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Searching for classical musicians with a voice

In cooperation with VAN Magazine, we are looking for musicians who create cathartic, disturbing, potent, hilarious, revolutionary, enigmatic, raw and unforgettable experiences.
For the second edition of the Berlin Prize for Young Artists, we are looking again for classical musicians with a unique voice. The focus goes beyond the search for musicians who are technically brilliant in standard repertoire. Together, we are looking to support artists of exceptional musicianship and vision.

The first edition of the competition has started very successfully. Almost 300 applications from young musicians all over the world reached us. Our partner, VAN, nominated the finalists.

A documentary with the finalists was produced and shown on Thursday, 27 August 2020, as part of the “Elbphilharmonie Konzertkino”.

Documentary with finalists of the Berlin Prize for Young Artists (full German version)
Documentary with finalists of the Berlin Prize for Young Artists (full English version)

The final for the first edition will take place on 25/26 October 2021 in Berlin.

Even though we were not able to organize the final for the first edition yet due to COVID-19, we are announcing the call for applications for the second edition.

If you are fulfilling our requirements, please upload your application on the respective website, the latest by Friday, 18 June 2021.
Second editionapplication form

What you can win (second edition – 2021/2022)

The two winners can expect the following:

  • Your own website designed by the agency VAN VON
  • Two career-coaching sessions on career development, artistic profile and social media over the course of one year, taking place in Berlin or online (depending on the pandemic situation), directed by VAN. This includes the travel to/from Berlin, including two nights in a three star hotel per session, if the situation allows it to happen physically.
  • Financial workshop with recommendations on how to prepare for self-employment, save for rainy days, make small investments and plan for retirement by Julius Baer. The date and venue will be fixed based on your residence. Depending on the pandemic situation, this could be taking place online.
  • Two day-participation as a visiting student of the Verbier Festival Academy in July 2022. This includes travel to Verbier, accommodation for three nights at an apartment or three star hotel, tickets to Verbier Festival concerts (subject to availability), attendance at Academy masterclasses and rehearsals and a coaching session with a member of the Academy faculty.
  • Performance opportunity offered by The New Generation Feistival during the 2022/2023 or 2023/2024 season: an invitation for a recital in the Grand Sala Apollinea at Teatro La Fenice in Venice.

The six finalists can expect the following:

  • The production of a professional personal video trailer on 28/29 August 2021 in Hamburg. If the pandemic situation allows it, you need to be able to come to Hamburg physically in order to get this prize. Travel to/from Hamburg and two nights at a hotel in Hamburg will be arranged and paid for.
  • A top notch photo shooting (not only head shots) during the final on 24/25 January 2022

Please note that no cash will be paid out at any time.

Who is eligible to apply

The international competition is open to musicians of any nationality born in or before 2003 who are currently studying at the university level, or have graduated, in any subject, between 2016 and 2020.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept any singers, conductors or ensembles.

Please hand in the following

  • A written concert programme with a length of roughly 45 minutes (composer and work title). There are absolutely no restrictions regarding style, period, etc. of the works, or on the number of works.
  • A brief statement (max. 500 words) on why you chose this programme.
  • A video recording of yourself performing one work from your suggested programme.
  • A brief Curriculum Vitae.

Selection process / Jury

Editors of VAN will choose the six finalists. If you made it into this group, you will be notified personally by Thursday, 15 July 2021. Mark the weekend of 28/29 August 2021 in your calendar to participate in a video documentary with the finalists, produced by the Elbphilharmonie, VAN, and Julius Baer. In addition, please mark 24/25 January 2022 to participate in the final in Berlin! A jury of thought leaders from the music scene will be present:

Mirijam Contzen (violinist and professor, Berlin University of the Arts)
Eric Lamb (flutist and professor, University of Auckland)
Barbara Lebitsch (director of artistic planning, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg)
Anne Midgette (writer and former chief classical music critic, The Washington Post) 
Julian Steckel (cellist)
Hartmut Welscher (founder and editor-in-chief, VAN Magazine)

The two winners will be awarded right after the final.

Please note that you need to be present in Berlin on 24/25 January 2022 in order to participate in the final. We will pay for your travel to/from Berlin, including accommodation in a three star hotel.
Dare to surprise us! We look forward to meeting you in Berlin!
For further information regarding timing, rules and Privacy Policy, among others, please visit our partner’s website.

Contact at Julius Baer