Primrose International Viola Competition

2024 Primrose International Viola Competition
Co-presented by the Colburn School and the American Viola Society, the 2024 Primrose International Viola Competition will be held from June 17 to June 22, 2024. As one of the most renowned string instrument competitions in the world, the Primrose International Viola Competition features the world’s best and most promising young violists. The competition is open to violists born on or after June 23, 1992, who are ready to embark on an international solo career. All live rounds will take place at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, California.
The 2024 competition is dedicated to the memory of Dr. David Dalton, one of the world’s great champions of the viola and the legacy of William Primrose.

2021 Primrose International Viola Competition
Laureates –
1st: Natalie Loughran (also BIPOC Prize and Audience Award)
2nd: Samuel Rosenthal
3rd: Nicholas Swensen
Transcriptions Prize: Keoni Bolding

More information HERE

2018 Primrose International Viola Competition
The 15th Primrose International Viola Competition was sponsored and hosted by the Colburn School in Los Angeles, June 10-17, 2018.

1st prize awarded to 18-year-old Hae-Sue Lee from South Korea
2nd prize awarded to 28-year-old Zoe Martin-Doike from the United States
3rd prize to 22-year-old Leonid Plashinov-Johnson from the United Kingdom.

More information HERE


Founded in 1979 as the first international competition solely for violists, the Primrose International Viola Competition, named after the 20th-century viola virtuoso William Primrose, is proud of the rich history and legacy it promotes. The American Viola Society (AVS), through an endowment established by memorial contributions made by friends, colleagues, artists, and admirers, has sponsored and organized the competition since 1986.

2014 Primrose International Viola Competition – 35th anniversary
The 14th Competition, in 2014,  received a record number of high-level entries from the countries of Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Thirty quarterfinalists representing the countries of Australia, Canada, China, France, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States were invited to compete for awards, over $10,000 USD in cash and prizes, and select engagements in the United States and Europe.
The Semi-Final recital round included the world premiere of Aldonza for viola and orchestral reduction by Puerto Rican composer Christian Colberg. The chamber music component consisted of the first movement of Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio with Los Angeles Philharmonic clarinetist Michele Zukovsky. For the concerto round all finalists performed with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra.

The results of the 2014 Primrose International Viola Competition were announced in Los Angeles on 14th June 2014 as follows:

  • 1st prize to Zhanbo Zheng, aged 17 of China.
  • 2nd prize to Manuel Vioque-Judd of France.
  • 3rd prize to Cong Wu of China.

Zhanbo Zheng studied at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music with Professor Wang Shaowu. Zheng also won first prize at the Villa de Llanes International Viola and Cello Competition in 2010. As the winner of the 2014 Primrose Competition, Zheng received a cash prize of $5,000, a gold-mounted bow from Arcos Brasil, and offers of concert appearances in the US and Europe.

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To view the list of previous Laureates please visit: