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„It is different. It is creative, idiosyncratic and trend-setting in all aspects. It is much more than a difficult to win music contest – TONALi. It drives top sponsorship and at the same time initiates the impulse for cultural education. It addresses young composers, high potential young musicians and numerous young listeners, who often find to classical music because of TONALi. Founded in 2010 by cellists Amadeus Templeton and Boris Matchin, TONALi, an annual and nationwide cultural project with a long list of awards for its instrumental competitions, music inspiration and youth work, has so far awakened interest and enthusiasm for classical music in some 20.000 children and youths. It is a total work of art, which has been cleverly and effectively adjusted to the actual music situation.

Under its honorary president Christoph Eschenbach and patroness Monika Grütters (State Minister for Culture and Media), TONALi awards the highest endowed classical music prize for talented young German soloists. The discipline alternates between piano, violin and cello. Prominent and expert jury members nominate the twelve best participants. For each of them, a connection is established between a Hamburg partner school and student school managers who organize concerts for the young musicians and also in nearby areas close to the individual schools.

Highlight is the grand competition finale in the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. This will be followed by the youth festival "zwölf.orte/Klassik in deinem Kiez" (twelve.places/classics in your area), organized independently by 60 student school managers in cooperation with 12 Hamburg cultural centers.

Further projects, such as the TONALi Academy, the TONALi-Tour school project, held throughout Germany, a concert series at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, three cinema films, etc., illustrate TONALi's innovative cultural impulse.

What the nominator wrote:
TONALi is an initiative which involves young excellent classic talents in educational projects in schools. It is a competition in performing classical music and in gaining new audiences. Awarded participants give concerts in schools, nursing homes, hospitals and are requested to explain music in an innovative, personal and hands-on way to very diverse audiences. Tonali invented and installed the so called “school-managers”. These are pupils who take on responsibility for the concerts and all accompanying formats in schools and in several outreach-programmes so that schools gain partners in local networks.