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Fanny Mendelssohn (1805 – 1847) is considered to be one of the most important female musicians of her time.

Her gift as a composer and pianist was limited to Sunday matinees at her parents' home. Her family had strictly forbidden her from making a profession of her artistic talent. Her father Abraham wrote to her: "Music will perhaps become his [her brother Felix] profession, while for you it will remain but an ornament; never can and should it become the foundation of your existence and daily life.”

During the last year of her life, Fanny finally gathered up her courage and had the first works of her more than 450 compositions printed. In her honor, the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis was founded in 2015. It is aimed at young musicians to enable them to do what Fanny couldn't, i.e., to be able to present their visions and musical concepts to a larger audience.

 NDR documentary  


This documentary, co-initiated by the FMFP, takes its viewers on the trail of the great composer who was overshadowed by her brother Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy throughout all her life.


 Debut album 


The winner will have the opportunity to release an own debut album without the pressure of any commercial considerations.

 Prize money 

The prize money of €10,000 will be used exclusively for the production of a debut CD of chamber music. It will be released by the Hamburg classical musical label ES-DUR. The prize money will cover the cost for the recording and release. No additional costs, e.g., musicians, orchestra fees, etc., will be covered.



Where possible, concert appearances will be organized for the prize winner at our cooperation partners, the Felix Mendelssohn House in Leipzig, the Frauenkirche Dresden, Schloss Elmau or Schloss Düneck.

Have you been nominated by your mentor?

We congratulate you on your nomination!
Download and fill out the application form.

Please do not forget:

  • completed application form

  • CV with photograph

  • Audio recording (mp3 or video recording mp4 or DVD)

Submit your application either by email or post to: 


Heide Schwarzweller
Heilwigstraße 93
20249 Hamburg

The deadline for submissions is

August 31, 2024.

You can find the terms and conditions of participation here.

Prof. Dr. Dieter Rexroth (Vorsitz)

Prof. Dr. Dieter Rexroth, a dramaturgy professor, is considered one of the most creative personalities in the German music scene. From 1996 until 2006, he was the director and dramaturge of the Rundfunkorchester und Chöre GmbH and of the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester. Since its foundation in 2000, Rexroth has worked as artistic director of the Young Euro Classic and was, as such, one of the founding fathers of this successful festival, which has been held every year since 1999.
In addition, he is the artistic director of the "Kasseler Musiktage" (since 2006) as well as the annual "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschulwettbewerb."

Ursula Haselböck

Ursula Haselböck, born in Vienna in 1981, joined Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on September 1, 2020 as managing director. After working for the Tonkünstler Orchester and the Grafenegg Festival, she moved to the Konzerthaus Berlin in 2013, where she headed the planning and conception of new festivals and formats. Through her many years of experience as a music manager, she is highly networked with the international music world and has extensive experience with the German funding landscape.

Martin Hoffmeister

Martin Hoffmeister is a culture and music editor at MDR radio. After his studies (modern German literature, philosophy, musicology, rhetoric) he worked at various radio and TV stations as an editor and moderator in news and culture section. As a freelance journalist, he writes for numerous national and international print media and trade journals and is responsible for several book projects. He is a member of various classical juries such as "International Classical Music Awards", "Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis",  "International A Cappella Competition" Leipzig,  "Grammy Awards" and "Children and Youth Composition Prize" Leipzig.

Sarah Kesting

Sarah Kesting studied music theatre sciences and business management in Bayreuth and Ferrara (Italy). During her studies she worked for singing agencies and the Bayreuth Festival. Her professional positions included the Nikolaisaal Potsdam / Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, the management of the program of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and the Munich concert management Hörtnagel. Since 2018 she has been planning the cultural program at Schloss Elmau as Artistic Director.

Alexander Krichel

In 1995, at the age of 6, Alexander Krichel began to play the piano. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London under Prof. Dmitri Alexeev and has won numerous national and international competitions. In 2013, he won the ECHO Classical Music Award as young artist of the year.

Christina Khosrowi

Christina Khosrowi studied singing/ music theater at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin. As opera singer, she brought many different roles to the stage. In 2017, she joined the management of Daniel Hope, where, among other things, she is responsible for the concert planning for the Frauenkirche in Dresden as well as for numerous chamber music projects in the coming years.

The Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis is a concept award honoring:

  • an innovative musical concept
  • a new interpretive approach
  • an extraordinary repertoire developed on the basis of the program Concept

To apply for the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis, the following requirements must be met:

  • Applicants need to be nominated by one of the existing mentors or - after consultation with the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderverein - by an internationally renowned musician, university professor or cultural manager, who will speak for the applicant and accompany him/her during the application process.
    Nomination proposals can be submitted by e-mail to FMFP initiator Heide Schwarzweller until May, 31 2024:  


  • The age limit for instrumentalists and chamber music ensembles is 25, for vocalists the age limit is 29

  • Contestants are only allowed, if they haven't already released an own album

The musical concept can include both modern works as well as long-forgotten repertoire.


 One award, three categories: 

  • Solo Instrument

  • Chamber Music

  • Ensemble Voice

 Documents to be submitted: 

  • completed application form

  • CV with photograph

  • Audio recording (mp3 or video recording mp4 or DVD)

Please submit documents per email or post to: 


Heide Schwarzweller
Heilwigstraße 93
20249 Hamburg



Heide Schwarzweller about her idea behind the FMFP:

"When I first created the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis in 2014, I could have never imagined that it would gain such a strong foothold so quickly. Up to now, the overwhelmingly positive echo resounding from the most diverse areas of culture has been simply spectacular.

From the very start, the independent positioning of the FMFP has certainly played a decisive role in its success. This venue has enabled emerging artists to showcase their musical prowess in a unique way.

As here, not only the technical virtuosity is rewarded, but above all the overarching concept developed by the participants, that is to say their self-defined conceptual framework. This automatically leads to an artistic-intellectual interaction with the music and thus to completely new and revolutionary performances.

I am particularly happy that our original motto "From Guide to Companion" has already borne fruit on several occasions.

For our first award winner, Tamás Pálfalvi, the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis
was the starting signal for a world career that has already taken him to all the major concert halls, e.g., to Carnegie Hall. Just recently he became the youngest professor in Hungary at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest. At the same time, his continuing loyalty to the FMFP expresses the special character of this award: solidarity.

I am eternally grateful that this award has enabled me to lay a foundation which will make it possible for future participants and winners to pursue their own personal and individual musical career paths.

Life as an artist has never been easy. Rich in hardships and modest in financial resources. Cultural promotion is increasingly giving way to economic considerations. 80 % of college graduates are unable to find an orchestra position and have to switch to other types of related positions, e.g., teaching jobs...

It is therefore all the more important to offer aspiring artists a stage on which they can present their special talents to a top-class jury and the general public.

The FMFP stands against cultural climate change and for the pursuit of
new artistic-creative innovations."

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