Trondheim Symfoniorkester

Competition history

Watch documentary films from Princess Astrid International Music Competition:

2018 - conducting

2016 - violin

2014 - conducting


Princess Astrid International Music Competition is Norway´s oldest music competition. Former chief conductor of Trondheim Symfoniorkester, Finn Audun Oftedal, founded it in 1953 wanting to create an arena where young Norwegian classical musicians could show their talent, and from that launch a soloist career. Oftedal was successful in doing so. Several of the prize winners throughout the years have gone on to becoming internationally renowned musicians and soloists.

One of them is violinist Arve Tellefsen (picture), who received the first prize in 1956. He has himself often underlined the importance of winning the competition only 19 years old. At the time he was a hardworking, penniless student, and winning Princess Astrid IMC gave him artistic recognition, a much needed financial contribution, and - last but not least – the courage to pursue a soloist career. 


Since then he has had an adventurous career, containing numerous of soloist appearances with leading orchestras on all continents. He has also been a sought after concertmaster, recording artist, artistic leader and chamber musician. He has been hailed for his ability to connect with all kinds of audience and for being innovative and including in his music making - and he is still going strong, 82 years of age.

In 2012 there was made two significate changes to the competition. Instead of the disciplines rotating between most solo instruments, it was now decided to alternate between violin and conducting only. In addition the competition was opened for contestants from the Nordic countries, and from 2014 it has been announced internationally. Still, the national perspective of founder Oftedal is kept relevant through the fact that Norwegian candidates now have the opportunity to measure themselves against peers from all over the world. Today the Princess Astrid IMC enjoys a growing presence on the international music competition scene, with over 340 applicants for the 2018 conducting edition.

Recent winners of Princess Astrid International Music Competition:
Yuwon Kim, conducting, 2018
Mayumi Kanagawa, violin, 2016
Elena Schwartz, conducting, 2014
Miriam Helms Ålien, violin, 2012