Tertis and Aronowitz International Viola Competition

Tertis and Aronowitz International Viola Competitions 2025

Two British International Viola Competitions Take Centre Stage at The Glasshouse with Royal Northern Sinfonia in January 2025

We announce the return of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition (LTIVC) coupled with the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition (CAIVC)which will be held for the very first time at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead from 19-25 January 2025 with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

After a break of six years, and a move from its original home in Port Erin on the Isle of Man the LTIVC is back, and this time joining forces with the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition. The two competitions will run concurrently at The Glasshouse in January 2025, attracting the highest calibre of violists and musicians from across the globe.

Lionel Tertis(1876-1975)

2025 will celebrate the 14th iteration of the LTIVC, but it is the first to be held in its new home in Gateshead. The inaugural competition was held in 1980, just a few years after Tertis’ death, and until now has always been held every three years on the Isle of Man. With a breath-taking list of past winners, the competition has gone from strength to strength, holding its place amongst the most celebrated and prestigious events on the global viola calendar.

This competition is dedicated to the unsurpassed legacy of the great British violist Lionel Tertis (1876-1975) whose contribution to the viola is almost incalculable. As an aside, The Glasshouse is a short distance from Tertis’ birthplace in West Hartlepool,and although hugely different from the IOM, it offers new inspiration, contexts, and musical uniqueness.

It is extremely exciting to begin this new chapter in the competition’s history.

Cecil Aronowitz(1916-1978)

The CAIVC has enjoyed a glorious nine years at its home at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and is proud to have been an important part of the journeys of talented young violists. With Timothy Ridout as the inaugural winner (2014), followed by Emma Wernig (2017), Edgar Francis (2021), and a further list of high-flying young soloists and chamber musicians such as Noga Shaham, Sào SoulezLarivière, Yue Yu and Tomohiro Arita who have won prizes, the future is looking bright.

This competition is dedicated to the memory and legacy of Cecil Aronowitz(1916-1978), a South African born Lithuanian violist, friend of Benjamin Britten,Shostakovich, chamber musician, soloist, teacher who has left a vast recording and musical legacy.

Patron, Nobuko Imai said “I am honoured to be the patron of these two viola competitions and festivals celebrating the legacies of  Tertis and Aronowitz. It is going to be a week to remember, and I want to encourage young violists across the world to apply”.

The Tertis Competition  is looking forward to running alongside the Aronowitz Competition, with a little adjustment to the age specifications for each of the competitions: Tertis is now from a minimum of 19 years and above until no older than 30 years, and Aronowitz 18 years and under.

Applications are invited from violists from anywhere in the world aged 30 or under at the time of the competition(born on or after 25th January 1995) via our website: Tertis and Aronowitz International Viola Competitions 

Timothy Ridout, who has won both viola competitions  will be in attendance during the competition and festival week at The Glasshouse.

Louise Lansdown, Executive Artistic Director of the competitions said "We are delighted to announce that Royal Northern Sinfonia will be playing for the finalists in both competitions at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music. As Tertis and Aronowitz join together, our ambitions are to promote, nurture and inspire the next generation of violists."

"James Thomas, director of Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Programme at The Glasshouse is looking forward to the competitions:“As an organisation that’s always championed artist development and supported the next generation of musicians, The Glasshouse is the natural home for two of the leading string competitions in the world and we’re looking forward to welcoming competitors from around the world to Gateshead in 2025.”

For further information,please contact the Tertis and Aronowitz International Viola Competitions by email







Here is a taste of the 2014 event