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.