The Queen Elisabeth Competition celebrates this year its 75th birthday. It was established in 1937. Queen Elisabeth, wife of King Albert I, and Belgian violinist and composer Eugène Ysaÿe were behind this project. The Competition is open to musicians who have already completed their training and who are ready to launch their international careers. The competition covers the following musical disciplines: piano, voice, violin and composition. The performance sessions take place every three years and the competition for composers before each instrumental session. The winning works of the composer's competition are given as compulsory works during the piano and violin sessions.
The Belgian Royal Family has been supporting the Queen Elisabeth Competition from the outset. The Competition is placed under the High Protection of Queen Fabiola. The Members of the Royal Family traditionally attend semi-finals' and finals' sessions, as well as the laureates' concerts and the closing concert. They also develop contacts with the members of the jury, i.e. by attending a luncheon offered by the King during the final sessions.
This year's Competition is dedicated to the violin. From Monday 21st through Saturday 26th May, twelve finalists perform at the Brussels Palace for Fine Arts with the National Orchestra of Belgium, under the baton of conductor Gilbert Varga.