2020 Competition - Flashback

The International Cello Competition “Anna Kull” took place from February 10 to February 22, 2020, at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz for the first time. It was aimed at young cellists born between 2000 and 2006, who sought to receive feedback from a top-class international jury and develop their musical personality, and who were looking for exchange with like-minded cellists from other cultural areas.

The Competition placed particular emphasis on programme composition, which also played a role in the assessment. An important component of this Competition, named after Swiss cellist Anna Kull, were coaching and feedback sessions with the jury members as well as audience engagement. Participants were able to choose if they wanted to make audience engagement a part of their programme of the 2nd round. The central theme of the Competition – suonare cantante (when an instrument is played in a singing style) – played a dominant role.

In addition to coaching sessions with the jury members, the prizewinners had the tremendous opportunity to perform together with the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra in Austria’s second largest opera house, the Opera Graz.

>>All performances from the 2nd rounds are still available ON-DEMAND<<

  • Competition terms
  • Time & place

    Time & place

    WHEN did the competition take place?

    The Competition took place from February 10-22, 2020.

    Age Group I:
    born 2005/06

    Age Group II:
    born 2003/04

    Age Group III:
    born 2000/01/02

    WHERE did the competition take place?

    This Competition was organised by the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. The performances took place in the University’s prestigious concert halls in Palais Meran (Leonhardstraße 15, 8010 Graz) and the Theater im Palais (Leonhardstraße 19, 8010 Graz).

    | Foto: The Schubidu Quartet
    | Foto: Schubidu Quartet

    Gala Concert

    The gala concert of the prizewinners on February 22, 2020, marked the finale of the International Cello Competition “Anna Kull”. It took place in the Opera House Graz with the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor: Ingo Ingensand) and was the finale of the Competition. Following three selection rounds, outstanding young musicians presented their talent on stage.

    The gala concert was supported by Hypo Vorarlberg Bank AG.


  • Reasons to participate

    Reasons to participate

    Many good reasons to participate...

    Performance Opportunities:

    It also offered participants:

    • Feedback and coaching sessions provided by an international jury,
    • Mini-residency at the Scandinavian Cello School in Stevns, Denmark
    • Awards for Audience Engagement (In the second competition round, qualified participants had the opportunity to include elements to engage the audience in their programme. Special coaching sessions were offered  prior to the second competition round for this purpose.)
    • Special Prizes and much more
    | Foto: The Schubidu Quartet
    | Foto: The Schubidu Quartet
  • Jury


    We were lucky to welcome a top-class jury to Graz for this Competition. Not only did the jury members listen to the participants’ renditions and award prizes to the best performances in every age group, but they also supervised the talented young musicians in feedback and coaching sessions. The jury chair was held by Anke Schittenhelm.

    Jury members

    Age group I:

    Julian ARP (Germany)
    Gergely MOHL (Hungary)
    Ditta ROHMANN (Hungary)


    Age group II & III:

    Julian ARP (Germany)
    David GERINGAS (Lithuania)
    Monika LESKOVAR (Croatia)
    Miloš MLEJNIK (Slovenia)
    Wen-Sinn YANG (Switzerland)

    Read the rules 2020 for the jury here!

  • Repertoire


    The Competition was held for three age groups:

    Age group I: born 2005/2006
    Age group II: born 2003/2004
    Age group III: born 2000/01/02

    • First Round

      First Round

      The first round was the qualification round, during which participants were required to perform compulsory pieces.

      Age group I

      from J. S. Bach Suite No. 1 in G major: Prelude or Courante or Sarabande and Gigue


      J. Merk 20 Etudes Op. 11: No. 11 in C minor or A. Franchomme 12 Etudes Op. 35: No. 3 in G major


      Age group II

      from J. S. Bach Suite No. 2 in D minor: Prelude or Gigue


      D. Popper High School of Cello Playing Op. 73: No. 10 in C minor or A. Franchomme Caprices Op. 7: No. 9 in B minor


      Age group III

      from J. S. Bach Suite No. 3 in C major: Prelude or Gigue


      D. Popper High School of Cello Playing Op. 73: No. 20 in G minor or No. 22 in G major

    • Second Round

      Second Round

      Participants who qualified for the second round were free to choose their own programme for that round.

      Age Group I & II: Performance time 20-25 minutes
      Age Group III: Performance time 25-30 minutes

      Participants had the opportunity to include elements to communicate the music to the audience in their programme, such as a coherent presentation to introduce the compositions before or between renditions, a special spatial dramaturgy for an innovative hearing experience or a focus on the audience through lighting, language, involvement of the audience, other arts, etc. It was possible to receive special coaching sessions for this purpose prior to the second round.

      The second competition round marked the end of the Competition for age group I, whose participants had a small award ceremony after this round.

    • Final Round

      Final Round

      Age groups II and III could choose one of two concerts for the final round.

      Age Group II

      J. Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major


      C. Saint Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 Op. 33 in A minor


      Age Group III

      J. Haydn Concerto No. 1 in C major


      E. Elgar Cello Concerto Op. 85 in E minor


      The prizewinners of age group II & III performed a concert together with the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra in the Opera House Graz. This concert marked the ceremonial highlight of the Competition.

  • Promoters and Partners

    Promoters and Partners