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Fairytale ending

This year’s Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition, which took place in March, succeeded not only as a joyous celebration of the composer’s music, but in bringing together exciting young players set to make their mark on the world stage, writes Charlotte Smith

‘I want all contestants to understand that no decision we are about to announce will define you, ’ said Carl Nielsen International Competition president Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider as a prelude to revealing the 2019 results in Odense, Denmark. It was a statement typical of the healthy, collegiate environment of this year’s event. In some respects an incredibly tough and demanding ask of all participants, in others the contest was defined by its warm appreciation of music in every form, and of the works of Carl Nielsen in particular.

The Nielsen competition, launched in 1980, was designed as a vehicle for the composer’s music – much loved in his native Denmark, but less recognised and performed internationally. Active in the early 20th century and influenced by such late Romantics as Brahms and Grieg, Nielsen increasingly stretched the bounds of tonality, as evidenced in his concertos for violin, flute and clarinet. The contest’s three instrument sections each champion their corresponding concerto, and while previous iterations focused on a single instrument, the 2019 competition was the first to feature concurrent rounds for all three.

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About The Strad

We conclude our investigation of Stradivari’s moulds and examine some radical teaching methods. Vadim Gluzman, Philip Dukes and Matthew Barley are interviewed and there’s our annual Accessories supplement, featuring carbon fibre bows, wolf eliminators, mutes and lots more.