The two Hungarians not only played music, they were themselves the music – in every nerve – down to their fingertips.

Adelheid von Schorn on Reményi and Liszt

This year's Bartók World Competition takes off

25 October 2021

The Liszt Academy’s 2021 Bartók World Competition kicked off Monday afternoon with determining the order of performance of participating quartets. The event will last until Sunday, the live rounds of the competition, featuring string quartet formations this year, will be held in Solti Hall and are open to the public.

In keeping with the tradition of the competitions organized by the Liszt Academy, the youngest contestant, violinist Misawa Kyoka, who plays in the Japanese Quartet Integra, drew the number of the first performing string quartet during the drawing of the lots, which is the Vienna-based Chaos String Quartet. The other quartets will follow in alphabetical order through the last letter of the alphabet and then from the beginning; this order of performance will be valid throughout the competition. To see it on bartokworldcompetition.hu please click here. Classrooms are provided for rehearsals, but contestants will also be allowed to practice in the Solti Hall before the rounds of the competition.

The competition series, which started in 2017, takes place in six-year cycles. In odd years, instrumentalists match their strength: first came the violinists, followed in 2019 by pianists and in 2021 by string quartets. In even-numbered years, it’s the turn of composers to compete against one another, with works corresponding to the next year's instrumental competition, and the award winning compositions are included in next year’s repertoire.

 


Liszt Academy/Dénes Erdős

 

The semi-finals, the final and the award ceremony take place in the Solti Hall of the Liszt Academy and the events will be broadcast live on the online platforms of the Academy.

The list of works that contestants of this year’s competition can choose from is available by clicking here, it contains the most outstanding compositions of the string quartet genre from Haydn to Ligeti. Naturally, the repertoire includes several of Bartók's works and the award-winning works of the 2020 competition for composers: compositions for string quartet by first place winner Okamoto Shinsuke of Japan and Adam Brandenburg, winner of last year’s special prize.

The international jury can also award special prizes at the Bartók World Competition where awards amount to a total of 24,000 euros. The prestigious body consists of renowned members of the international chamber music scene: Russian-American violinist Mikhail Kopelman; Norwegian cellist Bjørg Lewis, founding member of the Vertago Quartet; Austrian violinist Johannes Meissl, professor of chamber music and deputy rector at the Vienna University of Music and member of the Artis Quartet; violinist Ami Oike, professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts (GEIDAI), in addition to Hungarian members: Kossuth Prize-winning violinists Barnabás Kelemen, András Keller and János Rolla, as well as Széchenyi Prize-winning music historian Tibor Tallián.

 


photo: Liszt Academy/Dénes Erdős

 

Eleven quartets will compete in the live rounds. The Vienna-based Chaos String Quartet; the Dior Quartet established at the University of Indiana that consists of members from Israel, Korea, Canada, Saint Lucia, and the United States; the Integra Quartet featuring Japanese members; the Javus Quartet that operates in Vienna and consists of students of the Mozarteum in Salzburg; the Korossy Quartet featuring the talented students of the Franz Liszt University of Music; the Modulor String Quartet founded by four students of the Zurich College of Music; the Novo Quartet, based in Copenhagen, whose members study at the Royal Danish Academy of Music; the Risus Quartet from South Korea; the Sonoro Quartet from Belgium; the Unison Quartet, founded by former and current students of The Juilliard School in New York; as well as the Velvet Quartet, currently based in North Rhine-Westphalia, whose members hail from several countries.