Seventeen music-filled days at the 16th Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Festival are now behind us. In early October, a total of 31 violinists from Europe, Asia and North America arrived in Poznan, and over the course of 17 audition sessions, covering 64 hours, they gave 230 performances of compositions by Wieniawski, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Paganini, Szymanowski, Bartók, Mozart, Chausson, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Grieg, Hubay, Saint-Saëns, Paderewski and Dvořák. In the first stage, the participants were accompanied by pianists Michał Francuz and Grzegorz Skrobinski. The second stage was divided into two parts. In the first, the young violinists performed with pianists, in the second with violists Michał Bryła, Katarzyna Budnik and Ryszard Groblewski, and with the Amadeus Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra conducted by Anna Duczmal-Mróz. In the final stage, the participants performed two violin concertos accompanied by the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Łukasz Borowicz.
“All the participants showed an extremely high level from the first stage of the Competition, performing a very demanding repertoire. I am confident about their musical future. We will certainly hear about them and see them on world stages many more times. It is a great honor for us to host these talented violinists at the 16th Wieniawski Competition.” – believes Competition Director Karolina Kazmierczak.
“We are confident that you will testify to the beauty of Wieniawski’s music to the world and spread the fame of Polish culture and our city. In 1854, Henryk Wieniawski presented the capital of Greater Poland with a ‘Souvenir de Posen’ – I think each of you has written down your greeting from Poznan,” these were the words addressed by the President of the Board of the Henryk Wieniawski Music Society, Alina Kurczewska, to the laureates of the 16th H. Wieniawski International Violin Competition. The winner of the first prize was Hina Maeda, a 20-year-old from Japan. Second prize went to 29-year-old Kazakh violinist, Meruert Karmenova, and third to 21-year-old Qingzhu Weng, representing China. The jury, chaired by Augustin Dumay, awarded three equivalent honorable mentions, which went to: Hana Chang, Jane Cho and Dayoon You.
The competition attracted 12,000 people at the University Hall in Poznań. During the Gala and the Winners’ Concert, the Auditorium was filled to the last seat. It was similar at the 2nd Winners’ Concert at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw.
The events of the competition could also be followed via broadcast on the Wieniawski Society’s YouTube channel, which saw millions views. This result is more than 1000% higher than that achieved by previous broadcasts. To date, Internet users have watched 200,000 hours of concerts and auditions. During the Competition, the Wieniawski Society account gained a reach of 40,000 users. The follower count grew so quickly that Instagram blocked access to the account for a day for fear of illegal activity. The Wieniawski Society’s Facebook page was also popular, gaining 60,000 visits. Facebook posts reached an audience of nearly 1 million people.
The contestants’ performances were broadcast on TVP Kultura, TVP Kultura 2, TVP3 Poznań and Program 2 of the Polish Radio. The “Wieniawski Competition Gazette”, a collaboration with the Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Publishing House and the “Ruch Muzyczny” magazine was published daily. The newspaper is also available digitally at konkurs.wieniawski.pl.
We made the stream from the YouTube channel available to Chinese platforms: amadeus.tv and MusicToday WeChat. Through them, the broadcasts were watched by 403,000 people. In turn, on Music Today’s Bilibili and ConGioia Weibo, the Competition reached 1,330,000 music lovers. “The broadcast in China was a huge success and generated a number of positive reactions.” – summarizes the platform’ representative, Zhuye Lu. Apart from this, via the Facebook of the prestigious American portal “The Violin Channel,” the broadcasts were watched by about 100,000 people.
The 16th Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition was covered by more than 100 journalists and photojournalists. The Competition was mentioned in the media more than 5,000 times. Media patrons included: Polish Radio, TVP, “Rzeczpospolita”, “Gazeta Wyborcza”, “Polityka”, Onet, “Twój Styl” and The Violin Channel portal. We also established editorial cooperation with RMF Classic, “Tygodnik Powszechny”, the portals wpoznaniu.pl, Kultura Wokół Nas and O Kulturze.
Poznan was also visited by representatives of international media from „The Violin Channel”, “Deutschlandfunk”, “The Strad”, “Focus Taiwan”, “Auditorium”, “The JoongAng” i Violinist.com. Coverage of the Competition was also featured on BBC Music Magazine, The World News, Channel New Asia, Classical Music, Slipped Disc, Shenzhen Daily, Resmusica, Reddit, Nippon.com, jiji.com, Klassik heute, klassik.com, Codalario.
We will continue to work with many of them during the winners’ tour, which will include 60 concerts in 20 countries on 5 continents by the end of this year and throughout next year. The tour is organized in cooperation with the SONORA agency.
16th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition was co-organized with the National Institute of Music and Dance from the funds of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. Co-funded by the City of Poznań and the Self-Government of the Wielkopolska Region. The event was held under Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland. We are grateful for your trust!
The organization of the Competition would not be possible without our partners, including: the Second Program of the Polish Radio, TVP Kultura, Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczowe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Philharmonic, the Poznan Philharmonic, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio, the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań, the Magdalena Abakanowicz University of Arts in Poznań, Bilety24, Bösendorfer, SONORA, Lexus, Dr. Irena Eris, Hotel Mercure Poznań Centrum, Bazar Poznań, MTP Group, Poznań Airport and Ricoh.
We were supported by 20 volunteers. We sincerely thank each of them.