The Primrose International Viola Competition® 2018 is open to violists born after January 1, 1989, and who are ready to embark on an international solo career. The Competition welcomes applicants of all nationalities, ethnic origins, religions, and genders.
All applicants must be current members in good standing of the American Viola Society and were required to submit a nonrefundable application fee of $150 US dollars. The online application was due by 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on December 18, 2017, and is now closed. Applicants invited to the live rounds were notified by January 29, 2018, and the live round competitors can be found here.
Works with and without piano accompaniment are permitted in all rounds, unless otherwise specified. Competitors must perform a different selection of works in each round (including the Pre-Screening Round). All concertos and works for solo viola must be performed by memory. Repeats are not encouraged, but are left to the discretion of the competitor. The cutting of particularly lengthy tutti sections is strongly encouraged for all rounds (except for the Final Round), but is ultimately left to the discretion of the competitor. The program performance order in the Pre-Screening, Quarter-Final, and Semi-Final Rounds is at the discretion of the competitor. The number of competitors noted below are subject to change; the jury will have the discretion to decide on the final number of competitors for each round. All prizes will be awarded, and the decisions of the jury will be final.
Competitors will perform works that fulfill all of the following criteria, and each video recording shall be made from start to finish without cuts and/or splices. Each work shall be uploaded separately:
1) first movement of the Stamitz Viola Concerto in D Major, Op. 1 or Hoffmeister Viola Concerto in D Major, including a cadenza of your choice;
2) one movement of a Bach Cello Suite, or a Bach Violin Sonata or Partita transcribed for viola; and
3) a work that demonstrates the virtuosic strengths of the participant
* Maximum time limit of total combined performance of all three works – 20 minutes *
The 24 competitors in the Quarter‐Final Round will perform works that fulfill both of the following criteria:
1) a work that demonstrates the musical strengths of the competitor (examples include, but are not limited to, a work by Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Shostakovich, Clarke, Hindemith, and Enescu–due to the time constraint, competitors may perform a single movement of their choice); and
2) a work that demonstrates the virtuosic strengths of the competitor (examples include, but are not limited to, a Hindemith or Reger solo sonata, Paganini Sonata per La Grand Viola, Weber Andante e rondo ungarese, Penderecki Cadenza, Paganini Caprice, and/or any works comparable to those previously listed)
* Minimum length of performance – 20 minutes; maximum length of performance – 25 minutes *
The 8 competitors who advance to the Semi‐Final Round will have the freedom to choose their repertoire, excluding concerto repertoire. Competitors will also have the option to perform a transcription in this round – the transcription can be his/her own OR a Primrose transcription of a work not originally for viola. A special “Transcriptions Prize” will be awarded for the best performance in this round. Some Primrose transcriptions are listed in the PDF called “Repertoire Guidelines” for reference.
* Maximum length of performance – 50 minutes *
Each of the 3 competitors in the Final Round will perform, in its entirety, the following repertoire in 2 phases:
1) Brahms Trio in A Minor, Op. 114 (Lynn Harrell, cello; Jon Nakamatsu, piano); and
2) Bartók/Serly Viola Concerto or Walton Viola Concerto with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
By March 1, 2018, the 24 invited live round competitors will be required to submit the following:
Any competitors performing transcriptions are required to send a copy of the pianist part or the name of the edition to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2018.
Any competitors planning to bring a private pianist to the Competition is required to state such intentions in writing to email@example.com by March 1, 2018. (The Competition will not be responsible for any costs associated with bringing a private pianist – see “Pianists” section below for details.)
All live round competitors are required to be present at the drawing of lots on June 10, 2018.
Accommodations: Each live round competitor will be provided one room within a suite of the Colburn School’s residential facilities from Saturday, June 9th, and will be required to depart by Sunday, June 17th. Only in cases where a competitor is under the age of 18, an additional room may be requested for a parent to accompany the competitor. Competitors will be responsible for any and all accommodations falling outside of the competition period. Competitors who only take part in the Quarter-Final Rounds (and do not participate in the Semi-Final or Final Rounds) are welcome to stay for the rest of the competition, but are not required to do so.
Drawing of lots: The drawing of lots will take place on June 10, 2018 at 10 a.m., and will decide the playing order of the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final Rounds. Any competitor not physically present at the drawing will be assigned a proxy to draw on his/her behalf, and the playing order will be determined accordingly (only in extreme circumstances will the order of playing be altered by the Competition Committee). The playing order of the Final Round may or may not follow the playing order of the previous rounds, depending on a number of factors including choice of repertoire.
Jury: All prizes will be awarded, and the decisions of the jury will be final. Any direct, personal contact between jurors and competitors is expressly forbidden while the competitors are actively involved in the Competition. Any juror having a familial relationship or a current or former teaching/ professional relationship with a competitor must declare such relationship, and will abstain from voting on the competitor’s performances. The jury will have the discretion to change the final number of competitors for each of the rounds, if deemed necessary.
Jury feedback: Jurors have been requested to provide written or verbal comments for each of the competitors in order to aid them in their further professional pursuits, and to make themselves available after the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final Rounds to provide feedback for competitors not advancing beyond those rounds. Jurors have also been requested to make themselves available to the Finalists after the Final Round to offer constructive feedback. Dedicated times to receive such feedback will be determined closer to the date of the live rounds.
Meals: The Colburn Café will be open for all days of the Competition. There is also a plethora of dining options around Colburn and the general downtown Los Angeles area.
Performance times: Competitors are expected to be present at his/her designated performance times. Any competitor unable to be perform at their designated time may be disqualified unless his/her absence is approved by the Competition at least 24 hours in advance of their designated performance time and the Competition is able to alter the performance order accordingly.
Pianists: Collaborative pianists will be provided by the Competition and assigned to competitors based on repertoire. Competition pianist assignments may change from the Quarter-Final Round to the Semi-Final Round. Every competitor will be provided 60 minutes of rehearsal time for the Quarter-Final Round and 90 minutes of rehearsal time for the Semi-Final Round with their Competition pianist. Rehearsals will begin after the drawing of lots on June 10, 2018. Competitors who choose to bring their own pianist must specify such intentions when submitting their live round repertoire (by March 1, 2018). Competitors will be responsible for any transportation, accommodation, and any other costs associated with bringing a private pianist.
Prize Monies: Taxes will be deducted from prize monies in accordance with United States tax laws in effect at the time of the Competition. Prize monies will be distributed once all necessary documentation (e.g., tax forms) is submitted, and the Competition will require at least 7 business days following the submission of required materials to process the prizes.
Rehearsals: Every competitor will be provided 60 minutes of rehearsal time for the Quarter-Final Round and 90 minutes of rehearsal time for the Semi-Final Round with their Competition pianist. Rehearsal times for the Final Round will be announced on a date closer to the live rounds of the Competition, and competitors will be notified of their exact rehearsal times after the Drawing of Lots has taken place.
Scores: Scores will be posted online after each live round of the Competition.
Travel, Visas, and Insurance: In some instances, competitors who are not U.S. citizens may be required to obtain a visa in order to enter the United States. Please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for any questions pertaining to such matters. All competitors are also expected to have suitable travel and health insurance for the duration of the Competition. More language regarding this matter can be found in the “Declaration and Release Form” to which every candidate agreed and signed prior to submitting the online application.
Prizes generously sponsored by Linda and Michael Keston. Prize monies in US dollars.
* The 1st Prize winner will also be invited to perform at a winner’s concert at Brigham Young University, presented in conjunction with the Primrose International Viola Archive, and will receive the CodaBow Marquise generously donated by CodaBow.
(All live rounds of the Competition will be held in Zipper Hall.)
The online application was due on December 18, 2017, and is now closed.
January 29, 2018
March 1, 2018
June 10, 2018 @ 10 AM (Mayman Hall)
June 11, 2018 @ 6 pm (Mayman Hall)
June 12, 2018 @ 1-4 pm & 4:30-7:30 pm
June 13, 2018 @ 1-4 pm & 4:30-7:30 pm
June 14, 2018 @ 1-5 pm & 6-10 pm
June 16, 2018 @ 10-11:45 am (Chamber Music Round with Lynn Harrell, cello & Jon Nakamatsu, piano)
June 16, 2018 @ 7:30-9:25 pm (Concerto Round with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra)
June 16, 2018 @ 9:45 pm
*** Note that end times are approximate