2021 Competition

Closing Date For Applications: 

11th August 2021 at 23:59 BST

Welcome to the 8th Windsor Festival International String Competition. For the first time ever WFISC will be undertaken digitally in 2021, in light of the ongoing global pandemic. We are delighted to now share those details with you, warmly welcoming applications to be made by 11th August 2021.

The foremost competition of its kind in the world, and launched in memory of Festival founder Yehudi Menuhin, WFISC seeks out exceptional young string soloists. Reaching all corners of the globe, we encourage, nurture, support and enable prodigious talent to come to fruition, and launch the winner’s professional career. Sharing knowledge and experience, we forge international connections for the future.

The exciting array of WFISC prizes are valued at over £20,000 with a unique opportunity for the First Prize Winner to return to Windsor to play a concerto with the world renowned Philharmonia Orchestra, our Associate Orchestra, in the Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle during Windsor Festival, as well as a solo recording opportunity with our Recording Partner Champs Hill Records, cash prizes and ongoing support for years to come.

The concerto performance takes place in the unique and glorious surroundings of Windsor Castle, by gracious permission of HM The Queen.

We are delighted and most grateful to be in partnership with our sponsors and exceptional international jury.

WFISC Competition Schedule

  • 11th August 2021: closing date for applications at 23:59 (BST)
  • 27th August 2021: 12 successful WFSIC 2021 Semi-finalists selected
  • 26th — 27th September 2021: WFISC 2021 Semi-finals (Selected Semi-finalists will submit their pre-recorded Semi-final recital programme in advance, as agreed with competition management)
  • 27th September 2021: WFISC 2021 Finalists announced
  • 30th September 2021: WFISC 2021 Finalists record their Final programme live from their resident country, under WFISC Management supervision
  • 1st October 2021: WFISC 2021 Final streamed for public and adjudication

Each round of the 2021 Competition will take place digitally due to the ongoing pandemic and associated restrictions.

  • September 2022: First Prize winner concerto performance with the Philharmonia Orchestra as part of Windsor Festival 2022, Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle


Prizes for the 8th Windsor Festival International String Competition are:

First Prize

  • £5,000 cash prize
  • A concerto performance with the competition’s associate orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, in the 2022 Windsor Festival

  • Solo recording opportunity with WFISC Recording Partner Champs Hill Records

  • A minimum of two recitals, including a performance at Sir William Walton’s home La Mortella, Ischia

Second Prize

  • £2,000 cash prize

Third Prize

  • £1,000 cash prize

International Jury

The Panel of International Jury for WFISC 2021 are:

  • Clio Gould - Violin
  • Martin Outram - Viola
  • Jo Cole - Cello

And they will be joined for the Final by esteemed members of the music industry:

  • Alexander Van Ingen - Chief Executive, Philharmonia Orchestra and Executive Producer, Champs Hill Records
  • Martin Denny - Director, Windsor Festival

Preliminary Jury

The Panel of Preliminary Jury for WFISC 2021 are:

  • Matthew Trusler
  • Rachel Roberts
  • Thomas Carroll

 WFISC Repertoire Requirements 

  • Preliminary Round: Video submission of 2 or 3 contrasting pieces, lasting not more than 25 minutes in total duration. A piece maybe a single movement from a larger work if required.

  • Semi-final: A 45-minute recital, the submitted programme for which must include:

    • Two contrasting movements from a Bach solo sonata or partita

    • At least one movement from a major sonata or concerto for violin, viola or cello with piano accompaniment

    • One work of the competitor’s own choice

  • Final: A 25-minute recital, the submitted programme for which must include: 

    • Two or three contrasting works, one of which must include a movement from a major sonata for violin, viola or cello and piano 

Semi-final and Final rounds will be performed from the competitors’ country of residence and recorded for competition adjudication. These will be pre-recorded in one take as a concert performance, under WFISC management supervision, for live streaming and adjudication in the scheduled semi-final and final WFISC 2021 rounds. Jury feedback will take place via zoom.

Rules & regulations

The Rules and Regulations for the 2021 WFISC can be found here

Application Eligibility

Windsor Festival International String Competition 2021 is open to all violinists, violists and cellists of every nationality aged between 16 and 26 on 11th August 2021.


Applications for the 2021 Windsor Festival International String Competition are now open. The closing date for applications will be 11th August 2021 at 23:59 (BST).


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Windsor Festival International String Competition has given me such wonderful base to build up my career. Every time when I look back, I notice that without all the support from WFISC, I would have never imagined myself reaching so far.

Jiyoon Lee (2015 Winner)

I am at a loss for words. Everything about it was inspirational.

Nathan Meltzer (2017 Winner)