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Jean Sibelius Violin Competition Excludes Russian Participants


Held every five years by the Sibelius Society and the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, the XII International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition will be held between May 18-29, 2022. Originally scheduled for late 2020, the competition was postponed due to the pandemic and received a record number of applications.

The preliminary jury selected 49 young violinists to compete, and on March 7, 2022, the Competition Committee decided that all competitors would be judged purely on their artistic merits. Two young Russian violinists qualified in the preliminary selection process.

As a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC), the preliminary jury followed the WFIMC's guidelines that competitors should not be excluded from the competition solely on the basis of nationality.

However, today, the competition released a statement saying "the situation has changed since the beginning of March as the war in Ukraine has continued to intensify."

After this reexamination of Russian competitors, the Competition Committee "concluded that, in the current exceptional circumstances, [their] participation in the competition was not possible."

"The horrors of the war and the recently uncovered atrocities have meant that the Competition Committee has no moral or ethical option but to exclude the Russians from the competition. With this decision, the Competition Committee also wants to guarantee a neutral and peaceful environment for all competitors."

The Competition Committee consists of Chairman Lauri Ratia, Vice Chairman Olli-Pekka Martikainen and Lea Rahkola-Kauranen, Miisa Järvi, Päivi Arjas, Jaakko Ilves, Petri Saavalainen, Emil Viitala, Miikka Maunula and Secretary General of the Competition Päivi Pousar.

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