THE SCOOP | Classicalia International Competition Is Looking For Classical Musicians Worldwide

By Anya Wassenberg on November 30, 2022

Konzerthaus, Vienna, November 2012 (CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication)
Konzerthaus, Vienna, November 2012 (CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication)

Classicalia, a global classical music competition, is open for submissions from competitors of any age. The competition final will be broadcast live on four continents and in more than 30 countries.

The deadline for applications is December 21, 2022.

What’s in it for competitors

Classicalia’s inaugural competition took place last year, and this year represents an expansion of the original. The first three rounds of auditions are conducted online via video recording. The finalists will be selected in April 2023.

The competition is open to all solo instrumentalists, as well as singers. For every participant:

  • Written feedback for every participant, along with adjudication from a jury headed by Mexican opera star Ramón Vargas;
  • A digital master class, and free tickets to a live workshop in Vienna.

Each category and age group will receive its own prize, ensuring an equitable chance at all levels. For the final round, 12+1 musicians (3 in each category and 1 Audience Choice Award winner) are chosen. Along with the opportunity to compete at an international level, finalists can look forward to several perks.

  • An all-expenses paid trip to Vienna, Austria;
  • Finalists will perform with a symphony orchestra in front of a live audience in the fabled Großer Saal of the Vienna Konzerthaus;
  • The gala final concert will be broadcast via PBS and Stingray Classica, and viewed on stations in 30+ countries.

Special prizes awarded to selected finalists include invitations to perform as some of the world’s major classical music venues in Toronto, Tokyo, New York and Vienna, as well as a mentorship program.

Tenor Ramón Vargas, jury head, has performed with the world’s largest opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera to Staatsoper Berlin, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the Royal Opera House in London, and La Scala in Milan.

There was a solid Canadian contingent in last year’s inaugural competition of several musicians in all categories, including finalist Thomas Torok. The Hungarian-born Canadian pianist has since received his BMus from the RCM, and is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma in Piano Performance at the Toronto institution. Among the semi-finalists, there were several talented young Canadians in the 11 and under category, including six-year-old Khloe Wu, the youngest semi-finalist in 2021/22.

The Gala Concert final will take place in Vienna on June 28, 2023.

The basics

The essential breakdown goes by age, with an exception made for a more adventurous category.

  • Age categories (age as of December 21, 2023): Category 1: 4-11 years old (soloists only); Category 2: 12-17 years old (soloists only); Category 3: 18-25 years old (soloists only); Category 4: “Beyond
    the Score” any age (solos or duos).

The repertoire for categories 1, 2, and 3 can consist of any standard Western classical piece in its unmodified original form. There is no specific stipulation as to time, and performers must work from memory.

Category 4 allows for musical experimentation. It can include both soloists and duets, and music that showcases classical music training in its performance, but may draw from any musical source, including pop music, folk, and film scores.

More information here and registration here.

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