The Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition: Jury Concert

The Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition: Jury Concert
Date and time
22 - 29 Mar 2021

Recital Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

200 Jennens Road, B4 7XR


Festival tickets available soon.

See events pages below for individual tickets.

The Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition has been postponed to 22 – 29 March 2021.

Due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition has been postponed to 22-29 March 2021. We are delighted that the competition will still be able to go ahead (albeit at a later date), and we would like to thank the Arts Council of England, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, and all of our partners for their continued support.

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.



  • Debut CD recording with Champs Hill Records
  • 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.

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