Rules & Regulations


The competition is open to violinists, violists and cellists of all nationalities. Candidates must be no more than 26 years of age and no less than 16 years of age on 1 December 2016.


Competitors must prepare an unedited pre-audition video submission, via DVD or youtube, of 2 or 3 contrasting pieces, no longer than 25 minutes duration. The submission must contain:

  • A movement from a major sonata or concerto. (NB if there is a long introductional tutti, only the last one or two phrases should be recorded on the submission).
  • One or two contrasting works of the competitor’s own choice.

The recording should be identified with selection title, composer, movement, candidate's name and address and accompanist's name. The recording must be video submission only; please note audio only or CD cannot be accepted and will not be considered.

The recording does not have to be produced by a professional recording technician, but must not be edited in anyway. Each movement of a piece must be recorded in one-take and submitted unedited.

Competitors must fill out a 2017 String Competition Application in its entirety and submit it along with the following enclosures by 1 December 2016:

  • A typed CV and a short biography (no more than 100 words) that will be suitable for the Windsor Festival programme book if chosen as a semi-finalist.
  • 2 passport-sized photos of the competitor signed on the reverse
  • Photocopy of Birth Certificate or Passport (hard copy may be requested by Windsor Festival if selected for the semi-final round).
  • 1 high quality digital photo for publicity purposes. This may be sent by email.
  • 2 letters of recommendation written especially for the Windsor Festival International String Competition.
  • A cheque for £55 for the non-refundable entry fee (made payable to Windsor Festival Society Ltd) or £55 to be paid Paypal, as per link upon submitting online application form.

Windsor Festival must receive £55.00 in total. Competitors must pay any bank charges that may be applicable for the transfer.

Please ensure that any bank transfers are referenced clearly with the competitors name to ensure that the payment is acknowledged by the competition.

Failure to submit all requirements in their entirety, as laid out above, may result in the entrant’s application not being able to be considered. In such event, this is the responsibility of the entrant not Windsor Festival, and the entry fee will not be reimbursed.



  • The 2017 Windsor Festival International String Competition runs from 12 March to 18 March 2017 inclusive.
  • The competition consists of three rounds, the Preliminary Round (submission of a video recording), a Semi-Final Round (40 minute recital) and the Final Round (25 minute recital in an evening concert).
  • The order of performance at each stage will be chosen at random by Windsor Festival, and the order is not open to negotiation at any point.
  • Eight competitors will be chosen to reach the Semi-Final stage and each will be allocated a 40-minute Semi-Final place in the competition. The live Semi-Final round will take place in front of the jury and public audience on 15 March 2017.
  • All competitors will need to keep all days and times within the period 12 to 18 March 2017 free in their diaries until notified by Windsor Festival.
  • All Semi-Finals and the Final will be open to the public.
  • Competitors selected as Semi-Finalists will be notified by 19 December 2016 and must confirm their intention to participate in the Competition, by immediate return and no later than 22 December 2016.
  • The chosen Semi-Finalists will need to prepare a well-balanced programme of 40 minutes to include the following:
  1. Two contrasting movements from a Bach solo sonata or partita
  2. One movement from a major sonata for violin, viola or cello and piano
  3. One work of the competitor’s own choice
  • Three Finalists from the eight Semi-Finalists will be chosen by the Panel of Jury to perform in front of the Jury in an evening concert on Friday 17 March 2017.
  • Semi-Finalists will be notified whether they have reached the Final stage on the evening of 15 March 2017, shortly after the performance of the last of the Semi-Finalists.
  • Each chosen Finalist will be asked to present a short contrasting programme of no more than 25 minutes. Repertoire may be repeated from the Semi-Final rounds and must include 2 or 3 contrasting works, to include one movement from a major sonata for violin, viola or cello and piano. This concert will be open to the public. Prizewinners will be chosen and prizes awarded by the jury that evening.
  • Programme choices for the Semi-Finals and the Finals must be listed by the applicant on the submitted application form.
  • No changes to the programmes will be accepted after 22 December 2016.
  • The Festival will provide an official pianist for the Semi-Finals and the Final. All Semi-Finalists and Finalists must use the allocated WFISC official pianist. Details of the official pianist and available rehearsal time will be discussed directly between Windsor Festival and the Semi-Finalist.
  • Semi-Finalists will stay in Windsor for the duration of the Competition and will be accommodated with host families in Windsor. Board, lodging and local travel will be provided.
  • Travel bursaries will be considered for those traveling from outside the UK to attend the competition if selected for the semi-final stage. Competitors must state their country of study or residence on the form at the time of applying and provide documentation, if requested, to support their claim.
  • The Festival encourages outreach in the local community may request semi-finalists to visit a local school in the Windsor area during the competition week, play a short piece and talk to the children about their involvement in the competition. Semi-Finalists and Finalists agree to make themselves available for this purpose and to co-operate with all reasonable requests within the time limit of the competition schedule.


  • The rules of the application must be strictly adhered to and each supplementary document requested supplied.
  • Competitors chosen as Semi-Finalists and Finalists agree to the use of their photograph, pre-audition video submission and image by the Festival for publicity purposes and placement on the competition website and agree to make themselves available for interviews as may be required.
  • All Rounds of the Competition will be open to the public.
  • It is a condition of acceptance of the First Prize that the First Prizewinner is not permitted to enter into future editions of the Competition.
  • In signing the Application Form, which forms a part of these Rules of the Competition, the Competitor has agreed to accept and to comply with the Rules of the Competition and the Programme Rules.
  • The Festival has unrestricted rights to film, broadcast, photograph and record any part of the competitor’s participation in the semi-finals and finals including but not limited to Rehearsals and Competition performances. The Competitor agrees that he or she waives any claim whatsoever to any financial reward arising from the distribution or use of any such recordings.
  • In signing the Application Form, which forms a part of these Rules & Regulations of the Windsor International String Competition the competitor is deemed to agree and comply with this document.
  • If the Competitor is in breach of any of the Rules and Regulations of the Competition, Windsor Festival maintains the right to immediately eliminate the Competitor from the Competition. The decision of the Windsor Festival to this respect is final.
  • Semi-Finalists or Finalists are not permitted to speak to any member of the Jury for the duration of their participation in the Competition.
  • The decision of the Jury is final and is not open to further discussion. The Jury reserve the right to withhold any prize should the required standard not be retained.
  • The Jury also reserve the right to offer a recital in place of a concerto in the 2017 Windsor Festival to the prizewinner should they feel this is more suitable.
  • The prizewinner’s concerto choice will be in discussion with Windsor Festival, and at the approval of Windsor Festival, who’s decision on the repertoire is final.
  • The Champs Hill Records: Recording Opportunity is subject to the following conditions:
  • artist will sign a standard CHR recording agreement.
  • repertoire to be agreed with CHR.
  • recording would usually be a solo / chamber recital, recorded at the Music Room at Champs Hill.
  • artist to provide their own accompanist / other performers, as necessary; travel to and from Champs Hill; copies of music as required.
  • artist to provide suitable pictures etc. for promotional purposes and CD artwork.
  • release is at CHR's discretion.
  • for the avoidance of doubt, no fee or royalties are paid by CHR. A number of discs will be made available to the artist for their own promotional use and sales, should they wish (from which artist may retain any proceeds).
  • A selection of 6 new bows by world leading bow-makers from the collection of Bishop Instruments & Bows will be available for the winner to select one, up to the value of £5000GBP. These will be given directly after the Final for the winner to trial before they depart the UK. For entrants based in the UK a trial of 14 days will be allowed.
  • If required by law, the Competition reserves the right to deduct With-holding Tax from any payment made to a competitor not resident (for tax purposes) in the UK.

Download a copy of the Rules and Regulations for the 2017 Competition