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Article 1) Institution and name

  1. The International Violin Competition, named after the famous Genoese musician Niccolò Paganini and known as the “Premio Paganini”, was established by resolution of the Municipal Council of Genoa no. 454 of 11 May 1953. Its organisation, functioning and methods of promotion are governed by these Regulations.

Article 2) Purposes, objectives and tools

  1. The objective of the “Premio Paganini” is to create an international violin competition of excellence aimed at talented young musicians. They are offered the opportunity to be heard by a qualified international jury, as well as by the media and by personalities from the world of art, culture and entertainment, both nationally and internationally, performing in front of various audiences also through audio-video formats, as well as digitally and online.
  2. Through the stages of the competition, the participants must highlight their own personalities and musical skills, proving that they possess overt artistic and technical abilities, while respecting the text and the original aesthetic and stylistic code of Paganini.
  3. In order to promote the “Premio Paganini”, collateral initiatives and events are organised to help increase its visibility and prestige, also taking place during major events where the city of Genoa takes centre stage in Italy and around the world. For these purposes, the “Premio Paganini” and the set of collateral initiatives and events pursue territorial and digital marketing objectives, particularly in terms of enhancing the artistic and cultural heritage of the city, thus contributing to its economic, social and tourist development.
  4. When organising and promoting the “Premio Paganini” and its collateral initiatives and events, the importance of social inclusion, intercultural dialogue and a multidisciplinary approach is taken into account, as well as the use of modern digital information and communication tools, which are widespread among young people.
  5. For the purposes and objectives referred to in this article, agreements and collaborations can be promoted with institutions, universities, academies, and both national and international public and private bodies, with the aim of enhancing the participation of young people also through workshops, masterclasses, internships and social management tools.



Article 3) Organisational and management principles

  1. The competition takes place every two years and is divided into stages. Following any pre-selections, the final stage - which is then divided into preliminary rounds, semi-finals and finals - takes place in Genoa, usually during the month of October.
  2. The financial and instrumental resources, including the operational and representative office, are provided by the Municipality of Genoa, according to budget availability. Financial resources can be supplemented by contributions from other public and private individuals, and by the proceeds of sponsorship campaigns, as well as by the competition's own revenues.
  3. The resources referred to in paragraph 2 are included in the financial plan for the “Premio Paganini” and for the collateral initiatives and events prepared by the Secretary General and approved by the Committee. Any changes may be made subject to the approval of the proposed amendment by the Committee.
  4. The Civic Administration has the right to entrust, in whole or in part, the implementation of the competition and of the collateral initiatives and events to one or more individuals with proven and qualified experience, in accordance with current legislation and within the limits of available resources, provided that these activities are carried out in compliance with the terms indicated in these Regulations.
  5. The organisational and management tasks are supported by a secretariat which is made up of units of staff from the civic administration. Considering the complexity of the actions to be carried out according to the strategic and programmatic guidelines of the “Premio Paganini” and the collateral initiatives and events, collaborations with experts possessing particular skills and qualified experience may be set up, in line with the available resources.

Article 4) Competition announcement

  1. Any violinists who are duly registered, of any nationality, religion, ethnic group or sex, and who are in possession of the requirements set out by the announcement, may participate in the competition.
  2. The announcement is the general reference document that contains:
    1. the specific requirements for the admission of participants;
    2. the procedures for completing and sending the application form;
    3. the deadline for submitting the application form;
    4. the rules for carrying out each stage of the competition, from any pre-selections to the final;
    5. the methods for selecting participants;
    6. the number of participants admitted to each stage of the competition.
    7. the music programme that the participants perform in each stage;
    8. the methods for evaluating the rounds;
    9. the awards and prizes to be won, as well as the voting and award criteria.
  3. The announcement is defined by the Secretary General according to the scheme formulated by the Artistic Director.
  4. The announcement, which is subject to final approval by the Committee, is published on the “Premio Paganini” website, in Italian and English, at least 12 months before the final stage of the competition. The publication of the competition announcement in languages other than those listed above can take place at the request of the Artistic Director.
  5. The announcement is advertised through media, industry websites, national and international magazines and through any further means, particularly digital, on the basis of the provisions of the “Communication Plan” referred to in these Regulations.

Article 5) Music programme

  1. The music programme is prepared by the Artistic Director.
  2. The programme covers all the rounds in the competition and aims to highlight the artistic personality and professional experience of each individual participant and to enhance Paganini's music in compliance with the original aesthetic and stylistic code.

Article 6) Method of staging the competition

  1. The competition takes place every two years and is divided into stages: eliminations, semi-finals and finals. In the event of a large number of competition entries, candidates may be preselected.
  2. The procedures and programmes for the rounds are defined by the Artistic Director and made public through the announcement.
  3. The competition stages, with the exception of any pre-selections, are made public. While the competition rounds are taking place, all participants are offered adequate conditions to practice, rehearse and perform the pieces on the programme.
  4. All the stages of the competition may be subject to video recording and live streaming transmission, as well as streaming via social media platforms.

Article 7) Prizes and acknowledgements

  1. The number, nature and monetary value of the prizes are established by the Committee and made public through the announcement.
  2. At the end of the rounds, considering the performances of the participants admitted to the elimination stage, the international jury determines the ranking, according to the order of merit.
  3. The first prize, called the “Premio Paganini”, which is awarded to the competition winner, cannot be divided and cannot be jointly assigned.
  4. The winner of the competition may be offered the opportunity to play the “Cannone” or the “Sivori” violins, which belonged to Niccolò Paganini himself, in accordance with the priority requirements for protecting and conserving these instruments.
  5. If the international jury does not deem any participant deserving of the “Premio Paganini”, it will not be awarded.
  6. With the exception of the “Premio Paganini”, the recognitions for the finalists are assigned according to a specific ranking and may be awarded jointly. In this case, any cash reward is divided equally among the parties involved.
  7. The participants and, in particular, the winner of the “Premio Paganini”, are given the opportunity to participate in prize concerts. The respective methods of assignment are specified in the announcement.
  8. Special prizes, which are addressed to competitors who have particularly distinguished themselves during the course of the competition, are allowed to be awarded by organisations other than the Municipality of Genoa. These prizes are awarded by the international jury, according to the procedures indicated in the announcement. Any further awards may be assigned in accordance with the purposes of these Regulations.

Article 8) Criteria for voting and awarding prizes

  1. The criteria for voting and giving prizes and awards are developed by the Artistic Director and made public through the announcement. The criteria indicate the voting methodology and their aim is to make the evaluation process of the jury as impartial, transparent and effective as possible. Upon being instated, the jury decides on its internal regulations. The voting is secret at every stage.
  2. For the preliminary and semi-final stages, the members of the International Jury can only express their opinion by using the terms “admitted” and “not admitted” to the final stages, or in another form that has been previously agreed in the internal regulations adopted by the Jury, referred to in the previous paragraph.

Article 9) Award ceremony

  1. The awarding of the finalists and the winner (if applicable) takes place on the day of the final round and is held at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, as the closing event of the competition. Each member of the international jury is mentioned in alphabetical order, citing their country of origin.
  2. The ceremony is ensured maximum prominence through the involvement of the media, in cohesion with the strategic and programmatic guidelines defined by the President and implemented in the “Communication Plan” for the Prize.

Article 10) Collateral initiatives and events

  1. Collateral initiatives and events can also be promoted in order to enhance the figure of Paganini and the image of Genoa and its artistic-cultural heritage, both nationally and internationally. Through extensive use of information and communication tools, including digital methods which are widespread among young people, initiatives and events can be promoted such as exhibitions, concerts, seminars, conferences, guided tours, books, comics, research, documentaries, audio-video products, scholarships and artist residencies.
  2. These are designed and implemented in accordance with the strategic and programmatic guidelines defined by the President, also taking into account any major events that place the city of Genoa at centre stage in Italy and around the world.

Article 11) Promotion and communication

  1. For the purposes of promoting the “Premio Paganini” and disseminating its founding principles and values, a two-year “Communication Plan” has been drawn up, based on the strategic and programmatic guidelines defined by the President.
  2. For these purposes, media partnership agreements may be set up, with the identification of qualified individuals, known as Paganini Ambassadors, who are capable of helping to strengthen the promotion objectives of the Prize and the collateral initiatives and events, also in terms of enhancing the artistic and cultural heritage of the city. Under no circumstances may those carrying out the role of Ambassador be entitled to any compensation or fees of any kind.
  3. The registered domain of the Municipality of Genoa constitutes the main information and corporate communication tool for the Prize.

Article 12) Reproduction rights

  1. With no obligation to pay any compensation to others, the Municipality of Genoa owns the rights relating to audio and video recordings and to radio, television and internet broadcasts of the competition, including those of transmission and reproduction on any medium, as well as any right to photographic reproduction, unless otherwise specified. In the latter case, they must be agreed and accepted exclusively in writing under pain of nullity.
  2. Promotional material relating to the competition, or to the collateral events and initiatives, must bear the logo of the Municipality of Genoa and the prize logo, as well as that of the public and private organisations participating in it.



Art. 13) Award bodies

  1. The bodies of the “Premio Paganini” International Competition are appointed by the Mayor, who also regulates the institutes of revocation and relinquishment by means of his own written deed.
  2. The bodies of the “Premio Paganini” are: the Committee, the Secretary General and the Artistic Director.
  3. The duties of these bodies have a maximum duration of five years. This duration is specified in the appointment deed. The assignments can be renewed. The term of office of the bodies cannot exceed ten years in total.
  4. The expiry or the early dissolution of the Municipal Council results in the relinquishment of all the bodies.

Art. 14) Committee

  1. The Committee is chaired by the Mayor, or their delegate, and consists of representatives from: Teatro Carlo Felice Foundation; Genova Palazzo Ducale – Foundation for Culture; “N. Paganini” Music Conservatory; Genoa Youth Orchestra Association (G.O.G.).
  2. At the President's request, the composition of the Committee can include a maximum of four additional members, who are identified from public and private, national and international organisations, and operate in the world of music, art, culture, information, business and philanthropy.
  3. The Secretary General and the Artistic Director participate in the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote.
  4. A representative from the “Amici di Paganini” (“Friends of Paganini”) Organisation may participate in the meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote.
  5. Participation in the meetings of the Committee is free of charge. No charges or attendance fees are required for any reason. Termination of the roles within the represented body results in the automatic relinquishment of the roles within the Committee.
  6. The Committee approves the financial plan and the competition announcement, and in collaboration with the Artistic Director, it promotes the search for support opportunities and prize concerts by Italian and foreign musical institutions on behalf of the participants in the competition, particularly for the prize winner. In line with the strategic and programmatic guidelines defined by the President, it can propose cultural projects aimed at diffusing knowledge of Niccolò Paganini, also in relation to the artistic and cultural heritage of the city. It also approves the final report of the artistic-musical activities prepared by the Artistic Director and the final report of the activities carried out in relation to each edition of the award, prepared by the Secretary General.

6 bis The Committee may propose the appointment of an expert figure on an honorary basis, who is a representative of the Genoese musical scene, operating within the Artistic Direction of the prize.

  1. The Committee meeting is valid when attended by the majority of its members and is convened at least three times a year. These meetings can be held using digital methods, provided they ensure that the participants are identified and that their decisions are taken into account. Resolutions are taken with a majority of the votes of those present. In the event of an equal vote, the vote of the President prevails.
  2. Each session is recorded by an individual who appointed by the President, with secretarial functions. The verbal document is drawn up and approved, if necessary also for confirmation by email, and is signed by the President and the Secretary General who keeps it in the official records.

Article 15) Duties of the Committee President

  1. The President of the Committee is the President of the “Premio Paganini” and is in charge of its representation. The President defines the strategic and programmatic guidelines for the organisation of each edition of the competition, and verifies the adequacy of the “Communication Plan” in relation to the contents of the strategic and programmatic guidelines. They also coordinate the overall development of activities, including collateral initiatives and events, take care of corporate relations, and promote the image of the “Premio Paganini” in Italy and abroad. In addition, they convene the Committee meetings, with at least 3 days’ notice, by email, indicating the day, time, location and agenda, and they appoint the Paganini Ambassadors, the members of the pre-selection commission, where applicable, and the international jury.

Art. 16) Secretary General

  1. The Secretary General is appointed by the Mayor from the managers of the Civic Administration, possessing particular technical, administrative and managerial professionalism, to whom the administrative and accounting management of the activities relating to the “Premio Paganini” is delegated. This duty can be carried out jointly with other roles, where compatible.
  2. The Secretary General ensures the proper administrative-accounting process of the overall activities necessary for the organisation of the competition, as well as of the collateral initiatives and events. They implement the strategic and programmatic guidelines defined by the President of the Committee, prepare the financial plan for the “Premio Paganini” and for the collateral initiatives and events, and define the competition announcement according to the outline formulated by the Artistic Director. They also prepare a final report on the full range of activities carried out in relation to each edition of the prize, which is submitted to the Committee.

Article 17) Artistic Director

  1. The Artistic Director is appointed by the Mayor, after consulting the Committee, and is selected from individuals with high professionalism and experience in the artistic and musical fields.
  2. The Artistic Director assists the President and the Secretary General in defining the guidelines regarding the artistic choices for the prize and collateral initiatives and events with musical content. They formulate, to the extent of their competence, the outline of the competition announcement, prepare the musical programme; define the number of participants admitted to the stages of the competition, and the procedures and programmes for the rounds, as well as the voting criteria and the giving of prizes and awards. According to the guidelines of the Committee, they make the necessary contacts to guarantee the competition activity every possible form of contribution from public and private bodies and organisations, submitting the proposals to the Committee. They also enter into dialogue with institutions and musical organisations who show interest in collaborating with the “Premio Paganini”, in order to carry out common projects. They propose the members of the international jury, research prize concerts offered by Italian and foreign musical institutions to the competition participants and, in particular, to the winner, and present a final report of the artistic-musical activities to be submitted to the Committee.
  3. In the event that pre-selection is necessary due to a high number of competition entries, the Artistic Director chairs a special commission. These members, who are nominated on a proposal by the President of the Prize, are chosen from musicians and experts with proven experience in particular in the violin discipline, cannot be part of the international jury.

Art. 18) International jury

  1. The international jury is made up of an odd number of members, no less than seven and no more than nine, including the President. Two members can be designated to participate only in the final round of the Competition.
  2. The jury is appointed by the President of the Committee, on the proposal of the Artistic Director, after the Committee has evaluated the applications. The majority of the members cannot be of a single nationality.
  3. The members of the jury are chosen, by respecting gender representation, from musicians and/or personalities of clear and internationally recognised fame, who possess particular competence and musical experience, together with qualities of integrity and honest judgement.
  4. Upon accepting the assignment, the members of the jury undertake to sign a declaration in which they certify to abstain from voting for candidates with whom they have a family relationship, or in the case of educational, public and/or private relationships in the two years preceding the edition of the Competition.




Article 19) Reference legislation

  1. The staging of the “Premio Paganini” International Violin Competition is subject to the reference legislation in force at a national and international level. In particular, as regards national legislation, the provisions issued by the Ministry of Culture are in force, while those of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, based in Geneva, are to be applied in the international context.
  2. The bodies of the “Premio Paganini” and the international jury undertake to handle and store the data and information for the performance of the activities relating to these regulations in accordance with the measures and obligations set out by the Regulation EU 2016/679 and by the legislative decree of 30 June 2003, no. 196 and subsequent amendments.



Approved by the Municipal Council resolution no. 23 of 21/05/2024