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Guide to the Honens International Piano Competition

Laureates - Where are they now?
In brief

The Honens Competition looks for the Complete Artist. Competitors must show their artistry as well as their ability to look beyond the music. Artists taking part are asked to express—through stage deportment, program design, and interviews with arts journalists—a sensitivity to contemporary culture and a willingness and finesse to communicate effectively with audiences regardless of age, location, background, or degree of musical sophistication.

Dates: The semifinals and finals take place between 22 and 28 October 2022 in Calgary, Canada.

Fact file
Deadline01 Feb - 08 Nov 2020
Finals22 - 28 Oct 2022
WhereCalgary, Canada
Age groupsPianists no younger than 20 on 14 Oct 2021 and no older than 30 on 22 Oct 2021, with the exception of previous laureates and professionally managed pianists, can apply.* (Pianists chosen to participate in the 2021 Competition remain in place for 2022)
The Honens Competition

Quarterfinals: Each Quarterfinalist performed a 40-minute solo recital and 10-minute interview with an arts journalist in either New York or Frankfurt in March 2022.

(Dates: 14 to 17 March in Frankfurt, Venue: Evangelische Festeburgkirche Frankfurt;  Dates: 24 to 26 March 2022 in New York, Venue: The DiMenna Center for Classical Music)

Semifinals: Each Semifinalist performs in two separate rounds:

· Semifinals I: a 65-minute solo recital which must include a newly commissioned 8-minute work by Canadian pianist / composer Stewart Goodyear;

· Semifinals II: a 60-minute solo / collaborative recital which must include one of Beethoven’s ten violin sonatas, one piece from Fritz Kreisler’s Alt-Wiener Tanzweisen, and solo repertoire to complete the program.

(Dates: 20 to 24 October 2022, Venue: Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, Mount Royal University)

Finals: Each Finalist performs in two separate rounds and undertakes a 30-minute interview with an arts journalist.

· Finals Part I: a three-part performance consisting of a Mozart concerto (from a prescribed list) with a string quintet, a set of Schubert lieder with a singer, and an encore announced from the stage;

· Finals Part II: any concerto composed after 1791, with full orchestra.

(Dates: 27 and 28 October 2022, Venue: Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, Mount Royal University)

Prizes and artist development

Aside from the cash portion of the award, Honens offers its Prize Laureate one of the most comprehensive artistic and career development programs in the world which includes worldwide representation; debut recitals in career-building markets which may include Berlin, London, New York, and Toronto; residencies and special projects; coaching and mentorship opportunities; and the production, release, and worldwide distribution of professional recordings.

Honens Prize Laureate - One pianist - C$100,000

Finalists: Raeburn Prizes - Two pianists - C$10,000 each.

Semifinalists - Seven pianists - C$2,500 each

Best Performance of Commissioned Work - C$2,500

Best Performance of a Beethoven Violin Sonata - C$2,500

2022 Mentor-in-Residence

Jeremy Denk

An internationally respected, actively touring pianist serves as Honens’ Mentor-in-Residence. Each Semifinalist who does not advance to the Finals will meet with the Mentor-in-Residence for a one-hour meeting on the days following the Semifinals. The Mentor-in-Residence also attends the Finals after which he / she meets with the two Finalists and the Honens Prize Laureate.

2022 Collaborating Artists

Martin Beaver, violinViano String Quartet; bass and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

For the 2022 Honens Piano Competition, Semifinalists perform solo works and collaborate with a violinist. Finalists perform with a string quintet, bass and with orchestra. The choice of collaborating musicians allows for both a meaningful musical partnership and a mentorship opportunity for all competitors.

The Jury

Quarterfinals: Louise Bessette (Canada), Loie Fallis (Canada), Roman Rabinovich (Israel / Canada), Gilles Vonsattel (Switzerland / USA)

Semifinals and finals: Michel Béroff (France), Earl Blackburn (USA), Katherine Chi (Canada / USA), Imogen Cooper (United Kingdom), Stewart Goodyear (Canada), Ick-Choo Moon (Korea), Orli Shaham (Israel / USA).

Attending the competition

Audiences are welcome to attend the Semifinals and Finals in Calgary, Canada. Semifinals and Finals are also livestreamed on the Honens website. Quarterfinal recitals are not open to the public.

Next competition: 2025

Travel expenses

Honens provides a portion of travel allowance to pianists invited to take part in the Quarterfinals in New York and Frankfurt, as well as round-trip transportation and accommodation to pianists invited to take place in Semifinals. Full details can be found in the Pianist Manual.