28 candidates selected for final rounds of Tibor Varga International Violin Competition!

Sion, May 15th, 2019. 28 candidates under 26 years of age have been selected on video to participate in the next Tibor Varga International Violin Competition. The organisers are delighted with a particularly high level of achievement, thanks in particular to the requirements of the artistic program and the hundred or so applications submitted (+28%). Georges Starobinski, the new president of the jury of the Competition, worked hand in hand with Pavel Vernikov, artistic director of the Sion Festival to review the choice of works and the format of the competition, which will take place from 18 to 24 August 2019 in Sion, Switzerland.

Contemporary works - and Swiss!

After a first video audition, the 28 candidates will have two rounds at the Jesuit Church to break the tie before three of them reach the final. In the first round of the solo violin repertoire, they will be asked to perform an excerpt from a work by Bach, a particularly demanding work of the 20th century to be chosen from Bartók, Berio, Boulez, Donatoni, Veress or Ysaÿe, as well as a piece of their choice. The 12 candidates selected for the 2nd round will then have as their compulsory piece "Ri-tratto", taken from Heinz Holliger's 4 hommages for Solo Violin. The competition aims to honour the composer, who will celebrate his 80th birthday on May 21st, 2019. This second round will also be complemented by a selection of piano sonatas, representing both classical style and romanticism, as well as the great representatives of musical modernity.

A two-round feature race

The final will take place at the Ferme-Asile in the form of two concerts: the first on August 23rd with Antonio Meneses, cello, and Juan Carlos Garvayo, piano, in chamber music; the second on August 24th, with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy.

A few figures

Among the 94 applications submitted, 65% are women and 21 different nationalities. The continents with the highest representation are Asia (54%), followed by Europe (24%) and America (17%). The average age of the candidates is 21 years, 9 months and 6 days and the three youngest are not yet 17 years old. Only one application is Swiss. For the first time, the organizers are pleased to have received applications from Australia (3) and the Philippines (1).

Links to other websites


  • Sunday August 18th, 4pm, draw at the Eglise des Jésuites
  • Monday August 19th, 10am-8pm, and Tuesday 20th, 10am-6pm, 1st round, 28 candidates, then result
  • Wednesday August 21st, 2pm-8pm, and Thursday 22nd, 1pm-4pm, 2nd round, 12 candidates, then result
  • Friday August 23rd, 8pm, 1stevening of the final - Chamber music, 3 finalists with Antonio Meneses, cello, and Juan Carlos Garvayo, piano
  • Saturday 24th, 8pm, 2ndevening of the final - Concert, 3 finalists, with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy

Places & prices :

  • Free admission for the first two tours at the Jesuit Church
  • Finals: CHF 30.00 to 80.00, CHF 100.00 for the two concerts at the Ferme-Asile

Ticketing on our website (www.sion-concours.ch).

The Concerts of the final will be given as part of the Sion Festival:

Ticket office

Tickets are available on our website and from our partner MANOR. We also accept the following passes: Pass'Murailles','Welcome Pass' and'20 years old 100 Francs'.

Fondation Sion Violon Musique 

Place Ambuel 7 | Case Posale 2155 | 1950 Sion