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From 30 September to 13 October 2012 the competition organized by the Stiftung Niedersachsen will take place for the eighth time. For the first time after being renamed, it will finally give appropriate acknowledgement of it being dedicated to the violinist and composer Joseph Joachim. Serving as the royal concertmaster from 1852 to 1867, he shaped music life in Hannover. Since its beginning, the ›International Joseph Joachim Violin Competition Hannover‹ has become much more than just a competition – it has grown into an entire program promoting and supporting music.    

The competition’s core elements are its:

  Quality The competitors are exquisitely talented artists from all around the world. The jury is highly qualified and independent, and the Stiftung Niedersachsen's management of the competition is impeccable. The participation allows worldwide attention to the Prize Winners.  
  Fairness In both the Preliminary Rounds and in the Semifinal Rounds, each competitor has two chances to perform before the jury votes. The members of the jury make their expert decisions using a clear and simple judging procedure.  
  Respect Each musical performer will be appreciated and respected for their own specific talents.  
  Hospitality Numerous host families accommodate the competitors in the hospitable surroundings of their homes. The considerate and professional management team takes care of all the young artists' needs.  

With the violin competition, initiated in 1989 by Krzysztof Wegrzyn, the Stiftung Niedersachsen has developed a program that effectively and sustainably supports the musical development of young artists on their journey towards an international career. Additionally, the Stiftung Niedersachsen aims at improving the cultural profile of Lower Saxony and making it known it beyond Germany’s borders as an excellent setting for musical highlights.

Over five rounds, 35 selected musicians will display their virtuosity and interpretive qualities before an international jury presided over by artistic director Krzysztof Wegrzyn. The jury will then decide who will be awarded the coveted title of ›Prize Winner of the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover‹.

With its goal of funding and supporting the international career of the young musicians, the Stiftung Niedersachsen awards a total of € 140,000 in prize money to twelve outstanding candidates, the largest sum presented at a violin contest in the world. The First Prize Winner will not only receive the prize money, but also be granted the opportunity of having debut concerts and a CD recording organized for them.

Besides its excellent artistic level and generous amount of prize money, the ›Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover‹ is especially appreciated experts for its first rate organisation and warm hospitality. The exhausting two weeks of competition are made as comfortable as possible for all those involved – be it jury member, performer, accompanist, or technician. This also means that the competitors and their companions are being welcomed and cared for by numerous host families in and around Hannover. Using an extensive support programme – ›The Competition across the State‹, ›The Competition in the Classroom‹, ›Auditorium‹, and ›Musical College‹ – the talents of the young violinists are being showcased across the state, exposing a much wider audience to classical music.

Thus, in autumn 2012, there will be approximately 100 performances of a world class standard taking place all over Lower Saxony, under the logo of the four vibrating strings meant to symbolise the virtuosity and expressivity displayed onstage.

The high quality of the competition is enabled by a partnership between the Stiftung Niedersachsen and the major music institutions of Hannover: The Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media makes its facilities available for rehearsals and concerts; NDR (North German Broadcasting) offers support with its broadcasting center being used as the venue for concerts featuring its Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, as well assisting with media management; the State Opera Hannover hosts the opening concerts; and the Fritz Behrens Foundation completes the competition’s already attractive prize list with the loan of a violin handcrafted by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in 1765 to the First Prize Winner.