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Queen Elisabeth Competition Documentary

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Uploaded on Jan 26, 2012

Eugène Ysaÿe, Belgian concert-violinist, had wanted to set up an international music competition for young virtuosi showcasing their all-round skill, but died before he could do so. Queen Elisabeth, patroness of the arts and good friend of Ysaÿe, set up the competition in his memory in 1937. The prestige of Ysaÿe and Belgium's Royal Court (King Albert and Queen Elisabeth were admired heroes of the First World War) assured that the first competition would draw great entrants.The Soviet school was the resounding winner in 1937 as David Oistrakh took first prize. In 1938, the competition was dedicated to piano; Emil Gilels won, and again, the Soviet school was victorious.The competition did not resume until 1951; World War II and several royal scandals prevented the competition from taking place. In 1951, the competition was renamed for its patroness, Queen Elisabeth, and has taken place under that name since then.Entrants are expected to learn a compulsory work written especially for the competition. (The work is picked during the composition competition.) Usually there is also a section where contestants are expected to perform a work by a Belgian composer.From 1963 to 1980, Marcel Poot of the Brussels Conservatory chaired the jury of the competition and wrote several commissioned works to mark the occasion, that were used as competition-required pieces.

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