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German Musical Instrument Fund Competition Names 2024 Winners

A total of 37 musicians have received loans on quality string instruments, including those crafted by Guarneri and Gofriller 


Founded in 1993 as a joint project with the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Musical Instrument Fund holds around 250 historical string instruments, which are loaned to outstanding young musicians through an annual competition.

The 31st edition of the German Musical Instrument Fund saw 52 young musicians compete. Of these, 37 were awarded loans and four musicians extended the loans on their current instruments. 

Instruments awarded this year included violins, violas, and cellos made across the 1600s to the present day, and crafted by makers including Matteo Goffriller, the Guarneri family, Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, Francesco Rugeri, Lorenzo Storioni, and more. 

Among the instruments included a privately owned 1744 Giambattista Guadagnini violin made in Piacenza, which was awarded to the 23-year-old violinist Louisa Staples, a master’s student at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler University of Music.

Staples’ new violin most recently belonged to the late Polish violinist Michel Schwalbé, who served as concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan for many years.

A master’s student at the Munich University of Music, 23-year-old cellist Tzu-Shao Chao received a cello with the label “Joseph Guarnerius Filius Andreae” alongside the Foundation’s €5,000 Dr. Alexander Sikorski scholarship. 

The full list of winners and their instruments can be found here

Chaired by Volker Jacobsen, the honorary members of the jury comprised Christian Brunnert, Nora Chastain, Maria Kliegel, and Elisabeth Weber.

“The technical and musical level of the applicants was once again very high this year,” said German Music Life Foundation’s managing director, Bettina Bermbach in the press release

“The competition jury dealt very intensively with the musicians and their individual skills and needs in order to award the instruments in the best possible and most accurate way,” Bermbach added. “We are now looking forward to getting to know our new scholarship holders and accompanying their artistic development.”

A broadcast of the competition’s final concert can be heard on Deutschlandfunk radio on May 19, 2024.

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