Rules of the 55th Competition (2017), 2019 version subject to changes.


Applying to enter the Competition implies acceptance of these rules.
(download the complete rules)

AGE RESTRICTION : the Competition is open to candidates of any nationality, born between 16 September 2001 and 16 September 1982 inclusive.

REGISTRATION FEES : €250. The fee for all applications will be retained if the candidate cancels or fails to attend. However, if the Competition is cancelled for any reason whatsoever, the application fee will be refunded but the candidates will have no recourse against the organizer. The application fee must only be paid by international bank transfer to the following account :

CIC Est Besançon Saint-Pierre (54 Grande Rue 25000 Besançon)
BIC : CMCIFRPP – IBAN : FR76 3008 73314000 0142 0520 153

Please include your surname and first name in the transfer reference.
All bank charges must be paid by the account holder (candidate), who must ensure that their bank transfers €250 net exactly to the Festival.

APPLICATION FORM : to be accepted, the application form must be completed either in French or in English and must be submitted online via this website.
Applications sent by post or by email will not be accepted.
Forms will only be accepted if each of the mandatory sections has been completed. The following documents must also be uploaded with the application form (.JPG or .PDF file):

  • copy of an official form of identification,
  • curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages long),
  • recent passport picture,
  • bank statement confirming the transfer of the €250 net application fee.

No other document (CD, DVD, press review, etc.) will be considered.

subject to availability


General information

WORKS TO BE PRESENTED : the Competition will decide which works are to be presented. During each round the jury will select one or more pieces, in their entirety or in the form of an excerpt, at the time of each competitor’s audition.
The candidates will either be asked to conduct entire pieces or excerpts, or to rehearse the artists under their musical direction, according to their interpretation or at the jury’s request. The official languages are French and English. The Competition will provide no interpreter/translator.

CANDIDATE PRESENCE, CONFIDENTIALITY : each candidate must appear on time at the locations indicated by the organizers. Candidates who are absent or late will be disqualified from the Competition. Lots will be drawn to decide the candidate running order for each round.
From application to the final rounds and announcement of results, and as long as the candidate has not yet been disqualified, no contact of any kind is allowed between the candidates, members of the jury and Competition artists, except during the auditions. Unauthorised contact will lead to exclude the candidate from the Competition.

JURY : the jury reserves the right to interrupt a round, or to exclude a competitor during one of the rounds and is under no obligation to provide justification for its decision. The jury’s decisions are final and cannot be appealed. In the event of a tie the jury Chair will have a casting vote.

AUDIENCE : the preliminaries rounds will be held behind closed doors or restricted to a small audience (schoolchildren, students, partners, etc). In September, all of the rounds with orchestra will be open to the public (except the dress rehearsal for the Final).

COMPETITION RECORDINGS : the candidates accept without remuneration the recording of the competition for any radio, television and internet, live, recorded or streamed use, – other than for commercial use. Exact details of audiovisual usage will be provided before the final rounds.

GRAND PRIX : €12,000. The jury reserves the right not to award the Grand Prix. It cannot be shared. The laureate may also be offered engagements with the Competition’s partner orchestras, as well a three-month period of artistic guidance (advice and coaching).
The jury will be able to award a 2nd prize or a distinction ; the Competition may endow these with a cash prize.

Opéra de Rouen Normandie – Orchestre Symphonique Bienne Soleure – Sinfonia Varsovia – Japan Philharmonic Orchestra – Orchestre national d’Île de France – Prague Symphony Orchestra – Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern – Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté – Orchestre de Dijon-Bourgogne – Orchestre National de Lille – London Philharmonic Orchestra – Philharmonie zuidnederland – Sinfonieorchester Basel – Slovak Philharmonic orchestra – Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège – Orchestre Philharmonique de Baden-Baden – St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra – Orchestre national de Lyon – Hong Kong Sinfonietta (with Wing-Sie YIP, winner of the Competition in 1985) – Prague Sping Festival – Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse – Orchestre national de Lorraine …

The candidate will pay for all preliminarie round expenses (travel, meals, accommodation).
For the final rounds with orchestra in September :

  • Accommodation : the Competition will provide each candidate with free accommodation in host families (bed and breakfast) in Besançon from 10 to 16 September 2017.
    If the candidate chooses another type of accommodation (i.e. hotel), this must be paid for by the candidate.
  • Food and drink : to be paid for by the candidate.
  • Transport : the Competition will contribute a fixed amount to the candidates’ travel costs, from their habitual residence :
    • €100 for residents in France (further than 200 km),
    • €200 for residents in Europe (excluding France),
    • €300 for the rest of the world.

SCORES : scores for the works to be prepared for the preliminaries rounds and final rounds (for candidates who have been selected) will be sent to each candidate once their application has been confirmed (by email or download link). The Competition will also pay for the purchase of the original score for the original piece played in the Final – for all candidates.


The French text of the rules shall prevail. In the event of a dispute, the Besançon courts will have exclusive jurisdiction.
If required, the management may make changes to the way the Competition is organized. Candidates may not appeal these changes.