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Competition rules - 5th edition

Updated 13/03/2024



The International Early Music Competition in Loire Valley is open to all instrumental ensembles performing repertoire from the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments (Baroque chamber ensembles).

Organized by Stradivaria, the aim of this competition is to promote ensembles of young musicians who specialize in this repertoire.

The International Early Music Competition in Loire Valley 2024 will take place from May 22nd  in Fontevraud to May 23rd in Nantes, France. The theme will be : « Man & Nature » .

The concert of winning ensemble will take place on May 26th 2024 in Angers.


December, 1st 2023 : Opening of online applications (

March, 31st 2024 : Applications deadline (postponed)

First-half of April 2024 : Preselection on files - Preselection Committee

April, 15th 2024 : Announcement of the selected ensembles


May, 22nd 2024 : Semi-Finals - Fontevraud Abbey, St-Benoist Chapel (49)

May, 23rd 2024 : Final –  Nantes, Conservatoire (44)

May, 25th 2024 : Winner Ensemble : Radio Invitation, Radio France/France Musique - Paris.

May, 26th 2024 : Gala concert by the 1st Prize winner- Angers, Conservatoire (49)


May 22nd, 2024


St Benoist Chapel

Royal Abbey of Fontevraud
44590 Fontevraud

May, 23rd 2024


Salle Wigman, Conservatoire

4 rue Gaëtant Rondeau
44000 Nantes

May 26th, 2024

Gala Concert

Auditorium, Conservatoire

Esplanade Henri Dutilleux,
49000 Angers


William Christie,Jury President - harpsichordist, director and founder of Les Arts Florissants

Daniel CUILLER, violinist and founder of Stradivaria (organizer of the competition)

Nicolas BUCHER, organist and harpsichordist, director of the Baroque Music Center of Versailles

Corine SCHNEIDER, musicologist and producer at France Musique

Aline ZYLBERAJCH, harpsichordist, pianofortist, professor at the CNSM in Paris


The awards are as follow :

  • 1st Prize : 4000€.

- 2 broadcast concerts in the 2024-2025 season.

- promotional video clip lasting around 3 minutes.

-Invitation on France Musique's "live" program (hosted by Clément Rochefort and Xavier Carrère) on May 25, 2024.

  • the 2nd Prize2,000€.

The winning ensemble(s) undertake to mention the International Early Music Competition in Loire Valley in their biography and on their website during 4 years.



The Competition is open to all instrumental baroque ensembles, whose average age will not exceed 30 years old on the day of the final. The Competition is only open to instrumental ensembles. All programmes with voice will not be taken into account.


Applications must be submitted only online on until March, 31st 2024. (postponed)

Required documents:

  • a clear copy of a proof of age document (ID or passport) of each member (.jpg format);

  • a document with the biographies of each member of the ensemble, the ensemble’s CV and its activity;

  • audio files in .mp3 format (5 files maximum), with a piece or a group of pieces which represent(s) the ensemble’s repertoire. The length of the recording must not exceed 15 minutes and must be accompanied by details on the programme (author, title, key, opus number) and a certification from a third-party that the recording is live and unedited. The recording must be representative of the competition’s theme (Man & Nature).

  •  application fees (50€) will be paid by bank transfer or by Paypal.

Applications are not considered complete until all documents and fees have been received by the administration of the competition, not later than March 31st  2024 (postponed)

Selection process

The preselection committee, made up of two personalities chosen by Stradivaria, will meet to listen to the recordings received during registration, in order to select the ensembles for the Competition.

The results of this preliminary selection will be published online and communicated to all candidates by the end of April 2024.

The selected ensembles will then have to send by  April 15th 2024 at the latest  to the following email address

  • a high definition color photo of the group in jpg format. ;

  • the detailed programs (authors, titles, keys, opus numbers, durations) that they will perform for the final rounds, accompanied by the scores.

For the semi-final, the program presented must correspond to the theme “Man and Nature".

It should last about twenty minutes. The works must be different from those presented in the final.

For the final, the selected ensembles will have to perform a choice of the following (duration, 30min) :

-    Carlo Farina’s « Capriccio Stravagante ».

-    an instrumental Suite by Jean-Fery Rebel on the theme “Man and Nature”

The winning ensemble agrees to offer a gala concert on  May 26th, 2024 at the regional conservatory in Angers (49). The program of this concert may include all or part of the works presented in the Competition.



Candidates are responsible for paying their own travel costs.

CIMA is offering free accommodation to all the candidates selected for the semi final.

Rooms for 4 to 6 people, shared bathrooms.

Address : Foyer Rural 11 Place de la Mairie 49650 Brain-sur-Allonnes France

Arrival possible from May 21, 2024 in the middle of the day.
Departure on the morning of May 23.

The CIMA team can organize transfers from Saumur Station to Brain sur Allonnes and from Brain sur Allonnes to the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud.

For finalists:

Accommodation in Nantes on May 23rd, 24th are at the finalists own expense.

May 24th : day off in Nantes, possibility to rehearse with harpsichord and organ.

Winners' travels from Nantes to Paris and Paris to Angers on the 25th of May are taken in charge by the CIMA.

Winners' accommodation in Angers on May 25th will also be taken in charge by the CIMA (AirBnb or Youth Hostel).

May 26th : Rehearsal and gala concert in the afternoon (should end before 4:30pm) + travel home (at the winning ensemble own expense)



The semi-finals will take place on Friday, May  22nd, 2024 from 10 a.m. in the St-Benoist Chapel of the Royal Abbaye of Fontevraud (France). The Semi-Finals will not be open to the public.

A rehearsal room will be available to all ensembles all day on May 22nd according to a predefined schedule.


The Finale will take place on Saturday, May 23rd 2024 in the Conservatory of Nantes.

Selected ensembles will habe the possibility to rehearse on stage before performing in front of the jury, and a practice room will be available in order of passage.

Instrument available

Rehearsal room:

  • 1 harpsichord Franco-Flemish double keyboard 2 x 8’ + 4’ + lute

  • 1 positive organ 8’ + 4’ (if necessary)

Test room:

  • 1 double-manual harpsichord 2 x 8’ + ‘4’ + lute

  • 1 positive organ 8’ + 4’

Instruments will be tuned and available to candidates during the opening hours of the competition.

Diapason and tuning will be specified later



Candidates will not be able to receive any compensation from Stradivaria in the event of bodily, material or moral damage occurring during the duration of the Competition and activities relating to it. It is up to each candidate to take out adequate insurance. 


For any performance that takes place during the competition, the organiser has the right to:

·         broadcast it via television, radio or internet;

·         record it, whether the recording will be broadcasted or not;

·         take recordings, photos or videos.

An authorization for image rights will be sent to each participant.

In accordance with French law, CIMA undertakes to use the personal data provided by candidates only for the purposes of the competition.


According to the French taxation law, prize money is not subject to taxes.


 Stradivaria will, if needed, amend any of the rules stated.



Daniel CUILLER, Founder of Stradivaria

Guillaume CUILLER, Artistic Director

Arnaud AURAY, Administrator

Laetitia SAUER, Production and Distribution Manager

Clotilde BUFFENOIR, Production CIMA

1 rue de l'Evêché
44,000 Nantes
Tel: +33 (0)2 52 10 16 21

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