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Guide to the Liszt Competition


The Liszt Competition Utrecht actively presents, develops and promotes piano talents from around the world. In so doing, it has become one of the prominent gateways to the international professional classical music scene for young musicians. The starting point is the triennial International Liszt Competition, held at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands, which was founded in 1986 and since has built a reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions. The role model for the competition is pianist, composer and visionary Franz Liszt (1811-1886).

Previous winners include Enrico Pace (1989), Igor Roma (1996), Yundi Li (1999), Yingdi Sun(2005), Vitaly Pisarenko (2008), Nino Gvetadze (2008), Mariam Batsashvili (2014) and Alexander Ullman (2017). The Liszt Competition is known for its bold repertoire choices, and each edition focuses on different unknown pieces. In its 12th edition (2020), the competition will have an even stronger artistic profile, with a central theme: ‘Beethoven’. The compulsory repertoire will include Liszt’s transcriptions of song cycles and the symphonies of Beethoven, as well as the Fantasy for piano and orchestra based on themes of Beethoven’s Ruins of Athens. Furthermore, original compositions of Beethoven are allowed as part of the free choice repertoire.

The 12th edition of the Liszt Competition will take place from 16 to 28 March 2020, with selection rounds in September 2019.

Competition Essentials

The Liszt Competition is known for the professional support it offers its laureates.

Applications Open: 1 January 2019

Applications Deadline: 1 May 2019

International Selection Rounds: September 2019 in New York, Moscow, Tbilisi, Shanghai, Hong Kong & Utrecht

Click here for the Liszt Competition site and repertoire.

Fact file
Deadline01 May 2019
Finals25 - 28 Mar 2020
WhereUtrecht, Netherlands
Age groups20-29

Over € 50.000 in prize money

Three-year Career Development Programme: including a CD release, PR package, media training and concert engagements in more than 25 countries worldwide.

Alexander Ullmann First Prize Winner 2017
Mariam Batsashvili First Prize Winner 2014
Recent Laureates: What are their stories?
« Winner Batsashvili turns every phrase into something special. »
Dutch Newspaper, NRC Handelsblad
« It was the poetry and the rehotic with which the experienced Ullman won the competition. »