Our privacy policy was last updated on Friday 31 January 2020View it hereDismiss
Sign in
Bachtrack logo
What's on
Competitions home

Guide to the ARD International Music Competition Munich

Laureates of the ARD Competition

How it all began…

It took place for the first time in 1952: the ARD International Music Competition, one of the most renowned and large-scale competitions of its kind. It was founded by the public broadcasting radio stations of the Federal Republic of Germany, managed by Bavarian Broadcasting in Munich and takes place every year in September. For many of today’s world-famous artists, an award from the ARD International Music Competition in Munich represented a spring board to their major careers: Jessye Norman, Francisco Araiza, Natalia Gutman, Christoph Eschenbach, Mitsuko Uchida, Thomas Quasthoff, Yuri Bashmet, Christian Tetzlaff, Sharon Kam,Heinz Holliger, Peter Sadlo, Maurice André and the Quatuor Ebène, to name but a few.

The Competition Today

Over the years, the ARD International Music Competition with its annually changing line-up of musicians has developed into an internationally singular and highly regarded institution. It offers not only singers and pianists but also all the other instrumentalists the podium of an international competition, both for solo and chamber music performance. Since 2001, the presence of contemporary music has been considerably reinforced through commissions to prominent composers.

Each year an average of 400 to 600 young musicians apply to take part in the competition. Then, following a preliminary round, some 200 competitors from 35 to 40 countries actually appear. The international renown of the ARD Music Competition can be noted by the high percentage of non-German participants (88 %).

The 69th ARD International Music Competition Munich will take place from August 31 to September 18, 2020 in the categories Flute, Trombone, String Quartet and Piano. Application deadline is March 31, 2020.

All competitiors who reach the second round will be provided with the cost of accommodation and meals from the second round on for the duration of their further participation in the audition process.

Concert managers, concert agencies and representatives of the music industry will be invited to the final rounds and the prize winners' concert.


First Prize: €10 000; Second Prize: €7 500; Third Prize: €5 000 for soloists

First Prize: €24 000; Second Prize: €18 000; Third Prize: € 12 000 for string quartets

There are also several special prizes.

Please click here for the ARD website and more information.

Fact file
SectionsFlute, Trombone, String quartet, Piano
Deadline01 - 31 Mar 2020
Finals09 - 13 Sep 2020
WhereMunich, Germany
Age groupsThe competition is open to musicians of all nations born between 1991 and 2003 in the categories flute, trombone and piano. String Quartet: average age maximum 120; single members neither younger than 17 nor older than 35.
Looking back at the 2018 edition
Looking back at the 2017 edition