Classical Music

“Violins&Soul” Salon Music Violin Competition Founders Give an Inside Look

Presented by the AMADEUS Festival Vienna, the new competition focuses on the genre of violin salon music


The first of its kind, the inaugural Salon Music Violin Competition “Violins&Soul” will reward young musicians for their best interpretation of the then-popular European music genre from the 19th century.

Open to artists aged between 15 and 30 years old, the competition’s application deadline is March 19, 2023. To apply, click here.

The grand prize of 5,000 Euros will also include the two-year loan of the 1709 Antonio Stradivari violin from the Goh Family Collection.

We caught up with Dr. Wilson Goh, Patron of the competition, and Mrs. Karen Goh, Director of AMADEUS Festival Vienna, to learn more about the inaugural competition and the inspiration behind it.



Can you tell us about the new “Violins&Soul” Salon Music Violin Competition? What was the inspiration behind its founding?

Karen and I have been noticing the gradual diminishing of presenting Salon Music in concerts. We’ve been asking ourselves: why is this music, which used to and continues to touch all of us, losing its presence in the very places where it used to move societies? It provides rich nutrients for the soul, yet its gradually losing importance in our musical lives.


We have a golden-period Stradivari and a few wonderful instruments in our collection. We think great Salon Music must once again be played on such violins by great artists of today, capturing the spirits of yesteryear’s legends.



Why did you decide to dedicate a competition to salon music? Why is this genre so special to you?

Salon Music speaks to many in the most intimate ways. My very first gift from my father (which were few due to financial circumstances) was a cassette tape titled ‘Humouresque’ by legendary David Nadien. It was in 1976 and it opened my mind to the world of Salon Music. The LP of the same production continues to marvel me to this day.



What is the main goal of the competition?

To discover artists of extraordinary beauty and soul!

Also, we want s beautiful Salon Music to continue to be played around the world, on the golden period Stradivari of the Goh Family Collection.



Who is edible to apply?

Violinists between the ages of 15 to 30, with the artistic ability to move us.



Any advice on how to prepare?

Prepare a program you know will be enjoyed by all — from academics and music aficionados to everyday folks.



What can winners expect to receive?

Grand Prize will receive a 2-year loan of the golden period Antonio Stradivari violin from the Goh Family Collection, cash prizes, an invitation to perform at the next AMADEUS Festival Vienna, and international exposure through the Violin Channel.



What do you hope all competition participants will take away from the event?

-To deep dive into Salon Music so that it can always be performed to the delight of many, young and old

-To meet and grow with like-minded musicians

-To be immersed in the atmosphere of the AMADEUS Festival Vienna



Finalists will perform with the Janoska Ensemble. Why was it important to see the candidates collaborate with other musicians?

Souls of great artists must meet and collaborate. The Janoska Ensemble is a group of genius musicians, particularly in improvisation. Salon Music of yesteryears is about improvisation too.



For more information, visit and contact [email protected] with any questions.

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