News from France

Sforzando Chamber Music Competition for Student Amateur Musicians in Higher Education

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Thursday 7 
Saturday 9 April 2011 

The Sforzando Competition is the European chamber music competition for universities, Grandes Ecoles and similar institutions of higher education. It is open to students playing to a high amateur standard who are members of ensembles comprising between two and five instruments. The competition seeks to demonstrate the frequently outstanding musical quality attained by these students, who are pursuing their studies in tandem with their shared passion for classical music. As an exception to the general regulations, the competition is also open to recent graduates. ECMTA is proud to be an official partner of the Concours Sforzando.

The official deadline was February 1, but it is still possible to submit applications. Applications and information:

Since 2010, the organizing committee of the Sforzando Competition has included both French and German members. After 2011, the competition will be held alternately in Paris and in Munich every eighteen months, with the spring edition taking place in Paris and the autumn session in Munich. The competition is organized in two stages, a first round in which three finalists will be selected, and the final, which will take the form of a concert open to the general public.


The Sforzando Competition takes places in an atmosphere of conviviality and constructive dialogue between candidates and judges. A cocktail party is organized after each session to allow the candidates to exchange impressions freely with both public and jury and receive their advice.

The Sforzando Competition is unique in that it is the only student competition entirely devoted to chamber music. It therefore highlights collective endeavour over solo performance.

Since its creation, the Sforzando Competition has promoted four main objectives:

  • to promote appreciation of classical music in the student public at large

  • to give students practising chamber music the opportunity to perform in public and to improve their playing through contact with professional players

  • to make amateur chamber-music playing an ever-more enjoyable and rewarding experience

to foster in the general public an original and positive view of students in higher education by heightening awareness of the musical talents of students frequently destined for careers which are far removed from the world of music.