Applications now open for the 64th edition of the International Ferruccio Busoni Piano Competition

(Bolzano/Bozen January 2022) After the great success of the final stages in August 2021 that culminated in the prize being awarded to the exceptional young South Korean Jae Hong Park, the Busoni Competition is setting out for the new biennium, introducing some exciting changes: The Glocal Piano Project will be continued as the first stage for 100 selected participants performing in Steinway & Sons Showrooms all over the globe. Scheduled for November 2022, the GPP will be taken to a new level by including the presence of local audiences. The new competition rules include an increasingly challenging repertoire list while the City of Bolzano has raised the prize money for the 1st prize to 30.000 Euros.

Great Success of the 63rd edition inspires new approach for the upcoming first stages

In 2020, the Busoni Piano Competition, one of the world’s oldest events for young pianists seeking to kick-start a career, had to reinvent the format of its preliminary stages under the pressure of the pandemic. The ingenious solution to the problems caused by travel restrictions was to hold the first Glocal Piano Project in 22 locations on four continents. Due to the success of this new hybrid approach, being both logistically efficient and giving more participants greater exposure to a global audience, the formula will be continued in the future: In November 2022 the second edition of the Glocal Piano Project will be staged in various cities around the globe, with exact location depending on the participants countries and regions of origin.

Thanks to the commitment of Steinway & Sons, the young artists will find equally excellent conditions for their performances that will be filmed by professional film crewsThe recordings of the auditions will be available on various online platforms, not only to be judged by an international jury but also by an online audience that is once again invited to experience the Glocal Piano Project as one large online piano festival and make use of its own, significant vote.

The recorded performances of all participants will remain accessible online until the final stages in August 2023, when the competition is scheduled to conclude in its traditional final stages in Bolzano Italy. As in previous years, these final stages will involve two solo stages, a chamber music stage with a highly acclaimed String Quartet (this time Quatuor van Kuijk from France) and finally the grand Finalissima with Haydn Orchestra.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN THROUGH MAY 5, 2022.Applicants need to complete the appropriate form including a 15 minute video recording of a performance filmed by a static camera in a single take. Based on this video, a specifically appointed jury will select 100 participants who will be subsequently admitted to participate and perform in the Glocal Piano Project. Artistic Director Peter Paul Kainrath insists, that “a music competition today needs to pursue a greater vision beyond being a simple “race” with some prizes to be awarded; it needs to be transformed into a platform for a global audience and stakeholders of international music life to give the best possible visibility to all participating talents.” Gerrit Glaner, Head of Concert & Artist Department at Steinway & Sons, adds: “Steinway’s commitment to music, innovation and artist support perfectly matches with the spirit of the GPP. Having always been particularly focusing on the merging generations, we are glad to be part of this visionary project and to continue with our worldwide network bringing it to fruition again.

The detailed competition rules including all repertoire information can be download in five languages from the competition’s website:

The History of the Ferruccio Busoni Piano Competition

Founded in 1949, the Busoni Competition immediately captured the attention of the contemporary music scene, due in part to the presence of an extraordinary Honorary Committee, which included Claudio Arrau, Wilhelm Backhaus, Alfred Cortot, Walter Gieseking, Dinu Lipatti, Arthur Rubinstein and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. For almost seven decades, the competition has again and again confirmed its reputation of being a catalyst in bringing to light many musicians who have subsequently shone in the pianistic firmament, such as Alfred Brendel, Martha Argerich, Jörg Demus, Louis Lortie, Lilya Zilberstein and Garrick Ohlsson.

Busoni Competition as part of Bolzano Festival Bozen

Bolzano Festival Bozen was born in 2004 as an amalgamation of the North Italian city’s major classical music events: The legendary Busoni piano competition and festival founded in 1947, the residences of Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and European Union Youth Orchestra and the master classes of the Gustav Mahler Academy – all introduced by Claudio Abbado out of his personal connection to Bolzano – as well as the renowned festival for early music Antiqua. Every summer, the festival presents an impressive, 5-6 week long program. Not only are all protagonists deeply rooted in the historical and cultural substance of the South Tyrolean capital, located in one of the most attractive tourism regions in Europe – a central link between the individual program elements is also the strong commitment to music and youth.