These are the regulations from 2019 and might be subject to change.

The complete 2019 competition rules and regulations are available here.
Published: January 31, 2019.

Carefully study the competition rules before applying. Please note: The rules have been changed from the past year in some sections.

§ 1 Organizer

Johannes-Brahms-Gesellschaft Pörtschach
Seeuferstraße 129
A-9210 Pörtschach
Phone +43/(0)664/286 49 12


§ 2 Venue, Time

Pörtschach and Velden am Wörthersee, Carinthia, Austria.

Registration: Saturday, August 31st, 2019

Start of the competition: Sunday, September 1st, 2019

Prize winners’ concert: Sunday, September 8, 2019 – 5pm for all prize-winners
No prize can be awarded without participating in the prize winners’ concert.

Due to the tight time schedule for the prize winners’ concert, only the winners of the first and second prizes will be entitled to perform.

The prize winners’ concert follows – in a broad sense – the common theme folk music (dance music). Please prepare an attractive piece with a maximum duration of 4-5 minutes for the prize winners’ concert following the common theme folk music (dance music), if possible in connection with your home.

The following compositions and composers should give you some ideas, they are not meant as restrictions or rules. We look forward to hearing your own choices!
F. Chopin (Mazurkas), A. Dvorak (Slavonic Dances), G. Kreisler, P. de Sarasate, H. Sitt, A. Borodin, J. Hubay, M. Ravel, A. Glazunov. H. Wieniawski, J. Achron, O. Musin, S. Rachmaninoff, etc.
Of course you may also choose from the competition programme, e.g. a folk song from your home, Brahms Volkslieder, Brahms Hungarian Dances, Zimbalist Sarasateana or similar.

§ 3 Registration

You may register online via our website

With your registration, please forward us:
• a portrait photo or artistic portrait of professional quality to be used in our catalogue (will be published),
• your curriculum vitae (CV).

Registration fee – to be paid before July 1st, 2019:
Solo instruments: 130,00 Euro
Ensembles: 100,00 Euro per member
Lied: 130,00 Euro plus 130,00 Euro if you bring your own accompanist, as there is a prize for the best lied accompanist.
All accompanists provided by the Johannes Brahms Society are free of charge to the participants.

The registration fee can be paid with common credit cards via our website.

Alternatively, wire transfer the registration fee free of charge for the recipient, to the following bank account:

Recipient: Johannes-Brahms-Gesellschaft,
Seeuferstraße 129, A-9210 Pörtschach, Austria
Name and address of bank: Bank für Kärnten und Steiermark,
Hauptstrasse 199, A- 9210 Pörtschach, Austria
IBAN: AT32 1700 0001 2013 5384
BIC (SWIFT-Code): BFKKAT2K (alternatively, BFKKAT2K XXX)
Name, address and CATEGORY of the participant must be clearly written (capital letters).

Registration deadline: July 1st, 2019.

The registration fee cannot be refunded in the event of withdrawal from the competition.

Please note for Cello and Viola: These categories will not be part of the 2019 competition.

The works selected and entered on the application form may be changed until July 15th, 2019.

§ 4 Entry qualifications

Pianists, violinists, cellists, viola players and singers from any country who have reached international competition standard are welcome.

Age limit: Participants must reach the age of 14 in the course of the competition year (year of birth 2005) and not exceed the age of 40 (year of birth 1979). This does not apply to participants, that registered in 2018 but could not take part at the competition that year.

Applications that do not meet the requirements of the competition can be rejected. These decisions are final and incontestable. No explanations will be provided.

Each participant is responsible for making sure that his or her competition programme conforms to the rules and regulations.

We kindly ask you to wear appropriate attire for all the competition rounds (please keep in mind that some of the competition venues are churches).

Participation is understood at the participant’s own cost and risk.

§ 5a Piano

General Information:

  • All works have to be performed from memory.
  • The chairman will terminate any presentation exceeding the given time frame.
  • Please choose repeats in your own responsibility. The maximum duration of each round must not be exceeded.
  • Please prepare an attractive piece with a maximum duration of 4-5 minutes for the prize winners’ concert. Choose from the theme “folk music (dance music)”, if possible in connection with your home. For suggestions, see § 2.

A) First Round:

  1. One Prelude and one Fugue (belonging together) from “Das Wohltemperierte Klavier” by J. S. Bach.
  2. One Etude by F. Chopin from op. 10 (except no. 3, and no. 6) or op. 25 (except no. 7).
  3. One piece by J. Brahms to be chosen from op. 4, 10, 76, 79, 116, 117, 118, 119.

Duration: 15 minutes.

B) Second Round:

  • A piece of variation work by J. Brahms: op. 9, or op. 21 (no. 1 and no. 2), or op 24, or op. 35 (first and second book).
    Note: Of op. 35 you can also play book 1 or book 2 only. In this case you would have to complement your programme by op. 21, no. 1 or no. 2. The variations op. 21, no. 1, can be played without repeats.


  • A sonata by J. Brahms: op. 1, or op. 2, or op. 5.
    Note: The first movement of sonata nr 3 op. 5 by Brahms is to be played without repeats.

Duration: max. 35 minutes.

C) Final with full orchestra:

You are asked to play the first movement from one of the following piano concerts:

  • J. Brahms, no. 1, D minor, op. 15
  • J. Brahms, no 2, B major, op. 83
  • L.v. Beethoven, no 4, G major, op. 58.

The concerts must be played from memory.

§ 5b Violin

General Information:

  • The chairman will terminate any presentation exceeding the given time frame.
  • Please choose repeats in your own responsibility. The maximum duration of each round must not be exceeded.
  • For Bach, Mozart, Paganini op. 1 as well as for the sonatas please use the urtext editions.
  • Good pianists are made available by the organizer but can also be brought along by the candidate (at their own cost).
  • Please prepare an attractive piece with a maximum duration of 4-5 minutes for the prize winners’ concert. Choose from the theme “folk music (dance music)”, if possible in connection with your home. For suggestions, see § 2.

A) First Round:

  1. One original caprice for violin solo by N. Paganini or of a comparable level of difficulty.
  2. J. S. Bach: Two dances from Partita I, B minor, BWV1002 (WITHOUT Double)
    Two dances from Partita II, D minor, BWV 1004 (not Chaconne)
    Two dances from Partita III, E major (not Preludio)
    Note: Please choose a slow and a fast movement!

Duration: 10 minutes.
All pieces of the first rounds have to be performed from memory.

B) Second Round:

  1. First movement and cadence of one of the following violin concerts by W. A. Mozart (B major, KV 207; D major, KV 211; G major, KV 216; D major, KV 218; A major, KV 219) or by J. Haydn.
  2. One sonata for violin and piano by J. Brahms (op. 78, G major, op. 100, A major, op. 108, D minor)
    R. Schumann, sonata A minor, op 105.
  3. Scherzo c-minor by J. Brahms from the FAE-Sonata (from memory) (Schumann, Brahms, Dietrich),
    a “Hungarian Dance” by J. Brahms, arranged by J. Joachim.

Duration: about 30 minutes
Concerts have to be performed from memory, sonata can be performed with notes – except the FAE-Sonata which also has to be played from memory.
Note: All works selected for the second round have to be prepared in full. If necessary, the jury will decide on further time limits before the beginning of the second round. These limits will apply to all candidates.

C) Final with full orchestra:

First movement and cadence from one of the following violin concerts:

  • J. Brahms, D major, op. 77;
  • L.v. Beethoven, D major, op. 61;
  • P.I.Tschaikowsky, D major, op. 35.

In the final round, concerts have to be performed from memory.

§ 5c Viola

There is no Viola competition in 2019.

§ 5d Cello

There is no Cello competition in 2019.

§ 5e Voice

General Information:

  • All lieder must be sung from memory in their original language.
  • The songs selected by the participants can only be performed once throughout their entire programme. Repetitions in other rounds are not allowed.
  • Transpositions are allowed.
  • The chairman will terminate any presentation greatly exceeding the given time frame.
  • Experienced accompanists are available free of charge. Participants who prefer to travel with their own accompanists are welcome to do so, but please note that this will entail an additional registration fee, because prizes will also be awarded for the best song accompaniment and the best lied-duo respectively.
  • Please prepare an attractive piece with a maximum duration of 4-5 minutes for the prize winners’ concert. Choose from the theme “folk music (dance music)”, if possible in connection with your home. For suggestions, see § 2.

A) First round:

In total, 3 lieder have to be prepared:

  1. Two lieder by J. Brahms: Choose one kunstlied and one volkslied (from Deutsche Volkslieder WoO)
  2. Choose ONE lied from the following selection of composers:
    a) Josef Matthias Hauer (only lieder after op. 4)
    b) Arnold Schönberg (only lieder after op. 2)
    c) Anton von Webern (only lieder after op. 3)
    d) Robert Schollum („Alltag der Augen“; „Lieder aus dem Wunderhorn“, „Kinderreime“ – available from Doblinger Music Publishers, Vienna)

Duration: max. 10 minutes

B) Second Round:

  1. Choose two lieder by Johannes Brahms
  2. Choose lieder from the following composers:
    Joseph Haydn
    Gustav Mahler
    Franz Schubert
    Clara Schumann
    Robert Schumann
    Richard Strauss
    Hugo Wolf
  3. One folk song in your mother tongue

Duration: max. 15 minutes

C) Final:

  1. Choose three lieder by J. Brahms.
  2. Choose your own composer(s).

Duration: max. 20 minutes

§ 5f Chamber Music

A) First Round:

  1. One movement of the work by Johannes Brahms
  2. A contemporary piece (from the second half of the 20th century or after) of maximum 4-5 minutes duration of your own choice (can also be part of a larger work)
  3. A musical work (or parts thereof) of a composer of your choice. Please note:: no additions or completions to point 1 or 2 above.

Duration: max. 25 minutes.

B) Second Round:

A representative work of the Viennese Classical period (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven), but also Schubert, Hummel, Weber or Boccharini, provided the Viennese Classical School offers no corresponding works.

Duration: max. 30 minutes.

C) Final:

A programme of maximum 45 minutes length (must include one complete work by J. Brahms).

§ 6 Assessment

All performances are open to the public. The order of performance is drawn before each round.

The judging members of the jury are excellent musicians, teachers or concert organizers themselves.

The jury assessment is given in public in the presence of the audience and the participant. Each juror will submit his evaluation immediately after each competitor’s performance, showing the points awarded on a scorecard. The candidates can see the score immediately after their performance.

Points from 0–6, to one decimal, will be awarded separately for technical mastery of the instrument and for artistic expression, and then be added together.

If the score given by one member of the jury differs from the next higher or lower score by one or more than one point then this score is eliminated by the chairman.

Members of the jury are not allowed to evaluate their present or former students.

The score of the first round (A) is only used to establish the participants of the second round (B) and is then discarded.

The score of the second round (B) is added to the score of the final round (C). The competitions are decided by the sum of the points gained in the second round (B) and in the final (C).

The jury may determine by unanimous decision that no first prize will be awarded. The second prize will be granted to the top ranking participant instead. The runner-up will then receive the third prize, etc. The chairman has to justify such a decision publicly.

The decisions of the jury are final. No appeals are permitted.

§ 7 Miscellaneous

With their application, all participants enter into an obligation to keep the period of the competition free of all engagements or concerts.

The organizer of the competition is authorized to photograph, film and make sound recordings and/or digital/electronic recordings at all concerts or events within the period of the competition and to use these recordings for publicity purposes. In particular the organizer reserves the right to authorize radio and TV stations to record and broadcast (e.g. via radio and television, including on-line) all events of the competition. No claims for reimbursement for participants may arise from this.

The competition organizer reserves the right to use selections from the competitions and prize winners’ concerts on a CD and/or DVD, which will serve to publicize the participants and document the competition. Beyond this, the competition organizer reserves the right to release and distribute or permit the distribution on its own or through third parties of contributions to the competition in sound form, on analogue and/ or digital sound or data media in any format or process (including as digital downloads via online distributors), either commercially or non-commercially.

The declaration of understanding on the part of the competition participants shall be considered given with the registration to participate in the competition: the same applies to transfer of broadcast rights in keeping with the aforementioned conditions. The prize winners have no claim to additional compensation.

Prize winners are obliged to perform at the Prize Winner Concert without a fee.

The organizer cannot accept any responsibility for the competitors’ instruments and their personal property.

By sending in the application form, the participants consent to the above competition guidelines.

In case of discrepancies in the interpretation of the Competition Guidelines, the German text will be binding.