The 12th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition

Дедлайн: 01/05/2019
Місце проведення: Утрехт, Нідерланди
Дисципліни: Фортепіано
З: 16/03/2020 До: 28/03/2020
Обмеження за віком: 20-29

The 12th Liszt Competition takes place from 16 to 28 March 2020 at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht. For the first time, the competition will introduce a central theme: Beethoven, as seen through the eyes of Franz Liszt.

Phase 1

International Selection Rounds

Sepember 2019 in New York, Moscow, Tbilisi, Beijing, Hong Kong & Utrecht

Phase 2

12th Liszt Competition ‘The Festival’

TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht

17 – 18 March 2020: Recital 1 – Liszt Originals (14 participants)

19 – 20 March 2020: Recital 2 – Chamber Music (14 participants)

21 – 22 March 2020: Recital 3 – Transcriptions (14 participants)

Phase 3

The finals

TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht

25 March 2020: Finals solo (3 finalists)

28 March 2020: Finals with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (3 finalists)


Download the repertoire (PDF)


Open 1 January 2019

Deadline 1 May 2019


Participants selected to the international selection rounds will be judged by the selection jury, consisting of former prize winners, including:

  • Mariangela Vacatello, Italy
  • Yingdi Sun, China
  • Christiaan Kuyvenhoven, The Netherlands
  • Jean Dubé, Canada

Participants selected to the ‘The Festival’ will be judged by the international jury, including:

  • Idil Biret, Turkey
  • Andrea Bonatta, Italy
  • Frederic Chiu, USA
  • Nino Gvetadze, Georgia
  • Leslie Howard, United Kingdom
  • Janina Fialkowska, Canada
  • Cyprien Katsaris, France/Cyprus
  • Igor Roma, Italy


1. General Conditions

1.1. The 12th edition of the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition (“the Liszt Competition”) will take place at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from 17 until 28 March 2020.

1.2. The Liszt Competition is organized by the Liszt Competition Foundation. The Board of the Foundation is advised by the Artistic Advisory Committee.

1.3. The official language of the Liszt Competition is English. Basic understanding of the English language is required from the applicants.

1.4. The Liszt Competition is open to professional pianists of all nationalities who are at least 20 years and maximum 29 years of age at the start of the Competition (i.e. 17 March 2020).

1.5. The Liszt Competition strives to be an objective event and thus requires from all participants AND jury members to avoid conflicts of interests. The Liszt Competition should be notified during the application if the applicant has been taught on a regular basis by any of the 2018 jury members.
Though, it is understood that it is likely that members of the Jury may be acquainted with some participants in the competition because of past associations (for example previous competitions, music festivals, masterclasses, or enrollment at academic institutions).

1.6. The Liszt Competition consists of three phases:
a. International Selection Rounds;
b. The festival (three recitals);
c. The Finals (solo and with orchestra).

1.7. All decisions of the Jury, the Artistic Advisory Committee or the Board of the Liszt Competition Foundation shall be final, and no correspondence will be entered into regarding its decisions.

2. Application

2.1. Applications will be accepted until 01 May, 2019.

2.2. Applications will need to be submitted by way of the online form, which can be found at

2.3. Applications must include the following:
a. A completely filled-in online application form;
b. Applicant’s choice of repertoire and the order in which he/she wishes to play the works in ALL three phases of the Liszt Competition;
c. A digital copy of the applicant’s passport;
d. A short resume describing education and
e. A recent, high-quality photograph in JPEG
format that is suitable for publication and free of copyright;
f. Two letters of recommendation, specifically written for participation in the 12th Liszt Competition.
g. A link to a YouTube video with a recording of a live performance of a work by Liszt by the applicant. (no further restrictions)

2.4. The Board of the Liszt Competition Foundation shall decide on the admission of participants to the International Selection Rounds in consultation with the Artistic Advisory Committee. If necessary additional information may be requested.

2.5. All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of 150 Euro upon applying. The fee excludes PayPal charges.

3. The International Selection Rounds

3.1. The International Selection Rounds are scheduled to be held in Hong Kong, Moscow, New York, Shanghai, Utrecht and Tbilisi in September 2019.

3.2. The Liszt Competition remains the right to NOT include some of the mentioned cities in The International Selection Rounds if too few applications are received. The exact dates and locations will be announced before 01 June 2019.

3.3. Applicants are free to choose to participate at any of the International Selection Round locations. The exact date and time of performance will be announced shortly in advance.

3.4. Participants of the International Selection Rounds must arrange and pay for their own travel and accommodation arrangements.

3.5. The International Selection Rounds shall be held in public.

3.6 The International Selection Jury shall decide on the admission of a maximum of 14 participants to the Competition. No member of the Competition’s International Jury shall sit on the International Selection Jury.

4. The Festival & Finals

4.1. All rounds of the Liszt Competition will be held at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht. The playing schedule is as follows:
a. Recital 1: 17 & 18 March 2020;
b. Recital 2: 19 & 20 March 2020;
c. Recital 3: 21 & 22 March 2020;
d. Finals Solo, 15 March 2020;
e. Finals with Orchestra, 28 March 2020.

4.2. All performances of the Liszt Competition shall be held in public.

4.3. The sequence of performance will be decided by one drawing of lots, which shall take place on 22 October 2019 in an online session with all participants and a public notary. Deviation from the determined order can only be decided on by the chairman of the Jury and shall only be permitted in exceptional cases.

4.4. Participants shall not communicate with jury
members for as long as they take part in the Competition, nor shall any other person communicate with the jury members on behalf of any participant. Violation of this rule will result in automatic disqualification from the Competition.

4.5. Should a participant be a regular student of one of the members of the jury, the latter will abstain from the jury voting in respect to such a participant.

4.6. The jury will be strict about the prescribed performance durations.

4.7. No more than 14 participants will be admitted to the Festival, and no more than 3 participants will compete in the Finals.

4.8. All participants who are selected for advancement to the Festival shall be obliged to perform all three rounds of this phase of the Competition.

4.9. All participants who are selected for the advancement to the Finals shall be obliged to participate in the two concerts of this phase of the Competition.

4.10. Participants who are not admitted to the Finals of the Competition will be provided the opportunity to discuss their performance with each member of the jury.

4.11. All prizes will be awarded.

5. Repertoire

5.1. General observations:
a. The jury is looking for imaginative programming and repertoire choices;
b. Any piece played in the International Selection Rounds may be repeated in a subsequent round;
c. The three recitals of the Festival must not contain any repertoire in common;
d. The Final Solo programme may consist of works played in previous rounds, but may also include new repertoire;
e. With the exceptions of the Busoni version of the Rapsodie espagnole and the Saint-Saëns version of Orpheus, no arrangements of Liszt’s music by other composers may be included in the candidates’ repertoires.

5.2. International Selection Rounds:
• The duration of the programme may not exceed 30 minutes (including intervals).
• Free choice of Liszt’s works (original compositions, transcriptions, fantasies and/or paraphrases), but including ONE item from Category A AND ONE item from Category B AND TWO from Category C.

a. Die Lorelei (2nd version)
b. Trois Caprices-Valses, 214: no. 1 Valse de bravoure
c. Pastorale – Schnitterchor, S508
d. Faribolo pastour, S236/1
e. La romanesca, S252a/ii
f. ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’ Praeludium nach J S Bach, S179 [NOT S180]
g. Vexilla Regis prodeunt, S185
h. Mephisto-Waltz no. 3, S216
i. Trauervorspiel und Trauermarsch, S206
j. Cantique d’amour, S173/10
k. Dem Andenken Petöfis.Petöfi Szellemenek, S195 AND Bagatelle sans tonalité, S216a

a. Beethoven/Liszt: An die ferne Geliebte, S469
b. Adelaïde von L. van Beethoven, S466iii [final version)
c. Trois Caprices-Valses, S214: no. 3 Valse de concert sur deux motifs de Lucia et Parisina
d. I puritani – Introduction et Polonaise de l’opéra de Bellini, S391
e. Marche funèbre et Cavatine de la Lucia di Lammermoor de Donizetti, S398
f. Episode de la vie d’un artiste – Grande Symphonique fantastique par Hector Berlioz, S470: II Un bal
g. Episode de la vie d’un artiste – Grande Symphonique fantastique par Hector Berlioz, S470: IV Marche au supplice
h. Sarabande und Chaconne über Themen aus dem Singspiel Almira von G. F. Händel, S181
i. Schubert/Liszt: Die jonge Nonne, S558/6 AND Die Taubenpost, S560/13

Category C
TWO of the following Liszt song transcriptions from Beethoven’s Lieder von Goethe, S468 or Beethoven’s Geistliche Lieder von Gellert, S467:
• “Mignon”, Kennst du das Land, op.75/1, S468/1
• “Mit einem gemalten Bande”, op.83/3, S468/2
• “Freudvoll und leidvoll”, op.84/4, S468/3
• “Mephistos Flohlied”, Es war einmal ein König, op.75/3, S468/4
• “Wonne der Wehmut”, op.83/1, S468/5
• “Die Trommel gerühret”, op.84/1, S468/6
• “Gottes Macht und Vorsehung”, op.48/5, S467/1
• “Bitten”, op.48/1, S467/2
• “Bußlied”, op.48/6, S467/3
• “Vom Tode”, op.48/3, S467/4
• “Die Liebe des Nächsten”, op.48/2, S467/5
• “Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur (Die Himmel rühmen)”, op.48/3, S467/6

5.3. RECITAL 1 ‘Originals’
• The duration of the programme may not exceed 50 minutes (including intervals);
• Free choice of original works by Liszt or Beethoven, but including ONE of the following items:
a. Variationen über das Motif von J S Bach: ‘Weinen, Klagen’, S180 AND Großes Konzertsolo, S176
b. Ballades 1 & 2, S170 & S171 AND Apparitions, S155/1-3
c. Années de pèlerinage III, S163/1-7
d. Two Polonaises, S222 AND Four Rapsodies hongroises, S244/16, 17, 18 AND 19
e. Légendes, S175/1 & 2 AND Scherzo und Marsch, S177
f. Trois Odes funèbres: Les morts, S516; La notte, S516a; Le triomphe funèbre du Tasse, S517
g. Six Consolations, S172 AND Illustrations du Prophète, S144: No. 2 – Les patineurs: Scherzo
h. Weihnachtsbaum, S186/1-12
i. Der Buch der Lieder für Piano Allein II: ‘Oh! quand je dors’, S536; Comment, disaient-ils, S535; Enfant, si j’étais roi, S537; S’il est un charmant gazon, S538; La tombe et la rose, S539; Gastibelza, S540 AND Die drei heiligen Könige – Marsch (aus Christus), S498b/2

5.3. RECITAL 2 ‘ Chamber Music’
• Performance of trios with violin and cello
• ONE of the following pairs of works:
a. Liszt: Tristia – La vallée d’Obermann, S378a (first version) AND Beethoven: Allegretto in B flat major, WoO39
b. Liszt/Saint-Saens: Orpheus S98 AND Beethoven: Trio in E flat major, WoO38
c. Liszt: Ungarische Rhapsodie Nr. 9, Pester Karnaval, S379 AND Beethoven: Variations in E flat major, opus 44
d. Liszt: Tristia, S378c (third version) AND Beethoven: Variationen über ‘Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu’, opus 121a

5.4. RECITAL 3 ‘Transcriptions’
• The duration of the programme may not exceed 45 minutes (including intervals);
• Free choice of Liszt’s transcriptions, but including ONE of the items:
a. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 1 in C major
b. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 2 in D Major
c. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 3 in E flat major – movements 1, 2 & 3
d. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 3 in E flat major – movements 2, 3 & 4
e. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 4 in B Flat major
f. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 5 in C minor
g. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 6 in F Major
h. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 7 in A Major
i. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 8 in F major
j. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 9 in in D minor – movements 1, 2 & 3
k. Symphonies de Beethoven, S464: No. 9 in in D minor – movements 3 & 4
l. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op.106 (Hammerklavier)

5.5 Finals Solo
A signature recital of up to 30 minutes, with completely free choice of works by Liszt (original compositions, transcriptions, fantasies and/or paraphrases) and/or Beethoven (but NO Beethoven/Liszt transcriptions). Pieces performed in earlier rounds may be included.

5.6. Finals with Orchestra
Two Concertante works by Liszt:
Obligatory work:
• Fantasie über Motive aus Beethovens Ruinen von Athen, S122

AND of the following works:
a. Fantasie über Ungarische Volksmelodiën, S123
b. Rapsodie espagnole, S254 arr. for piano and orchestra by Busoni
c. Totentanz – Paraphrase über “Dies irae,” S126ii

5.7. Participants are free to decide the order of their programme and should state it when applying.

5.7. The choice of repertoire will need to be approved by the Artistic Advisory Committee.

5.8. Participants of the International Selection Rounds are not allowed to change their choice of repertoire and order after the application deadline of 1 May 2019.

5.9. Participants admitted for participation in the Liszt Competition shall be given the opportunity to change their choices and/or preferred order up until 1 January 2020.

5.10 Participants shall perform all rounds from memory (without the use of scores), except for the performance of the Chamber Music Recital.

5.11 Participants are required to cooperate with all media activities that the Liszt Competition provides, including interviews, photo’s shoots and additional performances. All interviews will be held in English; basic knowledge of the English language is required.

6. Prizes

The Liszt Competition distinguishes the following prizes:
6.1. First Prize
– A sum of 20,000 Euro

6.2. Second Prize
– A sum of 12,500 Euro

6.3. Third Prize
– A sum of 7,500 Euro

6.4 Career Development Programme for all three Prize Winners, valued at more than 300,000 Euro including:
• international concert tour following directly after the Competition
• coaching and training opportunities
• promotion support (website, cds, etc.)
• up to three years of concert management

6.5 Henk de By Junior Prize
Awarded by the Youth Jury
– A sum of 3,000 Euro
6.6 Press Prize
Awarded by the International Press Jury for the best recital programme during both Finals
– A sum of 3,000 Euro

6.7 Capgemini Audience Award
Being voted on by the public during both Finals
– A sum of 3,000 Euro

6.8 Taxes shall be deducted from prizes in accordance with Dutch tax law in effect at the time of the Competition.

6.9 The Prize winners shall be obliged to fulfill the appearances attached to their prizes. Should a Prize winner remain in breach of this, he/she can lose his/her claim to prizes, awards and appearances; on such matters, the Board of the Liszt Competition Foundation shall decide.

6.10 Prize winners must, if requested, play a maximum of three concerts for the benefit of the Competition, for which the Liszt Competition Foundation shall pay no fee, but shall reimburse the costs of travel and accommodation.

7. Facilities

7.1. The Liszt Competition will supply the following to all participants selected to take part in the Festival Phase:
a. Reimbursement of pre-agreed reasonable economy travel expenses to and from the Netherlands with a maximum of 750 Euro (proposed travel arrangements should be discussed with the Liszt Competition timely in advance);
b. Free accommodation with host families
in the Utrecht area for the duration of the
competition (from 15 till 29 March 2020);
c. A private instrument for practicing at the host
d. A (short) stage rehearsal for each round of the
Competition (excluding the International Selection Rounds). The competition will ensure sufficient rehearsal time with the chamber musicians as well as with the orchestra.
e. The selection of a grand piano of one’s
preference from a number of brands and types (excluding the International Selection Rounds);
f. A recording of their performances during the
Competition for promotional purposes.

7.2 Accompanying individuals including family members must make their own accommodation arrangements.

8. Liability 

8.1. The Competition accepts no liability of any kind whatsoever for any personal illness or injury sustained by the participant, nor for loss or damage to a competitor’s belongings during transit or while at the Competition. Medical costs, of whatever nature, will not be reimbursed by the Liszt Competition.

8.2. Obtaining appropriate travel documents, visa and insurance is the sole responsibility of each competitor.

8.3. Host families shall not be held responsible for accidents or damage of any kind which may befall the participants, with the exception of those accidents that fall under third party insurance.

8.4. Participants must be free of professional obligations during the entire Competition period and the subsequently winners tour.

9. Juridical

9.1. By submitting the online application form, applicants state their agreement:
a. with all articles in the Rules & Regulations;
b. with all ensuing engagements as part of any prize;
c. that all concert and recording engagements obtained by the Competition or its designates as part of the prizes will not be subject to any fee or commission payable to the prizewinner’s current or future artist management;
d. that the Liszt Competition Foundation is authorized to record, videotape, film, broadcast, and/or photograph any Competition concerts or events for any purpose, without payment of any fee. All rights, including copyright in such media shall vest in and be solely owned by the Liszt Competition Foundation in perpetuity.
e. That the Liszt Competition is authorized to collect, store and use their contact details for purposes connected to the competition and future activities of the Liszt Competition. No commercial third party will receive these contact details.

All rights reserved; dates and locations subject to change.