It is intended by the Investment Program Foundation, the organizer of the Paganini Moscow International Violin Competition, that it be a public annual event dedicated to Niccol? Paganini.
The First Competition was held in 2003. It became “a remarkable event in the culture life of Russia but not only Russia, having brought up the best national violin ‘forces’ to the capital” (the Itogi magazine and the Culture TV channel). According to the saying by John Brunning, an anchorman of the Newsnight program at the Classic FM British Radio Station: “It is already for many years that Russia has been granting the world with the best violinists, aiming to continue the tradition of bringing up the talents of tomorrow as well.” The Competition results overcame the most optimistic expectations: “The Moscow violin competition demonstrated again that Russia’s music education is one of the world’s best” (a CNN’s spot on the First Competition results).
The First Competition’s Jury included Ivry Gitlis (France), Eduard Grach (Russia), Alexander Rudin (Russia), Alexander Sokolov (Russia), Maxim Fedotov (Russia). The jury was headed by Sergey Stadler (Russia).
The First Prize was awarded to Lena Semenova, a student of Moscow State Conservatory. The final concert of the laureates and the jury members was held at Moscow International House of Music. The event was moderated by Svyatoslav Belza, a Russian musicologist presenting weekly opera programs on the Culture TV channel.
The Second Paganini Moscow International Violin Competition was successfully held at the end of 2004. The international jury included: Mihaela Martin (Germany), Julian Rachlin (Austria), Itzhak Rashkovsky (the United Kingdom); as well as such outstanding Russian artists as Eduard Grach, Alexander Rudin, Sergey Stadler, Maxim Fedotov.
Its grand prix holder got the right to play an Antonio Stradivari violin during one year. According to the unanimous opinion of the Competition’s Jury and the Investment Program Foundation the right to play an Antonio Stradivari violin during one year was granted to Alena Baeva, a Moscow State Conservatory student from Russia, as a grand prix established by the Foundation together with the State Collection of Unique Music Instruments. It is worth to note that, according to the Valeurs Actuelle magazine, it is that particular instrument which “causes the greatest interest among the adepts in Europe, Japan and the United States.”
Both the 1st prize and the statuette of Paganini holding his violin, made under the Foundation’s special order and named “the Violin Oscar” by mass media, were awarded to Kwun Hyuk Joo (South Korea).
According to numerous witnesses, the Competition has already been named in Europe any otherwise than “the Davos of the Russian culture: a noble and trendsetting intellectual event for the elite.”
In 2005, the Foundation held the Third Paganini Moscow International Violin Competition. This year Viktor Tretyakov (Russia) and Saulius Sondeckis (Lithuania) joined its jury.
According to the results of the three auditions the Russian violinists Ivan Pochekin and Sergey Dogadin became the 1 st prize laureates. Daniel Austrich (Germany) and Mun Kyong Jin (North Korea) shared the 2 nd prize. Haik Kazazyan (Russia) won both the 3rd prize and the award “For the Best Performance of a Russian Composer’s Piece.”
All remunerations have been paid to each laureate in full. The competition’s award fund has amounted to US$ 86,000 in total.
An important event of the competition occurred right before its beginning: Mr. Maxim Viktorov, Chairman of the Investment Program Foundation’s Council and the Legal Intelligence Group’s Managing Partner, purchased a Carlo Bergonzi violin, which belonged to Niccol? Paganini, at the Sotheby’s auction in London on November 1, 2005. During November 21–29, 2005, the violin was presented to the public for the first time within the framework of the “ Ex-Paganini in Moscow” exhibition organized by the Foundation in the A. S. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.
On December 1, 2005, Ex-Paganini enjoyed its premiere at the Laureate Award Ceremony followed by the Final Concert of the Laureates and the Jury Members of the Third Paganini Moscow International Violin Competition, which took place in the Grand Hall of Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. In conclusion of the event, Sergey Stadler performed Niccol? Paganini’s Concerto No. 1 for violin and orchestra on Ex-Paganini.
In 2006 among the participants of the Fourth Competition were 50 violinists from 20 countries: Armenia, Brazil, Czech, China, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Japan, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, USA and Uzbekistan.
The jury that included this year Boris Belkin (Belgium), Giya Kancheli (Georgia), Mihaela Martin (Germany), Alexander Rudin (Russia), Saulius Sondeckis (Lithuania), Sergey Stadler (Russia), Viktor Tretyakov (Russia), Michel Schwalbe (France), the jury’s executive secretary Nachum Erlich (Finland) has decided to award the following competitors: Kyoko Yonemoto (Japan) – 1 st prize, Rodion Petrov (Russia) and Nadir Khashimov (Uzbekistan) – 2 nd prize, Eugen Tichindeleanu (Romania) – 3rd prize.
The anniversary Fifth Competition will take place in Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory at The end of November 2007 and the final concert of the laureates and the jury members will be held in the Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory.