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11th International String Quartet Competition “Premio Paolo Borciani”, 4-11 June 2017, Italy

Publish Date: Jul 22, 2016

Deadline: Feb 03, 2017

Event Dates: from Jun 04, 2017 12:00 to Jun 11, 2017 12:00

Fondazione I Teatri of Reggio Emilia, Italy announces the 11th International String Quartet Competition “Premio Paolo Borciani”.

The Competition will take place from 4-11 June 2017 at Teatro Municipale Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia.

History of the Competition

The International String Quartet Competition "Premio Paolo Borciani" was created in 1987 by unanimous decision of the councillors of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and is dedicated to their famous fellow citizen Paolo Borciani, founder and first violin of the Quartetto Italiano. The Premio has now become one of the most prestigious competitions in the world. It takes place every three years at Teatro Municipale Valli in Reggio Emilia, promoted and organised by Fondazione I Teatri di Reggio Emilia.

Ten editions took place so far, six of which have had a winner: Keller Quartet (Hungary) in 1990, Artemis Quartet (Germany) in 1997, Kuss Quartet (Germany) in 2002, Pavel Haas Quartet (Czech Republic) in 2005, Bennewitz Quartet (Czech Republic) in 2008, Kelemen Quartet (Hungary) in 2014. Their careers was launched by Premio Borciani, through the long tour in Europe, United States and Japan, offered to the winners as part of the First Prize.

The competition’s musical program includes every year a contemporary quartet piece, either especially commissioned or selected from the major today’s repertoire, by some of the most valued living composers: Paolo Stroppa (1994), Luciano Berio (1997), Salvatore Sciarrino (2000), Wolfgang Rihm (2002), Peter Maxwell Davies (2005), Giovanni Sollima (2008), Giya Kancheli (2011), Thomas Adès (2014). The members of the jury, expressly selected in every edition, are world-known instrumentalists, musicologists, musical managers and journalists.

Age limit

The Competition is open to string quartets of all nationalities. The total age of the members of each string quartet must not exceed 128 (one hundredtwenty-eight) years on 3 June 2017 (included).

Application and admission

Each quartet that plans to participate in the Competition must provide the Fondazione I Teatri with the following documents by email:

  1. the application form filled up in its entirety to be downloaded from> Premio Borciani> 2017 Competition> Application Form
  2. a biography of the quartet
  3. a personal biography of each member of the quartet, which describes that member’s studies and teachers
  4. a copy of a valid identification document showing date of birth and residence for each member of the quartet
  5. two recent photos of the quartet
  6. a letter of introduction for the quartet, which is specifically written for the Competition by
    • the school of music attended during the last three-year period of study by the quartet
    • and/or the quartet’s teacher over the last three-year period
    • and/or a musician
  7. in the event of exclusive contracts between the quartet and agents, or other similar organizations or recording companies, their formal declaration authorizing the quartet to fulfil its obligations as participants of the Competition. 

by mail (by registered letter, or delivered by hand, or using any authorized agency) a video/audio DVD with recordings freely chosen by the quartet from the following programme:

  1. a composition chosen from the following F. J. Haydn: any quartet or W. A. Mozart: any quartet chosen from String Quartet KV 387, String Quartet KV 421, String Quartet KV 428
  2. a composition chosen from the following: A.Webern, Six Bagatelles for String Quartet, op. 9 or A.Berg, String Quartet, op. 3.

The DVD must contain an indication of the date and place of recording, and must be accompanied by a declaration of authenticity and the signature of the individual who wrote the letter of introduction. The documents listed above must arrive before and no later than noon on 3 February 2017 at the following addresses:

  • for documents sent by email:
  • for documents sent by mail: Fondazione I Teatri di Reggio Emilia – Concorso Internazionale per Quartetto d’Archi “Premio Paolo Borciani” – Teatro Municipale Valli – Piazza Martiri del 7 luglio no. 7 – 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy

No application will be considered valid after the deadline specified above. Prompt delivery of the application remains at the sole risk of the competitor. If for any reason it is not submitted on time to the stated addresses, the date of the postmark shall be invalid. Only the arrival time recorded by Fondazione I Teatri receptionists shall be deemed valid as far as the deadlines for submitting the applications are concerned. The documents received will not be returned. Applications not entirely filled up shall result in exclusion from the Competition. The selection committee shall make the final decision as to who is admitted to the Competition. Candidates shall be informed of their admission by 25 February 2017.

Enrolment Fee

Each quartet shall send documentary proof of the bank transfer payment of the enrolment fee of 150,00.00 (one hundred fifty) euros to the bank account n. 000 100 334 801 headed to Fondazione I Teatri, Unicredit Banca, Piazza del Monte 1, 42121 Reggio Emilia 

(IBAN code: IT60D0200812834000100334 801; SWIFT code: UNCRITM1447).

This bank transfer form must show the name of the quartet making the payment, which must be made exclusively in Euros. Enrolment fees shall be paid no later than Friday 31 March 2017, with no charges due from the addressee.


The Competition consists of four rounds:

  • First round
  • Second round
  • Third round
  • Final round

All rounds will be open to the public free-of-charge, except for the final round with paid admittance. The Jury may allow a maximum number of 12 quartets to move to the second round. The Jury may allow a maximum number of 6 quartets to move to the third round. The Jury may allow a maximum number of 3 quartets to move to the final round.

All members of each quartet shall report to the Competition’s secretarial office on 3 June 2017 (office hours: 9 am - 8 pm) or on 4 June 2017 (office hours: 9 am - 5 pm). Each member must show an identifying document. The first round shall follow alphabetical order, starting with the letter drawn at the opening ceremony of the Competition at Teatro Municipale Romolo Valli on 4 June 2017 at 6 pm. Members of the quartets must attend this ceremony and will be excluded from the Competition if they fail to do so. The Jury will establish the schedule of the rounds. The results of the first, second and third rounds will be announced at the end of each round, together with the date and time assigned to each quartet for the following round. The results of the final round will be announced at the conclusion of the Jury’s deliberations on the evening of 11 June 2017.

Participants must report on time and will be excluded from the Competition if they fail to do so. During the period of their actual participation in the Competition, the candidates must stay in Reggio Emilia and be available at all times. All rights to audio and video recordings and to broadcasts via radio, television and the Internet (including broadcast and reproduction rights on any present or future support, as well as all reproduction rights, including photographic reproduction, regarding the Competition) of all the rounds in the Competition and of the series of short concerts that will be held beside the Competition, are the property of the Fondazione I Teatri, with no obligation to pay fees to third parties.

Programme of the rounds

The programme of the rounds can be found at the end of these regulations. The editions specified, or others matching the original editions, must be used.

The application form must indicate the length of time anticipated for performing each piece. The order of performance of the pieces within each round shall be decided by the quartet. Whether or not to perform the repeats is left to the discretion of the quartet.

The piece of contemporary music performed during the third round, which must be chosen from the programme of the rounds, will be evaluated for awarding the Special Prize.



  • 25,000.00 (twenty-five thousand) Euros and a diploma;
  • An international tour - whose periods of the year, dates, cities and agencies collaborating on carrying it out - will be announced and constantly updated on the Premio Borciani website (see > Premio Borciani > 2017 Competition > Tour). The tour is being coordinated by Patrizia Garrasi – RESIA s.r.l.
  • A plan for residing in Reggio Emilia is being drawn up by the Fondazione I Teatri.

The details of the plan will be announced on the Premio Borciani website (see www.iteatri. > Premio Borciani > 2017 Competition > Residence).

SECOND PRIZE: 10,000.00 (ten thousand) Euros and a diploma;

THIRD PRIZE: 5,000.00 (five thousand) Euros and a diploma;

SPECIAL PRIZE: 2,000.00 (two thousand) Euros and a diploma for the best performance of the contemporary piece;

PUBLIC’S PRIZE: 1,000.00 (one thousand) Euros and a diploma.

The Public’s Prize will be awarded to one of the quartets admitted to the final round, according to procedures set out by Fondazione I Teatri. The Jury may decide not to award one or more prizes. The amounts of the prizes are before withholding taxes, if any. The winning quartet shall comply with the agreements made with the agency that will arrange the concert tour. These agreements take precedence over any other commitments made by the agency who may have already been representing the winning quartet, notwithstanding anything agreed otherwise by the organizing agency and any representative of the winning quartet. These agreements take precedence over any other commitments relative to the 2017-2018and 2018-2019 Seasons. The names of the winners will be announced and the prizes will be awarded during the official ceremony at the end of the Competition. All competitors will be given a certificate attesting to their participation. Winners intending to publicize their results must specifically mention the prize awarded, in strict accordance with the official decisions of the Jury.


The Jury consists of at least five members, including the Chairman, who are unmistakablywell-known in the music world. The majority of the members must be foreign citizens. Members of the Jury may not have a family relationship or kinship with any competitor.

When he/she takes office, each member of the Jury must issue a declaration on the special form prepared by Fondazione I Teatri concerning his or her personal standing with the competitors with regard to the above paragraph. Fondazione I Teatri reserves the right to replace members of the Jury who are unable to carry out their planned duties if prevented from doing so because of verified emergency reasons.

Fondazione I Teatri has adopted specific regulations concerning the procedures for deliberations and the operational procedures of the Jury.

The decisions of the Jury are final, as are those of Fondazione I Teatri on all matters outside the Jury’s competence.

The Jury will be at the disposal of the excluded candidates for discussions and explanations after the results of the rounds are announced. The Jury will take office at Teatro Municipale Romolo Valli on 4 June 2017 at 5 pm. The schedule of the first round (the day and time each quartet will perform) will be determined at that meeting.

The inauguration ceremony for the Competition will follow at 6 pm, during which a letter of the alphabet will be drawn to determine the order of appearance of the quartets during the rounds. The Artistic Director of the Competition may attend the deliberations of the Jury. He/she will not have the right to vote. The secretarial office of the Competition will coordinate its operations and take minutes of the Jury’s deliberations.


Quartets that do not pass the selective rounds will be invited to perform in a series of short concerts to be held beside the Competition that Fondazione I Teatri will be organizing during the Competition week. The quartets that accept the proposal will be guests of Fondazione

I Teatri up to and including Sunday 11 June 2017.

Expenses for accommodations

Fondazione I Teatri, the organizer of the Competition, will pay the room and board of the candidates from 3 or 4 June 2017 to the end of their actual participation.

The quartets admitted to the third round of the Competition and the quartets that participate in the series of short concerts in Reggio Emilia, will be guests of Fondazione through 11 June 2017.

Initial selection of participants

The Fondazione I Teatri will determine whether competitors meet the requirements established in the regulations. The Fondazione I Teatri will name a selection committee composed of three members. One of the members will be the Artistic Director, who will chair the committee. No member of the Jury will sit on this committee. The selection committee will evaluate the documents submitted by the candidates to determine whether they can be admitted to the Competition.


a)The General Rules of the 2017 “Premio Paolo Borciani” Competition are published in four languages (Italian, English, French and Russian).

b)Only the text in Italian has official and legal validity.

c)In any case, the Fondazione I Teatri reserves the absolute right to cancel the Competition

and to make all decisions on any issues pertaining to the way the rounds take place and regarding the competitors.

d)The formation of an admitted quartet may not be changed.

e)The Court of Reggio Emilia shall have sole jurisdiction over possible legal disputes.


Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition Artistic Director: Lorenzo Fasolo

Secretarial Office Manager: Marina Basso

Teatro Municipale Valli, Piazza Martiri del 7 luglio, 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy Tel. (39) 0522 458811 - 458908, Fax (39) 0522/458822

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