Prof. Julius Berger appointed President for stringed Instruments

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(cs) When paths in life cross and are shaped together, valuable encounters, mutual stimulation and joint creativity arise. The paths of Prof. Thomas Selditz and the Markneukirchen competition are also connected in this way. He had his first contact with the city of music in 1989 as a prize winner of the viola competition at that time. Later, in 2007, 2013 and 2017, he held the position of a jury chairman, and most recently, since 2018, he has been president of the competition for stringed instruments. It is therefore with regret that the board of the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition Association has accepted Prof. Selditz's wish not to pursue his path in the office of competition president in the future. At the same time, the board and the organisers of the competition express their great gratitude and appreciation for his successful work and wish Prof. Selditz all the best for his personal as well as artistic future.

For the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition it is a stroke of luck that Prof. Julius Berger, a companion and supporter who is closely connected to the competition, could be won as successor to the presidency. After having been a juror for the violoncello since 1993, he took over the artistic direction of the competition from Prof. Manfred Scherzer in 2003 and held the office of President for Stringed Instruments until 2018. Since then, he has always closely accompanied the competition in his function as honorary president and has also recently supported the board with his experience.

Due to his retirement as professor at the University of Augsburg, life circumstances have changed for him. The outstanding experiences with Prof. Julius Berger as President of the competition, the trust he enjoys equally with all participants, organisers, audience and instrument makers in the region, his worldwide reputation as an artistic personality - Julius Berger was still on concert tours in the USA, Japan and China shortly before the pandemic - as well as his networking with international competitions were the decisive reasons for the Board to first discuss with him the continuation of the office of President.

Mayor and Chairman of the Board Andreas Rubner was able to bring this negotiation to a successful conclusion: "It is an extraordinary pleasure and fills us with great gratitude that Prof. Berger, with his wealth of experience, his outstanding artistic personality, his humanity and as a partner we have always held in high esteem, is taking over the artistic direction of the International Instrumental Competition and that we have been able to appoint him as President of the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition for Stringed Instruments."

In one of his first acts in office, Prof. Berger proposed to change the subject combination to violoncello and double bass due to the scheduling overlap of the planned 2023 competition with the nearby Henri Marteau International Violin Competition in Lichtenberg in the district of Hof and another international competition.

The board of the International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen is looking forward to the renewed cooperation with Julius Berger and wishes him the best success, joy and strength, fulfilling musical moments and happy encounters.