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.
Princess Astrid International Music Competition enjoys the royal patronage of Her Highness Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner of Norway. The Princess has since 1956 shown the competition inestimable support not only through the patronage itself, but by meeting the finalists, attending the finals and presenting the prizes. Decade after decade she continues to be an active patron and a wonderful ambassador of the competition.
HH Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner (Photo: Gjeruldsen/The Royal Court).
In 2012 there were made two significate changes to the competition. Instead of 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.
Watch documentary films from Princess Astrid International Music Competition:
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