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À tre - international Competition for students and post-students

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The Institute of Performance Practise of the University of Music Trossingen invites all students in Early Music from around the world to participate and present themselves in a chamber music competition in October 9th – 13th 2024, in Trossingen (Germany). The qualities of ensemble playing and of dealing with the many questions of the historically informed performance will be the central themes of the competition. The participating ensembles will have the opportunity to present themselves to a highly renowned jury, to win prizes and play the final concert with broadcasting of the SWR.

In music the four-part composition used to be the ultimate form. Although, a four-part texture seems to be heavier and less transparent and because of that it is not suprising that very shortly before 1600 the first trio sonata became popular. Compared to the four-part writing the sound is lighter and the two upper voices can be set up in virtuoso lines and figurations. This genre runs like a golden thread over many decades until - in the form of piano-/string-/wind- or singing trios - until the middle of 19th century.

In our international chamber music competition “À tre” we will even go one step futher: No matter how many musicians are on stage- the music must have three composed lines, played by at leasts three musicians or more. On the other hand there will be strict regulations: We do not accept arrangements! Apart of that anything is allowed which creates unique musical moments and varied programs, e.g. from a traditional trio sonata of the early times until the piano trio from the 1830s.  

À Tre - Definition: all repertoire for 3 written out voices, from 1600 until 1840., played / sung by at least 3 musicians on 3 instruments / singers or more. Examples :  Songs for 3 Singers or Cantatas for 1 singer, one solo-instrument, and basso continuo or Trio-sonatas or classical/romantic Trio etc etc…

The emphasis of the competition lays in “historical performance practise” abilities and in qualities of ensemble playing. Therefore, appropriate instruments are required: the jury does not accept modernized instruments. Violins, Violas, Cellos, Violone with gut strings only.

Program: A program of 1 hour duration should be prepared, of which the participating ensemble can choose a piece for the first round.

Participants: All students as well as all former students who graduated in 2022 or later are eligible to participate.

Admission: Since the number of approved ensembles is limited to 24 a video-link to a piece of the ensemble’s programm of aprox. 8-10 minutes is obligatory.

Registration fee: 95 €

Deadline: 20. August 2024.


  • 1st Prize € 6000,-
  • 2nd Prize € 4000,-
  • 3rd Prize € 2000,-


  • Anton Steck, Head of the Jury, violin (DE)
  • Christine Schornsheim, harpsichord and fortepiano (DE)
  • Clara Blessing, oboe and recorder (DE)
  • Linde Brunmayr-Tutz, traverso (A)
  • Teunis van der Zwaart, horn (NL)
  • Werner Matzke, cello (DE)


  • The preliminary round will be hold on Wednesday, the 9th  and Thursday, the 10th of October 24.
  • The second round will be hold on Friday, the 11th of October 24.
  • The final round will be hold on Saturday, the 12th of October 24.
  • The prizes will be awarded in a final concert on Sunday morning, the 13th of October 24. This concert will be broadcasted by the SWR.

Partners of the Competition are: The "Südwestrundfunk" (SWR)

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Regulations of the competition

Art. 1 The competition is open to

  1. all present students, as well as former students who finished their studies in 2022 or later.
  2. students who before August 20th 2024 have:
  • fill out the registration form completely including a link to the video recording of the ensemble performing one piece of the program (approx. 8-10 minutes), 
  • send digital copies of the scores of the selected pieces in good quality by mail (atre(at)mh-trossingen.de):
  • and transfer the registration fee of 95,- € per ensemble to the following account:
    Empfänger:Landesoberkasse Baden-Württemberg
    IBAN:DE02 600501017495530102
    Verwendungszweck:2300460032828 Kursgebühren Alte Musik

Since the number of approved ensembles is limited to 24 a video-link to a piece of the ensemble’s programm of aprox. 8-10 minutes is obligatory.
The decision about the participation will be announced within a week after the deadline of aplication.

Art. 2 Organisation of the competition

  1. Competitors can find information about hotels here
  2. Rehearsals are possible in the rooms of the Institute of Performance Practise in the University of Music Trossingen from Tuesday October 8th, 10 AM.
  3. Please let us know your arrival time and your requested rehearsal time before August 25th (plus required keyboard instrument/pitch).
  4. There is no appeal against the decisions of the jury.
  5. The participants will agree with recording and/or filming of the performances and concerts by the SWR and the organizers of the competition.
  6. Participants will compete in the order as decided by lot.
  7. All participants should be fully acquainted with the regulations and schedules.
  8. All further information hereto will be sent before September 20th 2024.
  9. Participants must include a detailed program (title- composer - source(s) - approximate timing) with the application form (see also art.1.2).
  10.  An Italian harpsichord with split keys (g#/ab and d#/eb) in 465 Hz, a French Blanchet harpsichord in 392 Hz as well as a German Zell and a flemish harpsichord in 415 Hz will be provided for on stage. A small organ (415/440/465 Hz.) and a fortepiano after Stein (approx.. 1780, 415 Hz), Walter (1800, 430 Hz) and Graf (1826, 430 Hz) will be available on stage during the competition. Other keyboard instruments with equal dispositions and pitches will be available for rehearsals.
  11. Information about the required keyboard instruments as well as about the pitches of the ensemble should be mentioned clearly on the application form.
  12. Instruments in modern condition will not be accepted. Violins, Violas, Cellos, Violone with gut strings only.
  13. No arrangements; original instrumentation is preferred.
  14. Before every round of the competition, each ensemble will get about 15 minutes of time to try out the acoustics on stage, to experience the keyboard instruments on stage and to make decisions about the position of the ensemble in regard to the position of the required keyboard instruments on stage.

NB: All personal dates of the competitors will be used for the competition only.