repertory

Preliminary Round application deadline March 31, 2016.

  1. Candidates enrolled in the International Viola Competition of the 43rd International Viola Congress will be selected based on their video recordings. (Instructions for preparing the video recordings, are to be found under the guidelines in section B).
  2. Contestants must present two pieces, one from each of the following categories:

1) A capriccio or studio-concerto for solo viola chosen from the following works: Henri Vieuxtemps, Capriccio in C minor “Hommage à Paganini” op.55 (op.9 post.); Friedrich Hermann, 6 studies from Concerto Op.18; Bartolomeo Campagnoli, 41 Caprices op.22 numbers 5, 17, 23, 24, 25, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 39 and 41; Maurice Vieux (20 studies for viola).

2) A piece, or movement/s of ones own choice.


Semifinals Cremona, October 4, 2016.

  1. Applicants must prepare three (3) pieces, one from each of the categories below:

1) The prelude to one of the last Bach suites for cello (choose between suite n.4 BWV 1010, n.5 BWV 1011 to bar 223, n.6 BWV 1012)


the first movement of a sonata or partita by Bach for solo violin (choose from Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001; Partita n. 1, BWV 1002; Sonata n. 2, BWV 1003; Partita n. 2, BWV 1004; Sonata n. 3 , BWV 1005; Partita n. 3, BWV 1006)


2) Movement/s of a romantic piece for viola and piano to be chosen from the following: Johannes Brahms Sonata op. 120 n. 1 (first movement), Johannes Brahms Sonata op. 120 n. 2 (first movement), Mikhail Glinka Sonata (first movement), Anton Rubinstein Sonata (first movement), Franz Schubert Arpeggione Sonata op. post. (first movement); Henri Vieuxtemps op.36 (first movement), Robert Schumann Märchenbilder op.113 (choose the 1st and 2nd, or 3rd and 4th movements), Ludwig van Beethoven’s Nocturne in D major, Op. 42 (movements 1, 2 and 3, edition Sydney Beck), George Enescu Konzertstück (complete);


3) Original work for solo viola of the 20th century, chosen from:

Paul Hindemith Sonata op. 11 No.5 (choose either movements 1, 2, 3, or movement 4); Paul Hindemith Sonata op. 25 No. 1 (complete); Krzysztof Penderecki Cadenza; György Sándor Ligeti Sonata for Solo Viola (four movements of choice); Salvatore Sciarrino Tre Notturni Brillianti; Luciano Berio Sequenza VI; Franco Donatoni Ali n. 1.


  1. Each audition will last no longer than 40 minutes in total.
  2. In the event of excessive duration of the program, the jury has the right to stop the audition without affecting the validity of the audition.
  3. The execution of the chosen Bach movement is to be played from memory.


Final round and awards: Cremona, October 6, 2016.

  1. Candidates will perform a Viola Concerto from memory, chosen from the three listed below.
  • Béla Bartók Viola Concerto, Tibor Serly edition.
  • Paul Hindemith Der Schwanendreher
  • William Walton Viola Concerto.


  1. The first prize can only be awarded to a candidate who has scored a minimum of 11 points in the final round.
  2. The announcement of standings and awards will take place on October 6, 2016 at the conclusion of the competition.


  1. E) Awards

Third prize: € 500, and a half recital at the 2017 National ViolaFest organized by the Associazione Italiana della Viola.

Second prize: € 1,000, and a full recital at the 2017 National ViolaFest organized by the Associazione Italiana della Viola.

First prize:

– € 2,000, a recital and the possibility to hold a master class at the 2017 National ViolaFest organized by the Associazione Italiana della Viola;

– A concert in an Italian theater and/or prestigious music society to be announced;

– Publication of the final round recording on our web channels;

– Article-interview, to be published in a music magazine or newspaper.


F) Jury

  1. Jury members are not allowed to judge their students. Participants are considered to be their students if they have taken lessons during the three years prior to the competition.
  2. Candidates’ performances will be evaluated by each member of the jury according to three different parameters: A) fidelity to the work, B) technical level, C) artistic/musical quality of the interpretation.
  3. The jury is not allowed to speak with candidates until the competition is completed.
  4. Only eight or fewer competitors can pass the semi-final round; only three or fewer competitors can pass to the final round; the jury is not obligated to award all the prizes.
  5. Composition of the jury:

Preliminary Round: an international jury composed of three eminent musicians (a violinist, a violinist, a cellist) will select eight or fewer semifinalists between 31 March and 1 May 2016 based on the submitted video recordings. The jury’s decision is final.

Semi-Final Round: an international jury composed of three distinguished musicians (a conductor, two violists) who were not members of the first jury will select three finalists based on the October 4, 2016 auditions. The competitors selected to participate in the final round will be informed on October 4, 2016. The jury’s decision is final.

Final Round: A third international panel of five musicians who were not members of either the first or the second jury, comprised of three eminent violists, guests of the 43rd IVC, and two non violists, will assign 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize on October 6, 2016. The jury’s decision is final.


G) Endnotes

Participants who are not residents of the EU must obtain the necessary authorization to enter the EU. The 43rd International Viola Congress cannot offer assistance for entry into Italy beyond providing a written confirmation of the invitation to be a semi-finalist in the competition.

If you have questions related to our International Viola Competition, please contact: IVC.Viola.Competition@gmail.com


The official version of these rules is the Italian version. Any discrepancies or differences created in the English translation are not binding. In cases where disputes arise regarding the accuracy of the information presented in the English version, the official Italian version will be referred to.


Click here to download the Application Form


Here is the pdf file of the Competition rules: InternationalViolaCompetition20.12.15