The use of pianos for the 2020 Competition will constitute an extra test for competitors. In the concert world, pianists have to perform on the pianos with which they are presented in concert halls. Accordingly, the pianists competing in Sydney will play different piano makes in each of the first four rounds of the competition. They will be given the opportunity to try their instruments prior to the start of the Competition and will have further access to the instruments on the day they will play in each different Round.
A draw will decide the order the 32 pianists will play in and maintain for the rest of the competition (with the possible exception of the Finals Rounds 1 and 2, when the Artistic Director may decide to alter the order to shape the overall programme being presented to the public). A draw will also decide which of the four piano makes will be used first.
The 32 competitors will be divided into four groups of eight.
In the Preliminaries Round 1, the first eight competitors will play the first piano make drawn out of the hat, the next eight the next piano alphabetically on the list, the next eight the third piano on the list and the final eight players, the remaining piano make on the list.
In the Preliminaries Round 2 (which all 32 competitors play), the first eight players will play the second piano on their list (in alphabetical order of brand names), the next eight their next piano etc.
By the end of the first two Rounds, which all 32 competitors play, all four pianos will have been heard totally equally and all competitors will have played on two different pianos.
The twelve competitors selected to compete in the Semi Finals will go on to play the next two pianos on their alphabetical list in Rounds 1 (65-minute solo recital) and 2 (Chamber Music).
For the Finals, the six competitors will be allowed to choose whichever piano or pianos they would like to play for the two concertos in Rounds 1 and 2, having won through to that final stage by playing on all four pianos in the preceding four Rounds.