In 1994, the lawyer Walter Witte (1928-2020) founded the "Viola Stiftung Walter Witte" in Frankfurt/Main (Germany). The purpose of the foundation is to maintain, promote and disseminate old and new viola music, focussing on the promotion of talented violists. Towards the end of his professional career, the lover of arts and music had become enthusiastic about playing the viola.
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 the participants and a top-class jurors.
Since 2014, the viola competition, endowed with a prize money of € 10,000, has been called the HINDEMITH COMPETITION OF THE VIOLA STIFTUNG WALTER WITTE. The foundation also awarded scholarships to young violists in need and enriched the literature for viola through composition commissions.
Furthermore, prize winners' concerts and world premieres by winners of the commissioned works are organized and supported.
Starting in 2021 the future viola competitions of the Viola Foundation will take place every three years at the University of Music and Theater in Munich. The name of the competition will be HINDEMITH INTERNATIONAL VIOLA COMPETITION from then on.