Metelka Competition - Mezinárodní houslařská soutěž  

PRAGUE, 3.–7. June 2025


The Strad: Mutual Understanding: (September 2017)

A competition where the participants judge each other's instruments makes for a lively, engaging atmosphere. Jan Špidlen, co-organiser of the International Violin Making Competition Prague, reports.

… I have learned more through examining and assessing the qualities of instruments than from any other part of my career. It was with this in my mind that I became co-organiser of the International Violin Making Competition Prague … unlike in many other making competitions where all the instruments are anonymous and judged behind a closed door, each violin at our competition would be clearly labelled with its maker’s name. We decided to go even further: the participants are now allowed to judge and mark each other’s instruments …

THe Strad
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The Strad: From concept to sound: What judges look for in a violin making competition (August 22, 2017)

Luthier Patrick Robin, one of the jury members of the International Violin Making Competition Prague, discusses how he goes about assessing an instrument. ARTICLE HERE

magazine Hudební rozhledy 08/2017

The editor Rafael Brom properly summarized and assessed the progress and impressions of the International Violin Making Competition Prague 2017.

Hudební rozhledy

Andrzej Lapa (Poland), Musical Outlooks magazine 2008

...I had an opportunity to participate in the Competition as a jury member in 1997 and as an observer in 2008. The Competition is, in my opinion, extremely useful in the European context, especially for young violin makers who can confront their skills with other professionals...

Patrick Robin (France), Musical Outlooks magazine 2008

...It was a great pleasure to act as a jury member at the Nachod Competition. The one-day violin scroll carving competition is a wonderful idea and it helped to establish a wonderful atmosphere among the participants. It was very interesting to watch different approaches of various violin makers to the task...

Raymond Schryer (Canada), Musical Outlooks magazine 2008

...The competition organization was flawless and the place setting amazing. From my point of view, the most outstanding part was the violin scroll carving contest, I have never met with a similar test at other competitions. I think jury members should also participate...

Krzystof Mroz (Poland), Musical Outlooks magazine 2008

...For violin makers it is important to be able to compare their own impressions with the judgments of jury members, e.g. at public acoustic tests. I also appreciated open judgments of individual jury members after each round. The Competition atmosphere is really elevating and it helps to establish very good relations among the participants...

Other references (2008)

The Festival was mentioned in broadcasting of the Czech Television, on radio stations ČR 3 Vltava and in regional media.
A detailed progress was monitored on-line on server

Gabriela Demeterová (2004)

I am very happy that I could accept an invitation to perform at the International Violin Making Competition in Náchod. The atmosphere I met with during the competition was just amazing! Mysterious silence in the jury room, where dozens of violins hung in space waiting to be assessed. Tip-toeing around the instruments and speaking in a low voice so as not to disturb the jury members located in different room corners. It was just the opposite of what is normally seen at violin interpretation competitions, where the full acoustic beauty of violins is assessed and the interpreter´s performance is judged …

I was captured by the Best Scroll Competition. Several dozens participants were to curve a violin scroll in just one day. It felt like being at Antonio Stradivari´s manufactory! Contenders seated along long wooden desks worked hard on carving their scroll and paid no attention to wooden chips falling on the floor. And still they managed to talk to one another. There was a mixture of various languages; the predominant one, however, was temperament Italian. Maybe that´s where my ‘Stradivari’ association came from.

I´m very happy to had been in Náchod and I very much appreciate the possibility to play Maestro Stradivari´s instrument of 1728 (which was exhibited at the competition). It was generously lent to me by its owner, Mr. Clause Lebet. I held in my hands an instrument without a parallel in our region. That was of another of my breathtaking experiences in Náchod.

I wish the organizers all the best in their efforts to continue organizing the festival also in the future. Interpreters´ fame sometimes overshadows the fact that without the work of violin makers there would be nothing to perform music on. We rely on them, on people capable to build a masterpiece musical instrument – a violin. My thanks and admiration goes to them.

Gabriela Demeterová

Claude Lebet

Rome, 26 May 2004

My experiences from the 2nd International V. Metelka Festival, which took place in Náchod from April 29th to May 1st, are unforgettable. The festival concept was quite original. The Best Scroll Competition – when a violin scroll was to be carved in just one day - required the presence of the contenders and helped to build a very friendly and warm atmosphere. The festival, as well as individual violin making competitions, went very smoothly thanks to its organizers – the founder and director Jaromír Joo, Dr. Stanislav Bohadlo and Dalibor Bzirský, a young Czech violin maker.

I would also like to recall the three beautiful violin recitals of Gabriela Demeterová, Ivan Ženatý and Pavel Šporcl, three leading young Czech artists. It was my honour to entrust to their hands three instruments from my collection – Antonio Stradivari´s “Milanollo” of 1728, G.B. Guadagnini´s “ex Grumiaux” of 1753 and A. Amati´s “Charles IX” of 1562.

There were unforgettable meetings, bowling evenings and jam sessions that took place during the four Náchod days. There were beautiful moments of friendship - quite symbolic at the time of the Czech Republic´s accession to the European community.

Claude Lebet

Simeone Morassi (2004)

My feelings from the Náchod competition are thoroughly positive. It was wonderful to see contenders, judges as well as visitors enjoying the festival´s friendly atmosphere. The fact that the competition was not an anonymous one gave us, in my opinion, a wonderful chance to observe. Each contender could discus the opinions of individual judges in a peaceful and impartial atmosphere.

The possibility to compare individual violin making schools has been extremely interesting and enriching. The Best Scroll Competition was a really exciting experience. Working all day long together with other contestants was very pleasant and stirring. We became to know each other; old friends were met and new friendships were concluded. We could observe various scroll curving techniques. This I consider very beneficial for our – sometimes slightly reclusive - work.

The acoustic test was in my opinion the most difficult one. We were informed that the comparative instrument is to be Antonio Stradivari´s “Milanollo” of 1728. With a relief we found out that the difference between our instruments and the Stradivari´s violin was far less abysmal than we originally feared.

My overall impressions from the competition are very good - not only because of the perfect organization of the competition, but also because of the pleasant cultural and musical atmosphere of Náchod.

With my heartfelt compliments,
Simone Morassi

From letter by prof. Jiří Hlaváč.....

.... president of the Academy of Music in Prague, to Dr. Stanislav Bohadlo, the secretary of the Festival.

Dear Mr. Bohadlo,
thank you very much for the wonderful organization and running the festival V. Metelky as a famous reprezentation of the Czech culture ....
.... I think it's good idea combination the violin art, exhibition of unique musical instruments and the best interpretation within the frame of one festival .....

Italian magazine "Musica" (2004)

Italský časopis Italský časopis Italský časopis

Italský časopis Italský časopis Italský časopis

International magazine "The Strad" (2004)

Italský časopis Italský časopis

Japanese magazine (2004)

Italský časopis Italský časopis Italský časopis Italský časopis Italský časopis