Classical Music

Applications Open to Italy’s 57th International Violin Competition “Premio Paganini”

This year’s competition will take place from October 16-27, 2023 in Genoa, Italy


Open to violinists of any nationality between the ages of 15 and 31, the Premio Paganini Competition was founded in 1954 to create an international competition that would bring great prestige to the City of Genoa and provide a venue for discovering new, young, exceptional talents.

The First Prize, entitled “Premio Paganini,” will receive € 30,000, while the 2nd Prize is at € 20,000 and the 3rd Prize is at € 10,000. 4th through 6th Prize will receive € 4,000, € 3,000, and € 2,000 respectively.

The Premio Paganini winner will also be invited to perform at an impressive list of concerts, found here, at world-renowned institutions such as NordwestDeutesche Philarmonie, Dortmunder Philarmoniker, Riga Opera House, and Teatro della Scala in Milan.

The Mayor of Genoa, Mr. Marco Bucci said that “the Paganini Prize must reach the world.”

“I believe that it must have the support of Italy first,” he continued. “So, I proposed to the heads of theatres and national institutions, which I thank from the heart, to join us in a kind of “music chain,” each offering a concert to the winner of the 2023 prize. To date, there are over 40 prestigious institutions. The Teatro della Scala, a universally recognized name, is offering our winner to perform a concert as part of the season for the first time.”

Additionally, the winner will be offered the opportunity to play the “Cannone” violin that belonged to Niccolò Paganini, in accordance with the priority requirements for protection and conservation.

The competition has “strong roots in traditions,” and has “tried to open up to new perspectives,” said competition director Nazzareno Carusi. For example, in the semifinal, competitors will be expected to perform two sonatas: one written after 1781 and the other in the twentieth century. The finale, instead of including a chamber music piece, will include a Mozart concerto that the competitors will perform without a conductor.

The 2023 jury includes Salvatore Accardo (President), Ilya Grubert, Michael Guttman, Emmanuel Krivine, Christopher Reuning, Maxim Vengerov, and Reiko Watanabe.

“I am really happy and excited to preside over the jury of the Paganini Prize 2023 and I have countless wonderful memories of my first participation as a contestant and winner and the subsequent victorious participation of many of my students,” Salvatore Accardo said. “It is therefore that I offer, with extraordinary joy, my affectionate best wishes to all those who participate in this 57th edition of the Award: always win the best!”

Former first prize winners including Gyorgy Pauk, Gérard Poulet, Salvatore Accardo, Gidon Kremer, Ilya Grubert, Leonidas Kavakos, Ilya Gringolts, Sayaka Shoji, Ning Feng, and VC Artists Inmo Yang and Kevin Zhu.

The pre-selections will be held between the months of March and May 2023, with the live, in-person rounds to be held from October 16-27 in the Palazzo Tursi and Teatro Carlo Felice. All rounds will be streamed live on The Violin Channel.

To apply, click here. For pre-selection, each candidate will have to perform:

  • two Caprices by Niccolò Paganini of their choice (Urtext edition – G. Henle);
  • the first movement of a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Concerto of their choice.

For a full schedule, visit

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