‘Jugend musiziert’ (‘Youth makes music’), a junior contest for amateurs, has been staged both for soloists and for chamber-music ensembles since 1963. Every year, more and more young people decide to participate; in 2014 some 23.183 young people took part. Anyone who receives private music tuition, or is taught at a music school or a secondary school, can take part. Those who want to participate may, however, not yet have begun their musical studies: – in this case they are considered professionals.
‘Jugend musiziert’ was developed in the 1960s, when German orchestras suffered a serious lack of young musicians. With the help of this competition on three levels, it became possible to find and specifically cultivate budding musicians efficiently. Since these days the orchestral scene has changed, and the search for new blood is no longer the main aim of ‘Jugend musiziert’. Nowadays the concept of teamwork prevails: to make music together, to develop and discuss a work of musical literature, and then to present it to an audience.
A professional jury judges the interpretation of the presented works, and the young musicians are awarded points according to their performance. After playing, the participants have the possibility, in private interviews, to pose questions about their personal musical goals to the members of the jury.
Besides the motivation and stimulation that the contest awakens in young people, further promotion, support and scholarships are offered subsequent to the contest. This may consist of projects of the German Music Council or the State Music Councils, for example the Federal Youth Orchestra, the State Youth Orchestras, or courses in chamber music.
The WESPE – Weekends of Special Prizes – is one such project. Prize winners of the national competition are invited to compete for special prizes in categories such as ‘best interpretation of a self-composed work’ or ‘best interpretation of a work by a female composer’.
‘Jugend musiziert’ is a project of the German Music Council, and is under the patronage of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. Every year it is held in another city. ‘Jugend musiziert’ is further promoted by the Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, and is sponsored by the ‘Sparkasse’ Financial Group.
The participants should be up to 28 years old.
Regional stage followed by national final in a different German city every year.
Еvery year on 15 November
Information and forms can be found on the website of the competition (German only).
The competition is for young musicians of German nationality and those (regardless of nationality) studying at German schools in foreign countries. Participants who (on the application deadline) are following professional music studies, for instance at university or at a music conservatoire are not allowed to compete.
Every participant has to present his or her individual programme. In doing so, different musical eras and styles must be considered. The playing time ranges from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on age.
The participants will be divided as following:
|AG Ia||born in 2010, 2011 or later (only regional level)|
|AG Ib||born in 2008, 2009 (only regional level)|
|AG II||born in 2006, 2007 (up to state level)|
|AG III||born in 2004, 2005|
|AG IV||born in 2002, 2003|
|AG V||born in 2000, 2001|
|AG VI||born in 1997, 1998, 1999|
|AG VII||born in 1991 – 1996|
Special prizes and concert opportunities are awarded by many foundations at the national competition and at the follow-on project ‘WESPE’ (Weekend of Special Prizes)