The Violin Channel recently caught up with 2019 Louis Spohr International Violin Competition Jury Chair, Prof. Dr. Friedemann Eichhorn.
Friedemann, what do you think is sp special about the Spohr competition?
"Over the past few years, the Louis-Spohr competition has developed into the largest violin competition in this age-group.
And, it is truly wonderful to see these fantastic talents from all over the world competing in Weimar.
More than 150 young violinists applied for the competition and a panel then selected 75 candidates to prove themselves in three live rounds in front of a ten-person jury"
How do you feel this particular competition, now in it's 9th editition, has influenced the careers of previous winners?
"First of all, we’ve been able to mediate some wonderful concerts with orchestras.
We owe the Thuringian orchestras a special debt of thanks for this, as they have engaged several prize winners.
And some great careers have developed, for instance that of the young violinist Stephen Waarts, who went on to win prizes at the Queen Elisabeth competition in Brussel after the Spohr competition and who is now an international success ... or the young David Castro-Balbi who then studied at our university and went on to have a career in music.
Or Hyeyoon Park, who won first prize when she was 15 and then first prize at the ARD competition.
The Spohr competition really is a career springboard"
How are you assessing the candidates this year?
"We have three age-groups which are judged individually, and the usual international competition standards apply.
We judge artistic presence, accuracy, and naturally, technique.
As you can imagine, only sophisticated violinists come to Weimar, who are really able to stand-up to international competition.
The level which is shown here again and again is unbelievable!