History of the competition

Hiyoli Togawa (2nd prize winner 2013)

The Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition is held in a world-famous centre of musical instrument making. Musical instruments have been built in high quality in the "Musikwinkel" for 350 years. The competition has its roots in this long and living tradition.

The competition started with the modest beginning of a violin contest from 1950 to 1965. The competition has developed to a performance of international importance and in 1993 was admitted to the "WORLD FEDERATION OF INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITIONS".

The International Instrumental Competition is held every year, with the alternation of string and wind instruments. Its purpose is to support the rising generation of musicians. The competition is on a high artistic level and is considered by experts to be an important event. A first-place finish means that the participant gains an international reputation, and it can be seen as an international mark of quality.

Its good reputation and high attractivity are demonstrated by the constantly rising number of participants.

Its great resonance is based on its unique flair, as well as the interaction between trade and artistry. New contacts are constantly made between those who have mastered their instruments and the masterful musical instrument makers of Markneukirchen.

The competition has gained in importance by the participation of leading and world-famous personalities as presidents such as professor Manfred Scherzer (1985-2003), professor Peter Damm (Dresden, 1986-2018), professor Julius Berger (Augsburg, 2003-2018), professor Thomas Selditz (Vienna, since 2018) and Prof. Christian Lampert (since 2018)  and other famous artists and musicians.

In 2005 the world-famous conductor and longstanding Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra Prof. Kurt Masur  assumed the patronage of the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition. After his death the renowned conductor Christian Thielemann was won as patron from 2016 on. In 2017 the German minister of state for culture and media Prof. Monika Grütters is patron together with him. During the last years Saxon Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich and Saxon Ministers of State for Science and the Fine Arts Professor Sabine von Schorlemer and Dr. Eva-Maria Stange became co-patron.

Dominik Wagner (1. Preisträger 2015)

Dominik Wagner (1st prize winner 2015)