The “Busoni” returns to the Bolzano stage 24.8.-03.09.2021

(Bolzano/Bozen August 17, 2021) By launching the final stages of its 63rd edition, one of the world’s oldest music competitions is setting out once more to celebrate the future of piano music and its titanic namesake Ferruccio Busoni – enhanced by an ever-growing network of global media partnerships – don’t miss the opportunity to follow the competition online!

The 2021 Final Stages
On August 24, one of the oldest music competitions in the world enters the final stages of its 63rd edition starting August 24th, featuring two solo stages, a chamber music stage with the renowned Schumann Quartett and finally the grand Finalissima with Haydn Orchestra on September 3 2021. Clearly, the time has come to bring the competition back to its traditional Bolzano stage and to provide the participants with the possibility of performing in front of a physically present audience. Artistic director Peter Paul Kainrath insists this is “the only way to identify the kind of universal artist to whom the Busoni competition has been owing its particular aura in its long, almost 75-year history”.
The first step in 2020: The Glocal Piano Project
506 registrations, 93 participants, 23 film crews in as many 23 Steinway & Sons showrooms in 19 countries on 4 continents, 506,000 views of performance videos on the competition’s own website, 4,500 additional views at Steinway & Sons, 60,000 views at in China in just two weeks, 19,663 votes cast in the audience vote – those impressive numbers sum up the success of the Glocal Piano Project, the Busoni competition’s courageous response to the impossibility of inviting 100 candidates to the first stages in Bolzano in the summer of 2020. With most competitions being canceled or postponed, the Busoni-Mahler Foundation and Steinway & Sons received wide appraisal for their unwavering commitment to promoting young talents.

Streaming and Media Partnerships: Follow the competition live all over the world
The competition has made sure that all the thrilling excitement and artistic quality of the final stages can be experienced all over the world: In addition to the live streaming of all stages of the competition at, the finalissima on 9/3 will be broadcast live on national television for the first time in the Busoni’s long history. In addition, RAI makes the transmission available through the Eurovision partner networks. For the fourth time the final evening will be shown on Austrian television on ORF III. The already established partnerships with streaming platforms IDAGIO and, for China, AMADEUS.TV are being maintained. For the first time, the Finalissima will also be shown in two large movie theaters of Emperor Group in Beijing and Shenzhen. A new partnership has been forged during the Glocal Piano Project with video streaming platform and digital TV channel TAKT 1. And for the first time, the exciting course of the competition can also be followed in streaming from South Korea on, with customized moderation in Korean language.
The Jury
Busoni 2021 Jury: Louis Lortie (President, Canada), Nareh Arghamanyan (Armenia), Alessio Bax (Italy / USA), Federico Colli (Italy), Till Janczukowicz (Germany), Francesco Filidei (Italy / France), Hélène Mercier (Canada), Eliane Rodrigues (Brazil), Alexander Romanovsky (Ukraine / Italy), Mikhail Rudy (France).
The Finalists
In November 2020, a total of 33 pianists were admitted to the 2021 final stages. 25 Finalists were identified by the jury, six were chosen by the audience vote and an additional two were invited to enter the final stages having won a first or second prize in a WFIMC competition.
The Dates at a Glance
August 24-27 Solo semi-finals: 30 candidates
28-29 August Solo final: 12 candidates
August 31 & September 1: Chamber Music – 6 candidates & Schumann Quartett
September 3: Finalissima – 3 candidates, accompanied by Haydn Orchestra

Ferruccio Busoni
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. Again, the festival presents an impressive, 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. The future of classical music is happening now in Bolzano – in the summer of 2021 this message is of greater importance than ever before. As of today (August 18 2021) borders are open – visitors from EU countries and Schengen states (list C countries) will be able to enter South Tyrol without having to go into quarantine. Please check the following website for up-to-date information: