The 2020 George Enescu International Competition opens on August 29, 2020, at the Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest, with 205 young musicians competing in the event, which was reorganized online amid the pandemic, out of the 272 musicians who passed the pre-selection in June.

„I am sure that the George Enescu International Competition will be a huge event which will be enjoyed by much larger numbers of an audience than usual. Because most of it will be happening online so a lot more people will be following than usually when we have the audience in concert halls. We are creators of our own reality. We create it daily by our actions, thus ensuring that we have a future. But we also ensure through this that we have a past. So may the year 2020 be remembered by all of you not as the year of the virus, not as the year of fear, not as the year of cancellations, but as the year in which you made your dream come true, a year in which you participated in the George Enescu International Competition. Best of luck to you all and thank you”, transmitted Vladimir Jurowski, the Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival and Competition, in his message for the opening of the Competition.

The remaining 205 candidates in the Competition come from 39 countries. Out of them, 184 compete in the three sections: Violin (66); Cello (54); Piano (64), and 21 participate in the Composition section, with 26 works. The youngest candidates are 14 years old, and the oldest candidates are 33.

The online segment of the Enescu Competition will run until September 20, 2020, and will consist of:

August 29, 2020, 6:00 PM EEST (Romania) – The Opening Gala Concert on the Romanian Athenaeum stage, with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Josep Caballé Domenech, performing two pieces in world premiere: Brahmsodia – Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra, Op. 169 – composed especially for this edition by Dan Dediu (Winner of the 1991 George Enescu International Competition, Composition Section), and Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra by Alexandru Ştefan Murariu (Winner of the First Prize in 2018 George Enescu International Competition, Composition Section).

The Triple concerto will have as soloists three laureates from the previous editions: Gyehee Kim (Violin, 2016), Valentin Răduțiu (Cello, 2011), and Victoria Vassilenko (Piano, 2016).

The Concert will be streamed live on Saturday, August 29, 2020, on and broadcast by the Romanian Television and Radio Romania Muzical from 3:00 PM GMT | 6:00 PM EEST (Romania). The Opening Gala Concert will be streamed live as well on the Raiffeisen Art Proiect Platform #StagiuneVirtuală (, where it may be watched for the next 30 days.

1. The First Round of the Competition in each Section will take place according to the initial program: Cello, August 30–September 3; Violin, September 5-9; Piano, September 11-15. During these periods, all the recordings sent by competitors will be published for the general public on the Enescu Competition’s website, to be enjoyed by music lovers, and will be analyzed by the members of the juries. The juries will decide the 12 competitors who will pass into the next round for each of the three Sections.

2. The Second Round of the Competition will also take place online, based on recordings of competitors’ performances, according to the initial program: Cello, September 5-7; Violin, September 11-13; Piano, September 17-19. The recordings with the performances for this Round will be available to the general public on Of the 12 competitors from the Second Round of each section, only 6 will pass into the Semifinals.

3. The Composition Section will take place according to the initial program. Each member of the jury will analyze at home the works registered in Competition, and the winner will be announced on September 20 at

Access to all the online events of the Competition during this period is free of charge. The complete program is at the following link:

The Semifinals and Finals of the three instrument sections will be held in May 2021 at the Romanian Athenaeum, in Bucharest.

The message of this year’s edition is Beauty in Life, and the 2020 George Enescu International Competition inspires us and challenges us to prove that we all have the power to reinvent ourselves and to find the strength to go through the pandemic while embracing beauty in our life.

The video clip of the campaign is at this link:

This Edition’s Awards

The total value of the awards exceeds 100,000 EUR. A new prize for originality, worth 5,000 euros, was introduced for the Composition Section.

Winning the 1st Prize at the 2020 George Enescu Competition is the access ticket to the stage of the 2021 George Enescu International Festival 2021. The Competition’s laureates will have the opportunity to perform in the next edition of the Festival, together with several of the most reputed orchestras of the world (Orchestra of the Americas, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and others).

The winners of the 2020 George Enescu International Competition in the Violin, Cello, and Piano Sections will benefit from a special prize, newly introduced in the Competition package: a concert with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra in November 2021, at the Musikverein Golden Hall in Vienna. The three winners of the 2020 Enescu Competition will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano, in the context of marking the 250th anniversary of the great composer’s birth worldwide. The award is offered by the IMK Society for the Promotion of Music and Culture in Vienna, an organization that works with musicians such as Maxim Vengerov or Mischa Maisky and carries out projects in collaboration with the famous label companies Sony, Decca, and Deutsche Gramophon.


The total budget for organizing the event amounts to 4,020,000 RON, allotted as follows: Part I (2020): 1,605,000 RON and Part II (2021): 2,415,000 lei.

The Official Opening

The official Opening of the 2020 Enescu Competition was marked by an online press conference that took place on Friday, August 28, at 2:00 PM EEST, streamed live on and the Facebook page of the Enescu Festival. The event was organized in two panels – “2020 George Enescu Competition – The Organizing and Unfolding Perspective” and “A Musical and Cultural Experience – The Promise of the 2020 Enescu Competition”.

Guests:  Bogdan Gheorghiu, Minister of Culture; Sergiu Nistor, Presidential Advisor on cultural issues (recorded intervention); Doina Gradea, President, General Director of the Romanian Television Company; Liliana Staicu, Director Radio Romania Musical, Director of the Romanian Radio Orchestras & Choirs; Mihai Constantinescu, the Executive Director of the George Enescu International Festival and Competition; Vladimir Jurowski, Artistic Director of  the George Enescu International Festival (recorded intervention); the conductor and the soloists of the opening concert: maestro Josep Caballé Domenech and Gyehee Kim (violinist, winner of the 2016 George Enescu International Competition); Valentin Răduțiu (cellist,  laureate of the 2011 George Enescu International Competition); Viktoria Vassilenko  (pianist, winner of the 2016 George Enescu International Competition); Dan Dediu, composer, President of the University of Music Bucharest’s Senate, author of the work Brahmsodia which will have the world premiere at the opening concert; Alexandru Ștefan Murariu, composer, first prize award-winner for the Composition Section of the 2018 Enescu Competition; Steven van Groningen, CEO Raiffeisen Bank; Sever Voinescu, Editor-in-chief Dilema Veche.

Additional Information

George Enescu Competition is an international platform for launching the future world-class musicians and for promoting the compositions of the great Romanian composer to the new generation of artists. It is thus a natural extension of the George Enescu Festival, the most important cultural event organized in Romania. The Competition has four sections – violin, cello, piano, and composition – and it ranks in the top five classical music competitions worldwide.

Press Information:  Oana Marinescu | | tel: +40741 278 737