Skip to content

The Competition

Der Internationale Schubert-Wettbewerb Dortmund

The International Schubert Competition Dortmund has been held in the heart of the Ruhr region since 1987. It awards prizes in the categories “Piano” and “LiedDuo” and has set itself the task of promoting young artists of the international top class in their career entry, while at the same time introducing participants and audiences to the world of Schubert’s music with an intensity that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. At the same time, it strengthens the cultural diversity, attractiveness and perception of the Ruhr region. The concerts in front of the big machines inthe compressor hall of the Kokerei Hansa, an industrial monument, contribute to this in particular, anchoring it as an international cultural event in a region formerly characterized by mining and heavy industry.

The organization, implementation and planning of the competition are designed to enable all duos to participate in the competition at the highest level. The competition’s greatest concern is to guarantee a fair competition for all participants. This includes, in particular, an honest and fair evaluation procedure, which is regulated in jury rules and gives all participants the opportunity to be judged solely on the basis of their artistic performance in the competition and to receive one of the coveted prizes exclusively on this basis. In this way all participants should have the same opportunities right from the start – regardless of their previous career. For this reason, the jury is not informed of the duos’ CVs, places of study or teachers, only their competition program, dates of birth and nationality.

The internationally recognized and renowned competition takes place every two years, alternating between the piano and lied duo categories. Today, the competition is also praised and recognized in the music world because it introduces young musicians to a repertoire that significantly enriches their artistic range and which is still often neglected in university education and in the rest of competition life. The fact that the competition is becoming increasingly popular is shown by the record number of registrations in recent editions.

Many of the former participants and prizewinners of the competition are now internationally renowned artists, have won other international competitions, hold professorships and perform in concerts around the world: Baritone Samuel Hasselhorn (LiedDuo 2013 together with pianist Takako Miyazaki), Vadym Kholodenko (piano 2011), Amir Katz (piano 2003), Elena Margolina (piano 1995) and Michael Endres (piano 1987) are among the competition’s 1st prize winners.

Most recently, the 2nd prize winner and audience prize winner of the 2021 Schubert Competition in the piano category, Lukas Sternath, won 1st prize, audience prize and other special prizes at the 2022 International ARD Music Competition in Munich.

The cooperation with the Stiftung Industriedenkmalpflege und Geschichtskultur has enabled an exciting further development, so that in the years between the competitions, the three-day “International Schubert Festival Dortmund” is now regularly held jointly and under the motto “Classic Meets Coking Plant”. By holding the Schubert Festival in the non-competition years, it has been possible to create a platform for the prizewinners to network and exchange ideas with artists at the highest level. The combination of these two types of event ensures the long-term establishment of a very special cultural event in Dortmund.

The Schubert Competition has entered into a renewed partnership with the Konzerthaus Dortmund for the 2023 competition. As part of the cooperation, the Konzerthaus Dortmund hosted a recital with the official ambassador of the Schubert Competition 2023 Anna Lucia Richter, which was the opening concert of the competition and made the Great Hall of the Konzerthaus available for the final round of the IV. LiedDuo Competition 2023.

The International Schubert Competition Dortmund is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC). This distinguishes it as a renowned competition and thus receives support and worldwide publicity. The prerequisite for this membership is the fulfillment of the highest quality requirements and international standards.

For the last edition of the competition, the IV. LiedDuo Competition 2023, around 70 duos from all over the world applied, from which the pre-selection jury invited 41 duos to come to Dortmund to present themselves to the international jury and compete for the coveted prizes. The competition offers prizes with a total value of over EUR 30,000 including a CD production for the 1st prize winners.