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Guide to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Laureates: Where Are They Now?

Entry conditions

The Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities. First prize winners of previous Van Cliburn International Piano Competitions are not eligible to compete. Applicants must have been born after June 12, 1990, and on or before May 27, 2003. Videos will be submitted through the online application process. Submissions must be between 35 and 40 minutes in length. The repertoire will consist of works chosen by the pianist and may be selected from works offered for the Competition recital rounds. Only complete works will be accepted. The video must be filmed with the pianist’s face and hands in the frame at all times.

Application deadline for the 2021 competition

October 15, 2020

Schedule of 2021 Competition

The competition will take place between May 27–June 12, 2021

Screening auditions (January / February 2021)

Approximately 135 applicants perform 40-minute recitals in eight cities across Asia, Europe, and North America

Preliminary round (May 27–29, 2021) Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU

30 competitors perform a 40-minute recital, to include commissioned work of 4-6 minutes by Stephen Hough

Quarterfinal round (May 30–31, 2021) Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU

18 competitors perform a 40-minute recital

Semifinal round (June 2–6, 2021) Bass Performance Hall

12 competitors in two phases:

  1. 60-minute recital
  2. Mozart concerto to be selected from a list with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Nicholas McGegan

Final round (June 8–12, 2021) Bass Performance Hall

6 competitors perform two concertos, to be selected from two separate lists, with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Marin Alsop.

Recital repertoire not to be repeated in Preliminary, Quarterfinal, and Semifinal Rounds.


Prizes and Career Management Packages to be announced January 2020

Previous laureates

Ralph Votapek (1962), Radu Lupu (1966), Barry Douglas (1985), Olga Kern (2001), Noboyuki Tsujii (2009), Haochen Zhang (2009), Vadym Kholodenko (2013), Beatrice Rana (2013), Yekwoon Sunwoo (2017)

Jury of the 2021 Competition

Marin Alsop, jury chairman (United States), Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (France), Rico Gulda (Austria), Andreas Haefliger (Switzerland), Wu Han (Taiwan/United States), Stephen Hough (United Kingdom), Anne-Marie McDermott (United States), Gabriela Montero (Venezuela), Orli Shaham (Israel/United States), Lilya Zilberstein (Russia)

Attending the competition

All rounds of competition are open to the public. Premium ticket packages will go on sale Spring 2020.

For more information please visit the website of The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Fact file
Deadline15 Oct 2020
Finals08 - 12 Jun 2021
WhereFort Worth, United States
Age groups18 - 30 (Applicants must have been born after June 12, 1990, and on or before May 27, 2003)
Beatrice Rana © Nicolas Bets

Honesty and generosity: Beatrice Rana

Since winning the Silver Medal at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Beatrice Rana has exceeded expectations through her consistently soulful, honest performances and probing musical intelligence. 
Watch - previous winners