The 72nd Prague Spring International Music Competition

Deadline: 29/01/2021
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Disciplines: Piano
From: 06/05/2021 To: 15/05/2021
Age limit: up to 30

The 72nd Prague Spring International Music Competition, a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva, will take place in Prague on 6 – 15 May 2021 in the categories PIANO and STRING QUARTET.

The piano competition will be held in memory of Rudolf Firkušný.


May 6, 2020 – 6PM
Opening ceremony, drawing lots
Academy of Performing Arts, Martinů Hall

May 7, 2020
Round I
Academy of Performing Arts, Martinů Hall

May 8, 2020
Round I
Academy of Performing Arts, Martinů Hall

May 10, 2020
Round II
Academy of Performing Arts, Martinů Hall

May 12, 2020
St Agnes´convent

May 14, 2020
Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall

May 15, 2020 – 11AM
Prize Giving Ceremony
Old Town Hall, Brožík Hall


Conditions for Participation in the Competition

The Competition is intended for artists of all nationalities who:

  1. a) satisfy the age limit
  • piano – 30 years (i.e. those who are born after 6 May 1991 inclusive)
  • string quartet – 120 years (i.e. total age of all quartet members on 6 May 2021)
  1. b) have not already won 1st prize in the relevant category at the Prague Spring International Music Competition

Application deadline 29 January 2021

By 15 February 2021, the candidates admitted to the Competition (i.e. those successful in the preliminary round) shall be notified about their admission by an e-mail. After the receipt of the admission confirmation, the participation fee – PIANO 80 EUR, STRING QUARTET 190 EUR – must be transferred to the Competition account by 28 February 2021 at the latest.

The accepted candidates shall be sent a letter with complete information concerning the organization of the Competition, as well as the sheet music for the commissioned piece.

Neither the registration nor the participation fee can be refunded should the competitor be prevented from attending, or should he or she cancel his or her participation.

Attach to the application:

  1. a) A copy of the applicant´s birth certificate or proof of identity
  2. b) A portrait photo suitable for reproduction (without copyright) – min. 1 MB and 300 dpi
  3. c) An unedited VIDEO recording of the compositions listed in the “Competition Repertoire” section of this General Conditions (find the technical requirements below)
  • A recording need not be sent by applicants who have won the 1st prize at selected competitions – please refer to the “Competition Repertoire” section
  1. d) A statement from a professor or other person of artistic standing (e.g. a sound engineer) guaranteeing the authenticity and quality of the recording – a form can be downloaded here
  2. e) Proof of payment of the registration fee in the amount of EUR 30 (for costs associated with registration and the preliminary round) – always state the full name of the competitor in the comment
  • payment to the Prague Spring account no. 3633372/0800 held at the Česká spořitelna bank, IBAN CZ64 0800 0000 0000 03633372, B.I.C. GIBACZPX (all fees must be transferred „free of bank charges for the recipient“)
  • payment via PayPal service (

Requirements for the recording

The selection of candidates to take part in the Competition in Prague shall be based on this recording, shall be anonymous and in random order. The video recording must fulfil the following parameters:

  • Pieces must be recorded in their entirety and without any cuts or editing;
  • Individual parts of the pieces (movements) must be recorded separately or indexed;
  • Microphones should be positioned at a distance allowing to obtain a good sound quality;
  • The video should be filmed from a fixed camera angle; musician´s hands and face must be entirely visible all the time;
  • It is highly recommended to ensure a good sound quality of the recording, to provide the jury with the best possible conditions for judging in the preliminary round;
  • Public recordings are accepted if they meet the recording conditions stated above (especially no cuts);
  • Upload your recording (recordings) to a cloud server such as Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, etc. (not YouTube) and include the link in your application – always set the access to the video as public.

Technical requirements

  • Video quality – 720p or 1080i or 1080p
  • Audio quality – PCM, flac, mp3 min. 256kbps or aac min. 128kbps
  • Microphone of adequate quality (no bulit-in microphones in mobile devices)
  • File format – mp4, mov, avi, mpg or mkv

Consent to the competition conditions and to the processing of personal data

By submitting the Competition application, the participant gives his/her consent to the processing of personal data in accordance with the following information on their processing, and confirms that he/she has read and accepted the Competition Conditions before registering for the Competition, and that he/she agrees with the fact that not granting or revoking this consent excludes his/her participation in the Competition.

By submitting the application, the Competitor gives his/her consent to the Organiser to process the following personal data as a controller, in accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (hereinafter only the “Regulation”), and Act No. 110/2019 Coll. on the processing of personal data, as amended:

  • Name and surname
  • Date of birth
  • E-mail
  • Telephone number
  • Address

The Organiser processes the personal data provided only based on the consent given by the Competitor and for the purpose of fulfilling the contract – ensuring the Competitor’s participation in the Competition. These data will be processed by the controller for the duration of the contractual relationship.

The provision of personal data is voluntary. Consent can be revoked at any time, for example by sending an e-mail or letter to the contact details of the Organiser.

Personal data is processed by the Organiser as the controller, but personal data may also be processed for the Organiser by processors acting on behalf of the Organiser. In this case, the Organiser undertakes to ensure that the processor fulfils its obligations under the Regulation.

Under the Regulation, the Competitor has:

  • the right to withdraw his/her consent at any time;
  • the right to request information as to which personal data are processed and to obtain a copy of such data;
  • the right to request access to such data and to have it updated or corrected or to request processing restrictions;
  • the right to request the deletion of such personal data;
  • the right to request explanations;
  • the right to data portability (in case of automated processing);
  • the right to lodge a complaint with the Office for the Protection of Personal Data if there are doubts as to compliance with the obligations relating to the processing of personal data.


Personal data provided by the Competitors shall not be provided to third countries.

Course of the competition

Piano competition shall be held in four rounds, the string quartet competition in three. The number of candidates in all rounds is limited. For both categories, a maximum number of Round I candidates is 45, a maximum of 12 candidates shall advance to Round II. 6 candidates will advance to the semi-finals of the piano competition. 3 candidates shall advance to the finals of both competition fields.

The competition repertoire stated by the candidate in the application shall be binding and cannot be changed. Later changes or failure to comply with the mandatory repertoire shall form the grounds for disqualification. Candidates must bring printed music with them and present it on demand.

All rounds of competition performances are public.

Presence during the competition

Each participant is obliged to register at the Competition secretariat (for the piano section – Academy of Performing Arts, for the string quartet section – National House of Vinohrady) at a fixed time, which he/she has received in the letter of invitation. The participant will identify him/herself with passport, identity card or birth certificate. Immediately after registration, an acoustic rehearsal will take place in the hall.

All participants must be present in person at the opening ceremony of the Competition and at the announcement of the results after all rounds.

Each participant accepts the obligation to remain free of all professional obligations or concerts throughout the duration of the Competition.

Competitors will be expected to receive their awards in person.


All travel and accommodation expenses for the duration of Round I shall be paid by the candidates themselves.

Starting from Round II, all candidates who do not have their permanent residence in Prague or live more than 100 km from Prague shall receive a contribution of 60 EUR/day.

The contribution shall be provided for the duration of their active participation in the Competition. The accommodation for the prize-winners shall be covered until the day when the prizes are presented to them. This does not apply to piano accompanists or other accompanying persons.


The following artists have promised to sit on the juries:


Garrick Ohlsson – USA


Ian Fountain – Great Britain Ivo Kahánek – Czech Republic Martin Kasík – Czech Republic Kevin Kenner – USA

Olga Kern – Russia Gabriele Leporatti – Italy


The competition repertoire stated by the candidate in the ap- plication shall be binding and cannot be changed. Later changes or failure to comply with the mandatory repertoire shall form the grounds for disqualification. Candidates must bring printed music with them and present it on demand.

The commissioned piece for the 2021 Prague Spring International Music Competition by a Czech composer shall be sent to the can- didates together with instructions on the course of the Competi- tion. The composition may not be publicly performed prior to the Competition.

For competition performances, the jury has the right to determine the order of compositions or of individual parts of compositions.

Using illegal photocopies of sheet music for public performance is a violation of the copyright and the commercial rights of the publisher and the performers shall bear all liability for any legal sanctions.



A video recording with the following repertoire:

1 Johann Sebastian Bach: one of the preludes and fugues from the

Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846–893 of the candidate’s choice 2 OneoftheetudesfromtheRoundIofthecandidate’schoice

(see below)

Candidates who provide a proof that they have won the 1st prize in one of the following competitions, need not submit a recording:

  • 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition
  • 2019 Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition
  • 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition
    ROUND I (to be memorized)

1 Johann Sebastian Bach: one of the preludes and fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846–893 of the candidate’s choice

2 FryderykChopin:oneofthefollowingetudes

  1. a) 10–No.1inCmajor,No.2inAminor,No.4inCsharp

minor, No. 7 in C major, No. 8 in F major

  1. b) 25 – No. 6 in G sharp minor, No. 8 in D flat major, No. 11

in A minor

  • 3  Oneofthefollowingetudes
    a) Franz Liszt: Etude No. 4 in D minor „Mazeppa“
    b) Franz Liszt: Etude No. 5 in B flat major „Feux follets“ c) Franz Liszt: Etude No. 8 in C minor „Wilde Jagd“
    d) Sergei Rachmaninoff:
    Etudes – Tableaux Op. 39 No. 1 in C minor
    e) Sergei Rachmaninoff:
    Etudes – Tableaux Op. 39 No. 5 in E flat minor
    f) Alexandr Skrjabin: Etude Op. 8 No. 12
    g) Alexandr Skrjabin: Etude Op. 42 No. 5
  • 4  Aworkofthecandidate’schoice
    a) Fryderyk Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor Op. 23
    b) Fryderyk Chopin: Ballade No. 2 in F major Op. 38
    c) Fryderyk Chopin: Ballade No. 3 in A flat major Op. 47
    d) Fryderyk Chopin: Ballade No. 4 in F minor Op. 52
    e) Robert Schumann: Fantasie in C major Op. 17 – 1st movement f) Bedřich Smetana: Macbeth and the Witches

ROUND II (to be memorized)

The candidate shall put together an interesting recital lasting 50–55 minutes. The recital must include:

  • composition commissioned for the IMC Prague Spring 2021 by
    Jana Vöröšová in duration of 6 ́
  • at least one sonata by one of the following composers: Joseph
    Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Ludwig van Beethoven (the competitor does not have to respect the repetitions in the exposition of classical sonatas)
    The competitor must not include compositions already performed by him/her in Round I.
    One of the following piano quintets
    a) Johannes Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34
    b) Antonín Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A major Op. 81
    c) Robert Schumann: Piano Quintet in E flat major Op. 44 In collaboration with Zemlinsky Quartet.
    FINALS (to be memorized)
    One of the following concertos
  • a)  Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major Op. 58
  • b)  Antonín Dvořák: Piano Concerto in G minor Op. 33
  • c)  Fryderyk Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11
  • d)  Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18
  • e)  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky:
    Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op. 23

In collaboration with Prague Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marek Šedivý.


In each category of the 72nd annual Prague Spring International Music Competition, the following prizes are offered:

Main prizes

Piano category

1st prize CZK 250,000
2nd prize CZK 150,000
3rd prize CZK 100,000

More details here