In 1994, the lawyer Walter Witte (1928-2020) founded the "Viola Stiftung Walter Witte" with a starting capital of 100,000 DM. The purpose of the foundation is to maintain, promote and disseminate classical and contemporary viola music, with an exceptional focus on the promotion of talented violists. Towards the end of his professional career, this lover of arts and music discovered his enthusiasm for the viola and its performance.
The purpose of the foundation is to maintain, promote and disseminate classical and contemporary viola music, with an exceptional focus on the promotion of talented violists.
The foundation has organized competitions for young violists and young composers since 1996. Both competitions enjoy broad recognition due to the high musical level of their participants and the artistic excellence of their jurors.
Since 2014, the viola competition, offering prizes in total of € 10,000, has been called the HINDEMITH COMPETITION OF THE VIOLA STIFTUNG WALTER WITTE. The foundation has also awarded scholarships to selected young violists, and enriched the literature for viola through the awarding of commissions for new compositions.
In addition, the Viola Stiftung Walter Witte organizes prize winners' concerts and world premieres of its commissioned works.
Beginning in 2021, future viola competitions of the Viola Foundation will take place every three years at the University of Music and Theater in Munich. As of 2021 the name of the competition will be HINDEMITH INTERNATIONAL VIOLA COMPETITION.