24th International Johannes Brahms Competition Pörtschach,
September 2 - September 10, 2017
The summer of 2017 sees the
24th anniversary of the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach.
The reputation of our music competition is built on the high
standard of musicians - pianists; violin, viola and cello players; chamber musicians
and singers¹ - we attract.
Each year, more than 400 musicians from over 40 nations
compete. We attract entrants from most European countries, from Finland
in the north to Greece in the south. A truly international feel is provided by competitors from Australia, China,
South Africa, Japan and
the USA. Just under a tenth of those who register come from Austria.
what makes our Brahms competition so appealing to musicians the world over? A difference
between the Pörtschach event and those elsewhere is the transparency in the
marking. Rather than using a committee that is out of sight, our jurors each have
to give their marks immediately after the performance and in full view of the audience.
This helps the understanding of both competitor and spectator, and also eliminates
the unnecessary wait for the results that mars other events. Furthermore, it offers
the chance for the audience to compare their judgments with the artistic and technical
merit scores announced.
Our format may strike you as unusual,
but this way of marking has shown itself to be much appreciated by our entrants,
who see that each juror cannot influence his or her colleagues. The musicians are
entitled to discuss their marks with individual jurors, should they wish to.
The competition in each discipline comprises three rounds.
In the first round musicians must perform pieces from a given list. The emphasis
is on demonstrating a mastery of the instrument in question. As this stage serves
to reduce the field of candidates to a manageable number the points from round one
are not carried forward, thus everyone begins the second round on an equal footing.
It is here that power of expression, personal style and artistry come to the fore.
Since the scores for the second round and third round are added, victory goes to
the candidate who consistently performs very well, rather than a musician who produces
an isolated display of excellence.
In my experience the
public get caught up in the drama of the Pörtschach Brahms Competition, they
choose their favourites and ride the rollercoaster of emotions with them. Where
else can you watch such high-calibre musicians in exciting competition for free?
Have a good time,
President, Johannes Brahms Society Pörtschach
¹ The chamber music competition is not on offer in 2017.
Johannes Brahms Competition