Major changes at Tchaikovsky competition

Classical Music Magazine

The quadrennial Tchaikovsky Competition has appointed Valery Gergiev to chair a new organising committee for the 2011 edition. The reputation of the Moscow-based competition has suffered in previous years, and the appointment is being made in a drive towards transparency. The event, to be held from 14 June to 2 July next year, will be bound by a new set of rules and a voting system designed to assure 'fairness and openness'.

Many of the recently approved rules and conditions are designed to conform to those adopted by the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. ‘There is no more important attribute a competition may enjoy than a reputation for being crystal-clean,’ said Richard Rodzinski, president emeritus of the Van Cliburn Foundation and chairman of the working committee of the Tchaikovsky Competition.

Gergiev is putting together international juries, and Russians can look forward to Cliburn’s return to Moscow as an honorary chairman of the piano division.

For the first time in its history, and inkeeping with practices encouraged by the World Federation of International Music Competitions, the competition will organise concert engagements for its laureates both in Russia and abroad. Gergiev has announced that he plans to engage the winners to perform with the Mariinsky Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Visit for the application form, repertoire requirements, rules and general information. The deadline for all applications and submission of a DVD of a 50-minute recital will be December 1, 2010. An international screening jury will review all materials and propose to select 30 pianists, 25 violinists, 25 cellists, and 20 male and 20 female singers.

The competition will consist of three rounds of live performances. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top five competitors in each discipline of piano, violin, cello, and to each of the top four competitors in the men’s and women’s solo vocal categories.

First prize (which will always be awarded) is €20,000 (£17,900); second, €15,000; third, €10,000; fourth, €5,000; and fifth, €3,000. An additional ‘grand prix’ of €10,000 may be awarded to one of the gold medalists deemed outstanding by the juries. Additional awards will be given for best performance of the chamber concertos and the commissioned new work.