Competition opportunities for adults

September 15, 2005 at 09:21 PM · I have noticed that most violin concerto competitions are limited to those under 30. Are there any other competitions (in the USA) that go beyond the 30's, or don't have an age limit?

Replies (18)

September 16, 2005 at 05:10 AM · There are indeed competitions, in the US and abroad, which have no age limit, or a 30+ age limit. Unfortunately, the prize money and non-financial rewards (e.g. concerts, management, etc.) are barely worth leaving home for. I suppose the assumption is that adults need neither money, nor performance opportunities, nor management. Because, naturally, they need neither pay their bills nor advance their career.

September 16, 2005 at 03:06 PM · Amen to that response. :)

September 16, 2005 at 04:16 PM · Hmm, some folks like to compete simply to win regardless of whatever prize may be associated with 1st place. Like the original poster, I think it'd be nice to see some websites or other sources of info on these competitions.

September 19, 2005 at 05:17 PM · I guess I specified the USA, because, like you said, most aren't worth leaving home for. And as a violinist who has chosen the "mommy track", career opportunities are naturally more limited. However, it would be nice to find opportunities to perform, or even audition!

December 13, 2005 at 04:11 AM · You might be able to find one for adults on this list: http://violinmasterclass.com/compauditions.php

December 13, 2005 at 09:30 PM · For a much more complete listing, try the WFIMC website (World Federation of International Music Competitions). I think it's www.wfimc.org. However, on the violin masterclass website, as I expected, there is a sampling of some of the more famous contests, almost all limited to the below-30 crowd. The only exception, again, as expected, is the IBLA prize, which seems to offer concerts (unpaid) to its winners in some very prestigious venues. I don't know why it's assumed that someone above 30 would be dying to play in a possibly empty, albeit famed, auditorium with, at best, only one's expenses being covered. Do the organizers of these things assume that one needs scads of cash until one hits 30 and then is reconciled to living like a pauper and paying for the privilege of playing?

December 13, 2005 at 09:43 PM · Boycott under-30 competitions and the players who win them.

December 14, 2005 at 08:15 PM · Hey, there are more and more professional ice-skating competitions on TV these days. They don't all do the same athletic tricks as they did when they were younger, but they become much better skaters in general as they get older.

So maybe some producer somewhere will realize that while watching cute prodigies and aspiring youths is nice, it's also really inspiring to hear someone put thirty years of concert experience to good use on a competition stage.

You know, fiddle competitions allow in all ages and levels. Isn't that cool?

December 14, 2005 at 09:10 PM · Is there something equivalent to the Van Cliburn Competition (for amateur pianists) in the violin world? That competition is quite prestigious, but of course one of the stipulations for competitors is that your primary source of income is something other than music.

December 14, 2005 at 11:02 PM · Patty, yes it is cool. And it says something very significant. And you can go win a Winfield guitar championship at age 18 or 80. All in all, that's the most meaningful competition in music that I know of. There are no stipulations at all. Even previous winners are eligible, beginning two years ago, if they continued that. The prizes are nominal, but if you win it you will have a career. And on top of that it's annual. Remember, if the QE is every four (?) years, the real cutoff age for you can be 26 if the nominal cutoff age is 30.

July 1, 2006 at 04:02 AM · I won several competitions growing up and then stopped going because after winning some 2nd prizes I had many people in audiences tell me that I'd gotten robbed. In 1999 I went to a major competition in Europe and found that some of the best players didn't even pass the first round. A young baby won 1st prize and 2nd, 4th were better... so now I stopped... I realized that Heifetz, Ricci, Scheryng, Milstein, etc. never went to a competition but instead let their game speak for itself... eventually many of these ARTISTS had competitions, schools, scholarships, etc. named after them.

July 1, 2006 at 04:02 AM · I won several competitions growing up and then stopped going because after winning some 2nd prizes I had many people in audiences tell me that I'd gotten robbed. In 1999 I went to a major competition in Europe and found that some of the best players didn't even pass the first round. A young baby won 1st prize and 2nd, 4th were better... so now I stopped... I realized that Heifetz, Ricci, Scheryng, Milstein, etc. never went to a competition but instead let their game speak for itself... eventually many of these ARTISTS had competitions, schools, scholarships, etc. named after them.

July 1, 2006 at 04:07 AM · I won several competitions growing up and then stopped going because after winning some 2nd prizes I had many people in audiences tell me that I'd gotten robbed. In 1999 I went to a major competition in Europe and found that some of the best players didn't even pass the first round. A young baby won 1st prize and 2nd, 4th were better... so now I stopped... I realized that Heifetz, Ricci, Scheryng, Milstein, etc. never went to a competition but instead let their game speak for itself... eventually many of these ARTISTS had competitions, schools, scholarships, etc. named after them.

July 1, 2006 at 12:00 PM · Mr. Chudnovsky, thanks for the heads up on competitions for those over 30. I had NO IDEA how that worked until somebody brought this thread back up and I saw your advice. Given your success in competitions and as a professional, I'll heed your advice.

Jack Krumbein, you sound like an interesting and highly capable player. Doesn't winning a prize at all in an competition help one's career prospects anyway? After all, it's common knowledge that somebody who doesn't place first in a specific contest isn't barred from having a great career.

That said, could it be that by the time a professional violinist is over the age of 30 he's already established and doesn't even NEED competitions to fill his schedule with more gigs?

July 7, 2006 at 09:09 AM · Why not start an adult music competition society of our own? All you need are some good judges and startup money/donations.

July 7, 2006 at 03:52 PM · That already happens every time tickets and CDs are sold, Henry Z Liao.

The good part about the competition of "life" is that everybody can be a winner.

December 1, 2013 at 02:24 PM · Thank you, Terence Lu. Although I will never be ready for any competitions, I really like your idea that adults and late-starters should make their own opportunities instead of waiting for them to happen.

January 12, 2016 at 11:47 AM · Last year I found out the international music competition Svir√©l in Slovenia (Europe). They have also the category for "unlimited age". Chek on their website: http://upol.si/svirel

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