The China Conservatory of Music has announced the creation of a major new international music competition, the First China International Music Competition. Held in Beijing from May 4 to 21, 2019, the inaugural edition of the Competition will be an invitational devoted to piano performance. It will consist of competitors who have been recommended by the world’s foremost international musical authorities.
The Conservatory will award a first prize of US$150,000, with second and third prizes of US$75,000 and US$30,000, respectively. In addition to winning this unprecedented purse, the gold medalist will be represented by major international artist management companies, Opus 3 Artists in the United States and Armstrong Music and Arts in China, which will coordinate three years of international concert tours.
The Conservatory is also proud to announce that The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will perform the Final Round concert with each of the three Competition finalists.
A distinguished international jury of eleven has been assembled and includes Li-guang Wang, president of the China International Music Competition, president of the China Conservatory of Music, and chairman of the Global Music Education League; Yoheved Kaplinsky, chairman of the jury and artistic director of the Competition; Dmitri Alexeev; Jan Jiracek von Arnim; Lydia Artymiw; Boris Berman; Michel Beroff; Fabio Bidini; Warren Jones; Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń; and Arie Vardi.
Twenty outstanding competitors from around the world, ages 17 to 28, have accepted the invitation to participate in the premier event, which will consist of a Preliminary Round, Semifinal Round, and Final Round in two phases.
None of the competitors currently study or have ever studied with any member of the jury.
Each pianist will perform a recital in the Preliminary Round. The jury will then select 12 pianists to advance to the Semifinal Round and perform an additional recital as well as collaborate in a vocal recital. The first phase of the Final Round will include six pianists each playing a classical concerto with a chamber orchestra, after which time three finalists will be selected for the second phase of the Final Round to play with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Maestro Nézet-Séguin. All performances will be held at the concert hall of the China Conservatory, except The Philadelphia Orchestra performance, which will take place at Beijing’s renowned National Centre for the Performing Arts.
In announcing the First China International Music Competition, President Li-guang Wang, said: “The Global Music Education League and The China Conservatory of Music invite brilliant young artists from around the world to gather together and share their gifts for making music at the First China International Music Competition 2019. With its great passion for music, China welcomes you with open arms to inspire us with the timeless harmonies and colors of the piano. I would like to send my warmest invitation to the jury members, competitors, and guests and to extend my good wishes and heartfelt thanks to all who are devoting their efforts to the Competition!”
Yoheved Kaplinsky, artistic director of the Competition and chairman of the jury, responded: “We are looking forward to 16 days of music-making of the highest artistic level. We have assembled a jury that will listen to carefully chosen contestants with the utmost integrity and artistic expertise. We pledge to provide a nourishing environment for the participants and create a platform for them to be heard, supported, and treated with dignity and respect.”
Richard Rodzinski, president emeritus of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and former general director of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, commented: “We are delighted to have been entrusted with the means to ensure the highest standards from the outset of this first edition of the CIMC, which will set the tone for all competitions in the various disciplines that are to follow. With the participation of an illustrious jury, one of the world’s greatest orchestras, and international concert management, we are determined to provide the winners and indeed all the invited participants an extraordinary opportunity to launch the significant careers they so richly deserve.”
Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra, said: “Supporting future generations of artists is central to The Philadelphia Orchestra’s and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s vision. We are delighted to participate in this important new competition that not only furthers the development of young artists, but also broadens our deep and extensive musical partnerships in China.”
First China International Music Competition Jury
Li-guang Wang, president of the China International Music Competition, president of the China Conservatory of Music, and chairman of the Global Music Education League
Yoheved Kaplinsky, chairman of the jury of the First China International Music Competition, chairperson of the piano department and artistic director of the Pre-College Division, The Juilliard School
Dmitri Alexeev, piano professor at the Royal College of Music
Jan Jiracek von Arnim, artistic director and chairman of the jury of the International Beethoven Piano Competition
Lydia Artymiw, professor of piano at the University of Minnesota
Boris Berman, head of the piano department, Yale School of Music
Michel Beroff, pianist and conductor
Fabio Bidini, piano chair at the Colburn School
Warren Jones, pianist, conductor, and renowned operatic vocal coach
Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, jury chairman of the International Chopin Piano Competition