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Bartók World Competition for Pianists


The Liszt Academy with the help of the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities launched the Bartók World Competition and Festival on the occasion of the 135th anniversary of the birth of Béla Bartók in 2017.

Besides featuring a repertoire demanding the very highest musical expertise, the Bartók World Competition and Festival achieves – even in its structure – something totally new for a competition. The competition is built around the most characteristic strands of the Bartók oeuvre, that is, piano, violin, chamber music and composition, which rotate in a six-year cycle. The individual instrumental competitions are organised every alternate year, with composer competitions in between, which always tie into the forthcoming instrumental category.

This distinctive structure is effective both at drawing the attention of the best instrumentalists of the upcoming musician generation to the works of Bartók and at the same time inspiring young composers to create new works written in the spirit of Bartók.

Timing of the Bartók Competition

March 2018: Announcement of composition competition (piano pieces)

25 November 2018: Gala concert of composition competition, announcement of piano competition

7-15 September 2019: Piano competition

November 2019: Announcement of composition competition (string quartet pieces)

November 2020: Gala concert of composition competition, announcement of string quartet / chamber music competition

September 2021: String Quartet / Chamber music competition

November 2021: Announcement of composition competition (violin pieces)

November 2022: Gala concert of composition competition, announcement of violin competition

September 2023: Violin competition

More than just a competition

The Bartók World Competition and Festival is much more than just a music competition: it is at the same time a scientific event and festival targeting a broad audience. Every other year, beside the competitions in instrumental categories there will be a scientific conference held in the Institute of Musicology, with the focus firmly on Bartók in a scientific context where the theme is always topical and illuminated by the very latest research from Hungary and abroad

For more information, please visit the Bartók World Competition website.

Fact file
Deadline01 Feb - 30 Apr 2019
Finals07 - 15 Sep 2019
WhereBudapest, Hungary
Age groupsOpen to all nationalities, max age 32, born on or after 7 September 1987


First Prize: € 30.000

Second Prize: € 20.000

Third Prize: € 10.000

Prizes cannot be shared. Special prizes such as concert and recording opportunities will also be offered.


Applications open: 1 February 2019

Registration fee: €200 (Early birds: €150) – to be paid only by candidates passing through to the Preliminary round.

Application Material: Personal data and full competition repertoire is to be specified on the online application form, available from 01 February 2019.

Confirmation of Qualification to next round given by 20 April 2019

Rounds The competition is divided into a Qualifying round by video, and four live competition rounds (Preliminary, Semi-final, Final, Grand Final) held at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. A maximum of 40 candidates enter the Preliminary, 12 contestants take part in the Semi-final, 6 candidates qualify for the Final, and 3 finalists pass through to the Grand Final. The competition ends with a Gala Concert including the prize giving ceremony.

The entire live competition is open to the public, and will be broadcast (by video streaming and/or television and radio) from the Liszt Academy. Applicants to the Bartók World Competition give their consent to these recordings and broadcastings by their application.


Kálmán Dráfi (H), Andrei Korobeinikov (RUS), Klara Min (ROK-USA), Alexandre Moutouzkine (RUS-USA), Einar Steen-Nøkleberg (N), Mūza Rubackytė (LT), Tibor Tallián (H), Tamás Vásáry (H), Kenji Watanabe (J).

BudapestBartók World Competition: Orchestra Final

Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra; Zsolt Hamar

BudapestBartók World Competition: Grand Final

Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra; Zsolt Hamar
Looking back to 2018

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Composition competition for Piano!

First prize: Dániel Dobos

Second prize: Sang Un Kang

Joint third prize: Dongryul Lee and János Mátyás

Hungarian Musical Society for best Hungarian contestant: Dániel Dobos

Artisjus Award and Junior Príma Award-winning pianist Péter Kiss: János Mátyás

Editio Musica Budapest has offered to publish Dániel Dobos'and János Mátyás'compositions and STUDIO 5 has rewarded Alberto Alession with an opportunity for his solo piano piece to be performed.

The 2018 Finalists chosen from 200 competitors from all over the globe. © Liszt Academy Mudra Lázsló
The 2018 Finalists chosen from 200 competitors from all over the globe.
© Liszt Academy Mudra Lázsló