Rules and Regulations
Eligability and Applications
The Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities born between 26 July 1987 and 8 July 2002
Admission will be limited to a maximum of thirty two (32) Competitors
A reserve list of Competitors will be chosen
A preselection committee, including Artistic Director Piers Lane AO will be responsible for the choice of competitors from the applications received.
Artistic Director Piers Lane AO will be non-voting Chairman of the Jury.
An international voting jury of nine will be assembled.
Members of the jury will be published on the website when announced.
Applications open Monday 30 July 2018.
Applications close Monday 2 December 2019 at 12.00pm AEDT.
A non-refundable application fee of USD $200 is payable.
Applications must be made online at GetAcceptd.
Applications will be checked by the Competition Office and formal notice of acceptance or rejection of the application will be sent via email by 3 February 2020.
Reserve competitors will be notified when the list of 32 successful applicants is announced.
The application fee must be paid online through Acceptd.
Once applications are submitted NO changes to repertoire can be made.
Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
The Competition Office reserves the right to request additional information as required.
All supporting documents must be uploaded and submitted at the time of final application.
Supporting documents will be used to promote the Competition and the selected 32 competitors in printed and electronic forms.
The applicant grants to the Competition the right to use any and all submitted documents free of any rights, fees or charges.
LATE APPLICATIONS ONLINE
Late applications will be accepted up to Monday 16 December 2019 at 12.00pm AEDT.
A non-refundable late application fee of USD $275 is payable.
All rules 3d – 3m will apply to late applications.
COMPETITION STAGES AND REPERTOIRE
– All Rounds will be open to the general public, except for the preselection process.
– The Preliminaries will consist of two Rounds:
ROUND 1: A 20-MINUTE RECITAL
The repertoire is Own Choice and should contain pieces by at least two composers.
ROUND 2: A 30-MINUTE RECITAL
The repertoire is Own Choice and should contain pieces by at least two composers.
Round 2 should contain different composers from Round 1.
An Australian piece, of any length or period, must be included in either Round 1 or Round 2
– Twelve competitors will be selected to advance to the Semi Finals.
– The Semi Finals will consist of two Rounds:
ROUND 1: A 65-MINUTE RECITAL
The repertoire is Own Choice and should consist of two or more pieces. The recital should not be shorter than 60 minutes in length, but must not exceed 65 minutes. A short encore may be included if you feel it is appropriate, but the overall timing of the recital must still be 65 minutes or under including pauses between works. Any encores should be announced from the stage and need not be listed in your application.
ROUND 2: ACCOMPANIMENT/CHAMBER MUSIC
Competitors should prepare a set of pieces (sonata + encore) from both Group 1 (Violin and Piano) AND ALSO Group 2 (Cello and Piano) which can be found here. Six Semi Finalists will perform violin and piano works; six Semi Finalists will perform cello and piano works. Semi Finalists will be informed which of their two Groups they will perform in the Semi Finals when the results of the Preliminaries are announced.
– Six competitors will be chosen to advance to the Finals.
– The Finals will consist of two Rounds:
ROUND 1: UNCONDUCTED CONCERTO WITH STRING ORCHESTRA
Competitors should choose one concerto for piano and strings, or pair of concertos where specified, from the prescribed list. The concertos will be performed with string orchestra. There will be no conductor. Competitors may direct from the keyboard if they wish, or the concert master of the orchestra will lead the performance.
ROUND 2: CONCERTO WITH ORCHESTRA
Contestants should nominate four concertos, any of which they would be happy to perform with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under an internationally renowned conductor for the Finals. The 32 successful applicants will be advised which concerto they should prepare for the Competition when the pre-selection results are announced in February 2020. The concertos may range from Mozart to contemporary works, but they should be published, with orchestral parts readily available. The list should consist of concertos which applicants could offer managements for the season following the Competition. It may include more than one concerto by any composer. The four concertos should be listed in alphabetical order on the application form. The final choice will be made by the pre-selection jury in consultation with the Director of Artistic Planning of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Special consideration will be given to Reserve List Competitors replacing competitors who withdraw within three months of the opening of the Competition.
– The order of Competitors will be drawn at an event in early May 2020 and Competitors will be advised in advance of arrival in Sydney. Competitors will maintain the same playing order throughout the Competition, with the possible exception of the Finals Concertos.
– The order of appearance in the Finals will be at the discretion of the Artistic Director for rehearsal and programming considerations.
– All works must be played from memory except for Round 2 of the Semi Finals.
– Each solo program should be chosen as a recital, such as it would be presented for a public concert, whether it be 20 minutes, 30 minutes or 65 minutes long. Each programme should have its own logic and shape, chosen to highlight the competitor’s range and strengths, while demonstrating a developed understanding of program-building and communication with an audience. Intelligent programming will be considered during pre-selection of competitors.
– No changes are permitted to repertoire after submission of the application.
– Any applicant who knowingly gives inaccurate or misleading information will be disqualified.
– Applicants who have competed previously in the Sydney International Piano Competition may not submit any piece performed publicly in that Competition.
– Where repertoire is prescribed, applicants must choose from that list.
– Recital repertoire should not include any works for prepared piano.
– Overall timings in recital rounds must be adhered to. If competitors exceed the time limit for any round, they will be stopped and may be disqualified.
– Repeats may be observed at the competitor’s discretion. Please consider timings when making such decisions.
– The Australian piece in the Preliminaries should be published and may be of any period or length. Transcriptions may be included. The Australian Music Centre offers help online and works previously commissioned by the Competition are listed on the website.
– Semi Finalists may not repeat any piece played in the Preliminaries.
– Competitors may be disqualified if they do not know both concertos from memory for the first rehearsal of each concerto.
– A page turner will be provided for Round 2 of the Semi Finals.
VISAS, TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION
– Competitors should plan to arrive in Sydney no later than Sunday 5 July 2020.
– Competitors will be provided with a return economy airfare from their nearest international airport with an airline chosen by the Competition.
– Competitors must complete all VISA paperwork and provide all supporting documents as directed by the Competition and the Department of Immigration no later than 4 May 2020.
– Competitors must have a valid health and travel insurance policy of which documentation must be supplied no later than 4 May 2020.
– Hotel or Home-stay accommodation will be provided and a daily living allowance for each overnight stay from Sunday 5 to Saturday 25 July inclusive.
– Ground transport from accommodation to venue will be provided if not within walking distance.
– If eliminated after any stage of the competition, accommodation and daily living allowances will become the sole responsibility of the eliminated competitor from that point.
– All other travel, accommodation and living expenses are the sole responsibility of the Competitor.
PIANOS, PRACTICE AND REHEARSALS
– Four piano makes will be used during the competition
– Competitors will perform on at least two and up to four different piano makes during the Preliminaries and Semi Finals of the Competition, the order of which will be determined through a public draw in May 2020. Further details of use of pianos can be found here.
– Daily practice facilities will be provided for competitors with some possible limitations on duration.
– Piano trials and rehearsals for every Round will be provided to competitors including rehearsal time with the chamber musicians and orchestras.
– Competitors are not to engage with any activities, solicited or otherwise, that will influence their piano choice/s for the Final rounds of the Competition in return for beneficial gains and/or rewards other than those supplied as part of the Competition. Competitors may be disqualified for such activities.
– The Competitor grants to the Competition broadcast rights to film, photograph, record, broadcast, live stream, reproduce, transmit, play, show and/or televise as part of a film, online series/platform or television documentary for the purpose of promoting the current and future Competition(s), and/or the Arts in Sydney, Australia and Internationally.
– The Competitor grants to the Competition and its commercial broadcast partners the rights to include any recital performance/s as selected or approved by the Artistic Director on any commercial CD recordings made or authorised by Sydney International Piano Competition.
CONTRACTS AND TAXATION
– Successful applicants will be required to agree to a separate Competitor’s Agreement no later than 4 weeks after notification of entry to the Competition.
– The First Prize Winner will be bound under an exclusive Australian performance contract until 1 October 2022.
– All prize monies are taxable under the Australian Taxation Office.
– Competitors will be required to apply for an Australian Tax File Number and Australian Business Number with which the Competition will assist.
– Any interpretation or disputes arising in any part will be read as the rules and conditions contained in English on the official website.
– The Jury’s decision is final and binding.
– There will be no appeal process and no correspondence will be entered into.
– The law applicable to the Sydney International Piano Competition and contractual and other rights shall be the law of the State of New South Wales, Australia.
Semi Final Round 2 – Chamber Music
Please select ONE pair of pieces from this list
|Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.7 in C minor Op.30 No.2 + Jules Massenet/Martin Pierre Marsick: Méditation from ‘Thaïs’|
|Franz Schubert: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major ‘Duo’ D.574 + Fritz Kreisler: Caprice Viennois Op.2|
|Johannes Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in G Major Op.78 + Fritz Kreisler: Syncopation|
|Richard Strauss: Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat Major Op.18 + Fritz Kreisler: Schön Rosmarin|
|Edward Elgar: Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor Op.82 + Édouard Lalo: Guitare Op.28|
|Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 1 in F minor Op.80 + Joseph Achron: Hebrew Melody Op.33|
Please select ONE pair of pieces from this list
|Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata No.2 for Cello and Piano in G minor Op.5 No.2 + Niccolò Paganini arr. Leonard Rose: Introduction and Variations on one string on a theme from Rossini’s “Moses in Egypt’|
|Felix Mendelssohn: Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in D Major Op.58 + Fritz Kreisler: Liebesleid|
|Frédéric Chopin: Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor Op.65 + Gabriel Fauré: Romance Op.69|
|Johannes Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in F Major Op.99 + David Popper: Spinning Song Op.55 No.1|
|Sergei Rachmaninoff: Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor Op.19 + Edward Elgar: Salut d’amour (in D Major)|
|Dmitry Shostakovich: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor Op.40 + Sergei Rachmaninoff: Vocalise Op.34 No.14 (in E minor)|
Please select ONE concerto, or pair of concertos where specified, from this list, and state which cadenza is to be performed, where appropriate, if not composer’s own.
|Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto No.1 in D minor BWV 1052|
|Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto No.4 in G Major Op.58 (in version for piano and strings edited by Jonathan Del Mar – Bärenreiter edition)|
|Franz Liszt: Concerto for Piano and Strings in E minor ‘Malédiction’ S.121 + Camille Saint-Saëns: Valse-Caprice for piano and strings ‘Wedding Cake’ Op.76|
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto No.12 in A Major K.414|
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto No.13 in C Major K.415|
|Dmitry Shostakovich: Concerto No.1 in C minor for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra Op.35|
|Malcolm Williamson: Concerto No.2 + Joaquín Turina: Rapsodia Sinfóniker Op.66|
|Alfred Schnittke: Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra|
Please list four concertos in alphabetical order, and state which cadenzas will be performed if not composers’ own.
2020 Competition Prizes
From hundreds of expected applications, 32 competitors will be once again selected by an international jury to compete for cash prizes totalling over $200,000.
The Competition welcomes individuals and businesses who would like to contribute to the Sydney International Piano Competition, a globally significant Australian event, by donating a cash prize. Prizes carry acknowledgement of their donors and provide the opportunity for the donor to present their prize on stage at the Sydney Town Hall during the award giving ceremony on Saturday 25 July 2020.
Australia has proudly produced some of the world’s greatest pianists and we have welcomed pianists from other parts of the world who have contributed to Australian pianism. The prizes continue in 2020 to be named in honour of significant and influential Australian pianists: eg the Ernest Hutcheson First Prize, the Percy Grainger Second Prize or the Eileen Joyce Concerto prize. The People’s Choice Prize is named after Rex Hobcroft AM who founded the competition with Claire Dan AM, OBE in 1977.
The Sydney International Piano Competition aims to recognise and celebrate unique musical artistry in its prizewinners, to locate superb all-round pianists who are ready to undertake major international engagements. We encourage talented pianists from all over the world who are attempting to launch global careers and try to provide them with necessary skills and contacts to broaden their career opportunities.
We host a major event, inviting a jury of experienced musicians, most of them performing pianists themselves, but augmented by other musicians of calibre: composers, other instrumentalists, managers. We are conscious of raising the awareness of fine music and standards of musical performance in the Australian community, adding to the education and awareness of the next generation of talent in Australia. We aim to support the careers of the winners for several years after their initial success in Sydney.
32 contestants will be chosen from the applications received. They will be chosen by a preselection panel.
The preselection panel will consist of five pianists/musicians of international experience, including the Artistic Director of the Competition Piers Lane AO. None of the jurors will be teachers of applicants and the names of the other four jurors will be published after the preselection is concluded.
The Competition management will carefully review each application to ensure it meets the Competition criteria. The panel will only assess applications and videos which are fully compliant. The jury may, at its discretion, disqualify any applicant if the application material supplied is not of a suitable quality for adequate assessment.
The panel members will be asked to select their top 32 applicants. They will listen in their own time to all of the recorded material. They are encouraged to keep notes on each performance and to deploy their own preferred method of scoring in order to arrive at their decision. Applicants will be ranked according to the numbers of votes they receive. Those who receive votes from all five jurors will immediately be accepted, followed by those who receive four, then three and so on, until the requisite 32 competitors are selected. Should there be a tie for any remaining place(s) in the 32, the panelists will revote on the tied applicants until a decision is reached. Discussion is allowed at this point.
Reserves will be similarly decided. Up to twelve reserves in no particular order will be informed of their status at the time of the announcement of the successful 32 applicants. The Artistic Director reserves the right to approach other applicants, right up to the start of the Competition, should none of the official reserves be available to fill places vacated by withdrawing competitors.
The preselection jury will also witness the choice of concertos for successful applicants. The first competitor to be accepted will play the first concerto in their alphabetical list of four. The second successful applicant will prepare the second concerto in their list of four, the third, the third, the fourth the fourth, the fifth the first, the sixth the second and so on. The Artistic Director reserves the right to change this pattern should any concerto(s) choice recur to an extent deemed excessive for programming purposes.
The 32 selected applicants will be advised of their success by 3rd February 2020. At the same time, they will be told which concerto they should prepare for the Finals Round 2. They will need to fulfil certain administrative requirements and indicate acceptance of their invitation before the public announcement of the successful competitors. A number of reserves will also be contacted at this time, to ascertain their willingness to be reserves. All applicants will be personally contacted by the Competition’s management with the results of the Preselection Round.
Semi Finals and Finals Procedure
The following procedure applies to the preselection of competitors for the Semi Final and Final Rounds of the Competition. Further procedures, detailed in the Preliminaries Round 1a, Semi Finals Round 2a and Finals Round 3b paragraphs will apply for the selection of special prizewinners at various points during the Competition. The two basic voting procedures employ an elimination system rather than a numerical one.
The jury will select, in playing order, the twelve most deserving pianists for advancement to the Semi Final Rounds and six most deserving for advancement to the Final Rounds. Selections for advancement will be based on a cumulative evaluation of the competitors’ performances.
Voting papers will be distributed to jurors at the end of the Preliminaries and at the end of the Semi Finals. Each of the nine jurors will submit the number of competitor names equal to the number of spaces available for advancement to the next round. After voting, the completed and signed voting papers will be submitted to the non-voting Chairman of the jury, who will scrutinize them with the voting administrator in the presence of the entire jury. The names will be sorted into groups according to numbers of individual votes. Group A will consist of names with nine out of nine votes from the jury, Group B of names with eight out of nine votes from the jury, Group C with seven out of nine votes and so on. The competitors who receive the most votes from the jury will advance to the next round. The names from Group A will advance first, then the names from Group B and so on, until the necessary number of places for advancement has been attained.
In the event of a tie for the last place(s), a revote will be held for the tied competitors in order to select just the required number of competitors.
Any juror having, or having had during the preceding five years, a family, teaching, professional or personal relationship with a competitor must declare such a relationship to the rest of the jury. Masterclasses do not count as a teaching relationship. That juror may, if he/she sees fit, include the name of a ‘related’ competitor as one of his/her twelve or six submissions on the voting paper. However, in such cases, the juror’s opinion will not count as a vote on behalf of that particular competitor. When counting the votes for each competitor, that juror’s vote for the competitor will become the ratio between the total number of votes received and number of jurors eligible to vote for that competitor.
Results will be revealed to the jury and then to the public in the playing order adopted from the first round of the Preliminaries. The relative standing of competitors will not be revealed to jury or public.