The 6th International Paulo Cello Competition


International Cello Festival, Finland will hold the 6th International Paulo Cello Competition in October 14-25, 2018. The competition is open to cellists of all nationalities born between 1988 and 2002, inclusive.


Application is via the competition website at A link to this site will be activated on November 2017. Applications should append a quality video of competitor’s performance for the pre-selection process. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2018. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. The non-refundable fee is € 50.



The competition will consist of a qualifying round by video preselection and four public performances.


  1. Luigi Boccherini:
    Sonata ” L´Imperatrice ” A major, I movement,
    Allegro (Edition Schott)
  2. Krzysztof Penderecki:
    Suite per violoncello solo, I movement,
    Preludio (Edition Schott)
  3. Beethoven:
    Sonata No.5 D major, Op. 102 No 2, II movement,
    Adagio con molto sentimento d´affetto
  4. A work of the candidate’s choice with piano accompaniment

The works performed on the preselection video may be included in the programme for the other rounds of the competition. The video must clearly show the performance, the player’s hands and face. The video must not be edited. Individual works may, however, be recorded as different takes. The application must state when and where the video was made.


A maximum of 26 competitors will qualify for the First Round. It will consist of a recital programme of the competitor’s choice totalling not more than 50 minutes and can include works for cello either with or without piano accompaniment. Movements from sonatas and larger works may be performed. The repertoire must represent a sufficient variety of styles to meet the demands of a solo career.


A maximum of 9 competitors will qualify for the Second Round. One of following works will be perfomed with Lahti Symphony Orchestra.

  1. Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto E minor, Op. 85 *
  2. Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto A minor, Op. 129
  3. Éduardo Lalo: Cello Concerto in D minor
  4. Pjotr Tshaikovski: Variations on a Rococo Theme Op. 33

* Edited January 23, opus number of Elgar Concerto corrected.


A maximum of 6 competitors will qualify for the Finals.


The competitor will be perform this concerto both as a soloist and conducting the orchestra. A Cello Concerto by Luigi Boccherini or Joseph Haydn. Orchestra in First Final is Tapiola Sinfonietta.


One of the following works to be performed with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra:

  • Benjamin Britten: Cello Symphony
  • Henri Dutilleux: Cello Concerto ”Tout un monde lointain”
  • Joonas Kokkonen: Cello Concerto (1969)
  • Witold Lutoslawski: Cello Concerto
  • Krzyztof Penderecki: Cello Concerto No. 2
  • Sergei Prokofjev: Sinfonia Concertante Op. 125
  • Aulis Sallinen: Cello Concerto Op. 44
  • Dmitri Shostakovitsh: Cello Concerto No. 2 Op. 126

After the concerto with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra each competitor will also perform a movement of her/his choice from a Suite fo Solo Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach as a compulsory encore.

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The competitors invited to take part in the competition will be given family accommodation free of charge during the entire period of the competition. Competition organization will provide also local transportation for competitors during First Round, Second Round and Finals. Each competitor covers one’s own travel expenses to Helsinki and back. The Secretariat will book hotel accommodation for those competitors wishing to stay at a hotel at their own expense. Those needing a visa to enter Finland should obtain one themselves from the Finnish Consulate in their own country.


The order of performances in the First round will be determined beforehand by lot. Competitors will be given the rehearsal schedule and the order of performance before the competition. The order of performance will change as the competition proceeds as decided by Competition organization.


Competition pianists will be available free of charge. Competitors will have the right to rehearse for two hours with the pianist. Competitors may also brig their own pianists at their own expense. For the Second Round and Finals, competitors will have an orchestral rehearsal.


The Jury will consist of nine experts and President of the Jury is Arto Noras, Finland.



The value of the prizes will be as follows:

I 20.000 €
II 15.000 €
III 12.000 €
All other finalists will each receive a prize of 3.000 €.

The jury reserves the right to distribute the prizes differently.

The prizes will be awarded after the Finals on October 25, 2018


The organizers have unrestricted regional and temporal rights to broadcast, record, videotape, televise, film and make discs or records of the competition performances and to place extracts from performances on the Internet and other media without paying any remuneration to the competitors or their accompanists.


The original language of these rules is Finnish. Any disputes over their interpretation will be resolved on the basis of of the Finnish version. The procedure in the event of a force majeure will be decided by the Competition Committee.