Lionel Tertis, the greatest viola player of the 20th century, died
in February 1975, at the age of 98. A fund was set up with the primary
objective of establishing an international Viola Festival to commemorate
the work that he undertook for that instrument throughout his long
and active life.
Such a competition would provide a unique incentive to the growing
number of viola players all over the world who wish to pursue a solo
or chamber music career. So the Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival & Competition was born.
This triennial event is now well-established and known throughout
the musical world. Players of all nationalities are invited to take
part in the competition, workshops and masterclasses which attract participants
from over 30 countries. The event is administered by the Erin Arts Centre with funding from the Lionel Tertis Foundation and the
Isle of Man Arts Council
The 12th Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival & Competition will be held from 12th to 19th March 2016.
Details will be available on this site from 2nd March 2015. All prospective competitors are advised that the format for the competition
has been changed from previous years and should read the guidance booklet very carefully when it is available in March.
The 11th Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival & Competition was held from 16th to 23rd March 2013.
The 2013 winner's recital by Ziyu Shen with pianist Anthony Hewitt was at the Wigmore Hall on Sunday 2nd February.
The Philharmonia Orchestra recital by Ziyu Shen with pianist Anthony Hewitt took place in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Thursday 30th January.
A DVD of the 2013 Competition is now available for sale from the Erin Arts Centre. The DVD was created by Dave Armstrong of DAM Productions Ltd (Isle of Man). The price is £15 including postage but to anyone who competed or took part in the workshops, there is a discounted price of £10 including postage.
An extract from the DVD can be viewed using the link below.
Tertis Viola Competition 2013
You can watch the winner at the 2012 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players on Youtube by using the link below
The test piece called 6 Sorano Variants was a new work composed by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and is available to download from the Boosey and Hawkes website. Please click on the link below to go to their website.
The official Press Release for the 2013 Tertis Competition is below.
11TH LIONEL TERTIS INTERNATIONAL VIOLA FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION
YOUNGEST COMPETITOR TAKES TOP PRIZE
The youngest competitor in the 11th Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival and Competition, 15 year old Ziyu Shen (China) took the top prize in the competition final on Saturday March 23.
Ziyu, who began to play the violin when she was four and transferred her attention to the viola while attending the music middle school affiliated to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2009, received the sought after Lillian Tertis Memorial Prize of £7,000 donated by the Tertis Foundation.
The foundation was created by the late Mrs Tertis to continue the work of her husband who has been described as the first and greatest virtuoso of the viola.
Ziyu, a prize winner in other major competitions who has been praised for her natural flowing style of playing, also received a London recital and a solo performance opportunity with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Second prize, the ‘Ruth Fermoy Memorial Prize’ of £5,000, donated by the Tertis Foundation, went to Kei Tojo, 21, (Japan).
Kei started playing the violin in 1994 and the viola in 2003.
She has studied at the Conservatoire de Paris and is a competition prize winner and has played in master classes in Japan and across Europe. Kei also has orchestral experience.
The international jury decided that the third prize, the ‘Artur Rubinstein Memorial Prize’ of £3,000, donated by the Tertis Foundation, should be shared between the two other finalists Shuangshuang Liu, 26, (China) and Matthew Lipman, 21, (USA).
Shuangshuang also attended the music middle school affiliated to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Based in Philadelphia she has attended festivals, has orchestral experience and has given notable performances as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She has gained a number of awards and scholarships.
Matthew began his music studies on the viola at age 10 in a school string programme and has since won numerous awards and honours.
He has been hailed for his splendid technique and musical sensitivity and is said to be fast emerging as one of America's most exciting young violists. He has performed extensively across America and Europe.
The exceptionally high standard of playing at the competition, held at the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin, Isle of Man presented the jury, chaired by Mr Brian Hawkins, a professional viola player and a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in London, with a dilemma.
With 86 initial applications from across the globe, it settled down to select three finalists from the eight semi finalists who had won through from earlier auditions.
Mr Hawkins emerged from the jury room to tell festival director Dr John Bethell the jury, which included festival president Mr Yuri Bashmet, the Russian virtuoso, wished to send four competitors through to the final due to the exceptionally high standard of playing.
"I was absolutely delighted," said Dr Bethell who has directed the festival since it moved to the Isle of Man in 1980.
"To receive almost 90 initial entries from across the globe and then to hear that an additional place would be required in the final due to the exceptional high standard of playing is absolutely marvellous.
"Lionel Tertis himself would have been similarly delighted that the viola is going from strength to strength".
To accommodate the four finalists, each played a reduced programme including the specially commissioned test piece ‘Six Sorano Variants’ by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of The Queen's Music, receiving its world premiere and a complete concerto.
Prizes were presented by the President of Tynwald, the Hon. Clare M Christian MLC.
Special prizes awarded at the discretion of the jury were:
The ‘Pennycress Trust Prize’ of £500: Rosalind Ventris (UK).
The ‘Tower Insurance Prize’ of £250: Bo Li (China).
The ‘Cains Advocates & Notaries Prize’ of £250: Chieh-Fan Yiu (Taiwan).
The ‘Rotary Club of Rushen & Western Mann Prize’ of £250: Wenhong Luo (China).
The ‘Gwynne Edwards Memorial Prize’ of £200: Rosalind Ventris (UK).
The ‘Karl Doktor Prize’ of £150 Iiro Oskari Rajakoski (Finland).
The ‘Hiscox Cases Prize’ of a viola case to the value of £150: Rosalind Ventris (UK).
The ‘Musicians’ Union (North of England) Prize’ of one year’s membership: Rosalind Ventris (UK).
The ‘Isle of Man Bank Prize’ of £100: Chieh-Fan Yiu (Taiwan).
The ‘Boosey and Hawkes Prize’ of a £100 voucher for purchase made through their online shop: Kei Tojo (Japan).
The ‘Schott Music Publishers Prize’ of a selection of music: Sung Jin Lee (South Korea).
The ‘Stainer & Bell Prize’ of a £50 voucher for goods in their catalogue: Laura Seay (USA).
The ‘Josef Weinberger Publishers Prize’ of a selection of music Iiro Oskari Rajakoski (Finland).
The ‘Josef Weinberger Publishers Prize’ of a selection of music: Hyobi Sim (Korea).
The ‘Josef Weinberger Publishers Prize’ of a selection of music: Seungwon Lee (South Korea).
The XlI Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival and Competition will take place from 12th to 19th March 2016.
Inquiries to David Norbury, Press Officer, 01244 300783.
Lionel Tertis - a life in view
Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival