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The Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition: Jury Concert

The Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition: Jury Concert

Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition and Festival

Date and time
14 - 20 Nov 2020

Recital Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

200 Jennens Road, B4 7XR


Festival tickets available soon.

See events pages below for individual tickets.

The British Viola Society has announced the live competitors for the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition 2020, which will be held at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire from 14 - 20 November.

Open to young violists aged 21 or under from around the world, the competition received 93 applications this year, with the youngest applicants only 14 years old.

The competition will feature 40 live competitors, as well as viola events throughout the week, including workshops, masterclasses, recitals from the jury members and displays from expert luthiers.

Launched in 2014 by the British Viola Society and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and supported by Arts Council England, the competition is dedicated to Cecil Aronowitz, the South African violist and long-term collaborator with Benjamin Britten.

The competition is held in partnership with Champs Hill Records, EM Records, English Music Festival, Tertis Foundation, Bishop Instruments and Bows, British Violin Making Association, Gwyn Williams Trust, Ayres Violins, and Pirastro.

RBC Head of Strings Louise Lansdown said: “It is with great pleasure that we can confirm, even at this time of upheaval across the globe, that the Cecil Aronowitz Competition will still be taking place at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire”.

“We will be celebrating the viola, welcoming esteemed international soloists and guests, and most importantly the 40 young live competitors, along with online and live audiences from the UK and internationally. Highly attractive prizes are on offer, including a Champs Hill Records debut CD, a further recording with EM Records of the WH Reed Rhapsody for viola and orchestra with the BBC Concert Orchestra, cash prizes and much more.”

The 40 competitors of the 2020 competition are listed in the ‘live competitors’ tab.



  • Concerto recording with BBC Concert Orchestra & EM Records
  • Performance at the English Music Festival
  • £5000 (British Viola Society & British Violin Making Association)
  • Fine viola bow (Bishop Instruments & Bows)
  • KorkferRest, Strings, Rosin (Pirastro)


  • £3000 (Tertis Foundation)
  • Fine viola bow (from Ayres Violins)
  • Pirastro products


  • £1500 (Gwyn Williams Trust & Pirastro)
  • Pirastro products

(Additional competition-round prizes to be won.)


  1. All competitors must be age 21 or under at the time of the competition.
  2. Any competitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
  3. All competitors must be members of the British Viola Society.
  4. Competitors of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

Download the application form


Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition and Festival would like to thank the following organisations for their support.

viola society logo

Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition and Festival

Events include: