The Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition takes place every four years in the Danish city of Odense, birth place of the composer Carl Nielsen. The jury is presided over by violinist and conductor Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider who himself won the competition in 1992 aged 16.

“What we have here in Odense is special” says Szeps-Znaider. “This is not a hot house environment and more important for all of us on the jury is to create an atmosphere of support for the participants where they feel comfortable approaching any one of us for guidance and advice. The human element of the competition has been as important to the jury as the task of judging.”

The joint winners of the 2016 competition were Jiyoon Lee from South Korea and Liya Petrova from Bulgaria, both studying in Berlin with Kolja Blacher and Antje Weithaas respectively. The prize was split accordingly with each young violinist receiving 11 000 euros and a recording on Orchid Classics with the Odense Symphony Orchestra.

The next Carl Nielsen International Competition takes place in March 2019 and for the first time brings the violin, flute and clarinet competitions together. Joining Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider as Artistic Advisors in the lead up to this competition are Emmanuel Pahud and Martin Fröst, who will actively participate in the selection process.