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2021 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players (Ages 13–17)

Sponsored by the Friday Morning Music Club Foundation, Inc.

Applications open March 1st, 2020

The Johansen International Competition (JIC) for Young String Players Ages 13–17 (violin, viola, and cello) takes place once every 3 years. The next competition will take place March 17–20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

The JIC, which was held for the first time in 1997, is made possible through the generosity of a Charitable Trust established by the late Anna Storch Johansen of Falls Church, Virginia. Mrs. Johansen was a violinist and a Life Member of the Friday Morning Music Club. She wanted to encourage young musicians with significant prize awards at a time when they need it most and when they must make decisions about whether to continue with their dedication to music.

In addition to the prizes and opportunities listed below, winners receive 5 years of complimentary student membership in the Friday Morning Music Club.

Prizes and Awards

Equal prizes for violin, viola, and cello:
First prizes: $10,000 each
Second prizes: $7,000 each
Third prizes: $5,000 each

Prize for Best Performance of Commissioned Work: $1,000

Judges:  Judith Ingolfsson, Ralph FieldingBion Tsang

Official Pianists: Eri Kang, Colette Valentine

Composer of Commissioned Work: Jessica Krash

Performance opportunities may include:


  • Students of violin, viola, or cello, ages 13 through 17 years (birth dates of 17 March 2003 to 20 March 2008). Eligible contestants may not be younger than 13 or older than 17 on March 20, 2021. A copy of the applicant’s birth certificate or passport is required as proof of age.
  • Applicants must not be under professional management.
  • Too old? You may be eligible to compete in the Washington International Competition for Strings (ages 18–28). Click here for details.

Deadline and Important Dates

  • December 1, 2020: Deadline for completing online application.
  • January 2021: Preliminary video auditions held and selected semifinalists notified.
  • 2021 Competition Dates: Rehearsal, March 17; Semifinals, March 18–19; Finals, March 20.

Additional Rules

  1. FMMC Foundation, Inc., assumes no responsibility for actions of the applicants or escorts or injuries sustained by them during the course of the applicants’ stay in the Washington area, and assumes no responsibility in connection with the applicants’ participation in the Competition.
  2. All eligibility requirements must be met for participation in the competition.
  3. Decisions of the judges are final. Awards may be withheld at the discretion of the judges.
  4. All semifinalists and finalists must perform with the competition’s official pianists. No other pianists are permitted.

Questions? Contact:

Harriet Kaplan, Administrative Director
Phone: (301) 825-5515 

Judy Silverman, JIC Steering Committee Chair 

To view repertoire requirements, please click on "Start an Application" and follow the prompts. Please visit our website here for more information about the history of the competition.

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NOTE: The application fee is $130 US. Payment can be made by credit card, gift credit card, or in some cases, electronic transfer.