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Bartók World Competition and Festival is open for pianists in 2019

Bartók World Competition and Festival continues in 2019 with a contest for young pianists, held at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Applications are open for pianists from all over the world who are aged 32 or under with the 1st or 2nd movement of Bartók’s Suite for Piano and any Etude by Liszt. The competition, held between 7 and 15 September 2019, consists of four live rounds and concludes with a gala concert and award ceremony. The Prize Fund of the competition is 60.000 EUR.

The six-year long cycle of the competition, supported by the Ministry of Human Capacities in Hungary, explores the most characteristic trends of Bartók’s legacy: piano, violin and chamber music. Between instrumental competitions it focuses on composition and award-winning works of the composition competitions become mandatory pieces to be performed the following year. The cycle started with a violin competition in 2017 and continued with a call for submissions by composers in 2018. Applications are open for the piano competition until 25 March this year, with the Scherzo or Allegretto movement of Bartók’s Suite for Piano, and any Etude by Franz Liszt.  The twelve pianists who qualify for the semifinals are to include in their repertoire last year’s composition competition winner Dániel Dobos’ piece Drumul Dracului and Toccata by János Mátyás, who won joint third prize.

“Bartók studied and taught at the Liszt Academy. In every corner we can feel his presence, the spirit of Bartók’s music. It is of special significance that this year’s application deadline falls on 25 March, Bartók’s birthday”, Andrea Vigh, President of the Liszt Academy stressed, having prompted the idea of the competition herself.

“The Bartók Competition provided me with the experience to learn how to change and improve a musical piece in a limited time. The contest was launched in 2017, thus its novelty also had its effect. Classical violin competitions such as the Tchaikovsky or Queen Elisabeth are all events with a distinguished past and intellectual heritage, yet I consider those that are new, also very exciting”, Cosima Soulez-Lariviére said, who is the French-Dutch winner of the violin competition in 2017, the first instrumental competition of the cycle. The jury of the piano competition selects, as usual, three finalists from among the competitors performing the mandatory repertoires of each round, who are set to play one of Bartók’s three piano concertos. The Prize Fund of the competition is 60.000 EUR. The award ceremony with a gala concert is held 15 September at the Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy.

The members of the jury are, as each year, top artists who are internationally recognized for their lifetime achievements. The nine members are popular Russian pianist Andrei Korobeinikov, South Korean-born, world-renowned Steinway artist and professor at the Manhattan School of Music Klara Min, American-Russian pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine, who is known as an interpreter of brilliant pieces of Cuban piano music, outstanding Norwegian pianist Einar Steen-Nøkleberg, Lithuanian pianist and music educator Mūza Rubackytė and Japanese pianist Kenji Watanabe, who is famous for his authentic interpretations of Liszt and Bartók pieces. Hungarian jury members are Kossuth Prize-winning pianist, conductor and Artist of the Nation Tamás Vásáry, Liszt Award-winning pianist and Head of the Piano Department at the Liszt Academy Kálmán Dráfi, Erkel Award-winning music historian and one of the most accomplished researchers of Bartók’s life work prof. Tibor Tallián.

Details on applications, application form and further information are available at

About the Bartók World Competition and Festival: The Bartók World Competition and Festival started with a contest for violinists in 2017, on the 135th anniversary of Béla Bartók’s birth. With Bartók’s works becoming public domain, the Liszt Academy has created a competition cycle that presents Bartók’s genius from multiple perspectives. Additionally, Bartók World Competition is not only a display of instrumental prowess, it is also a week-long festival including a biannual composition competition, a musicology symposium and colourful programmes for a wide audience.


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