The Golden Violin Competition

2018-2019 competition dates

  • Preliminary Round: October 21, 2018 (non-public)
  • Final Competition: October 28, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. (Pollack Hall, open to the public)

Overview and prizes

The Golden Violin Award, established with a visionary gift from Mr. Seymour Schulich in 2006, is one of the most significant prizes in Music in Canada. It is intended to celebrate the strengths of the String Area and the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. 

The Golden Violin is awarded every year to an outstanding string player currently enrolled in the Schulich School of Music. The prize includes an acknowledgement on the Golden Violin sculpture on permanent display at the entrance to the Marvin Duchow Library, and a $25,000 cash award. Past winners of the Golden Violin are among the most successful young performing artists in Canada and have become noteworthy ambassadors for the Schulich School of Music. They include: Emmanuel Vukovitch, Lambert Chen, Chloé Dominguez, Aaron Schwebel, Ewald Cheung, Isaac Chalk, Baptiste Rodrigues, Victor Fournelle-Blain, Byungchan Lee and Joshua Peters,  Joshua Morris, and Maïthéna Girault. As part of the Golden Violin Award, the 2018-2019 winner will perform at the Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur on March 10, 2019.


Information for applicants


Students must be currently enrolled full-time for the entire academic year and actively involved in many Schulich School of Music activities in the year of their nomination.  Students in their first year of studies at McGill are not normally considered for nomination.

Nomination process

Competition participants are nominated by members of the String Area. In nominating a student, the String Area takes into account the artistic merit, quality, and quantity of the candidate's performances and places particular emphasis upon the candidate's contribution to the Schulich School of Music and the larger McGill communities over several semesters. 

The Competition Coordinator asks nominated candidates to submit a brief CV that details their musical accomplishments since beginning their studies at McGill, their contributions to the Schulich School of Music and McGill communities, and a short bio for the program. Candidates may also be requested to produce a short video (Vine or similar) to publicize the event.

Competition rounds

If more than 4 nominations are received, a preliminary round is held. A maximum of four finalists are recommended to participate in the competition final.


The jury is comprised of Professors of the Schulich School (excluding teachers of candidates), an invited external guest, and the Chair of the Performance Department.


Candidates are requested to present 30 minutes of music of their choice. However, transcriptions and concertos with piano reduction are discouraged.