In 2008, Windsor Festival launched its International String Competition in honour of Sir Yehudi Menuhin. Menuhin, along with Ian Hunter, was one of the founding Artistic Directors of the Festival which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, and his orchestra and family, along with many friends, were the major participants in the early years.
It is now held biennially, taking place in March, and we look forward to the sixth Windsor Festival International String Competition in 2017.
The foremost competition of its kind in the world, Windsor Festival International String Competition seeks out the exceptional string soloists of tomorrow from all corners of the globe, to compete for an exciting range of prizes and the opportunity to launch their professional career. Prizes for the competition are valued at over £20,000 with a unique opportunity for the First Prize winner to return to Windsor to play a concerto with the world renowned Philharmonia Orchestra, our Associate Orchestra, in the Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle during Windsor Festival in September, as well as a solo recording opportunity with our Recording Partner, Champs Hill Records. The competition takes place in the unique and glorious surroundings of Windsor Castle, by gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen.
As Festival Director I feel strongly that it is important that we live-up to the example set by Yehudi Menuhin in fostering talent and building opportunities for those at the start of their musical careers. We consider this Competition an important and integral addition to the Festival. Through it our vision is to build strong relationships with the next generation of performers, to ensure that talent is nurtured, encouraged and supported.
We are delighted and most grateful to our sponsors, whose partnership enables us to achieve this. We are most grateful to those who have donated prizes and to those who have agreed to join the international jury. The strength of this panel and the quality of the prizes enable us to continue developing and expanding the Competition, confident of its appeal.