Classical Music

Applications Closing for New York’s 2022 Barbash Bach String Competition

Applications are to be received by October 7, 2022

Open to international string players 16 to 30 years of age, the Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach String Competition is focused entirely on the unaccompanied string Partitas, Sonatas, and Suites of J.S. Bach.

The 2022 Finals will be held at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center Recital Hall at 1:00pm on Thursday, December 1, and will be streamed by The Violin Channel.

The 2022 Grand Prize Winner will receive $5,000, plus a number of performance invitations. They will be the featured soloist at the Island Symphony Bach Festival, which will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday, January 29, 2022, at St. Peter’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Bay Shore, New York. The winner will receive an additional fee of $1,500 for this performance.

They will also be invited to participate in a master class conducted by baroque violinist, Rachel Podger, which will be held at the Staller Center Recital Hall at 7:00pm on Thursday, December 1. Second prize winner will receive $1,000.

The jury will comprise Robert Mealy, Colin Carr, Phoebe Carrai, Arthur Haas, and Ida Kavafian.

“A competition devoted to Bach is so special: his works are endlessly absorbing, and all of us learn something new each time we return to them,” Robert Mealy said. “Of course, it’s a lot of work to listen to all the entrants with open ears, but each of them has something to say, and you often find surprising illuminations into a piece you thought you knew thoroughly.”


Applications are to be received by October 7, 2022, and the finalists will be announced on November 12, 2022. To apply, click here.


When asked what the jury is looking for in this year’s winner, Mealy said, “I think we’re all looking for someone who has something compelling and persuasive to say with this music. You can say it in very different kinds of ways, but the vividness and clarity of the musical communication is the most important thing.”


Previous first prize winners include violinists Rachell Ellen Wong, Lun Li, and Tianyou Ma, plus cellist Maxime Quennesson.

You can watch last year’s winners’ final performances here.


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