Rules & Regulations

GENERAL RULES

1. The competition is open to pianists of all nationalities born between August 1, 1990 and July 15, 2001. In exceptional circumstances, a younger contestant may be accepted.
2. The application process is by recommendation only. We ask our international advisors, among them the heads of the piano departments in some of the leading music conservatories around the world, to submit names of exceptionally gifted pianists who they believe are worthy of our consideration. All recommended pianists are then invited to apply and submit all the necessary documents, which include a top-quality DVD recording, filmed LIVE.
3. Based on this information and upon carefully examining the recordings, a Vendome Prize committee appointed from 3 members of the final jury will select approximately 12 pianists who will go to the semi-finals in Verbier. Each participant in Verbier will have their travel and housing expenses covered. Travel receipts (in economy) must be provided to the organizers.
4. The purpose of the Vendome Prize is to launch pianists into the concert world. As a consequence, we expect candidates to have a large repertoire including at least 6 concertos if a candidate is under the age of 24, and at least 8 concertos for pianists between 24 and 28 years old, on the understanding that not all of them will be up to immediate performance standards. During the competition, the pianists will not be tested on these concertos.
5. Graduation from a Conservatory is not a prerequisite for acceptance in the Competition, but a major successful international career already well under way could be a disqualifying factor.

 

APPLICATION DOCUMENTS AND DVD RECORDING

Candidates will use an online application portal available on the Vendome website (www.vendomeprize.com) and each invited candidate will be sent a password and instructions on how to upload all the materials.

These include:
*a birth certificate or similar official document furnishing proof of date of birth
*a color and/or black-and-white high resolution photograph for the brochure
*a curriculum vitae and a complete list of current repertoire (also chamber music works) which must include at least 6 concertos with orchestra (for pianists up to 24 years of age) or 8 concertos (for pianists between 24 and 28)
*a solo program of minimum 90 minutes (from at least 4 different musical periods which must include a Beethoven Sonata) from which the jury will select the pieces to be performed during the semi-final round, in case the candidate is invited to Verbier. This program can be changed after being submitted, up until 30 days prior to the semi-finals
*a DVD Live (unedited) recording

About the DVD recording:

It must be taped within the last 2 (two) years, it can be of unlimited duration (we recommend at least 60 minutes), and should include solo works of the candidate’s own choice, from at least 3 (three) different musical styles (for example: Baroque, Classic, Romantic, Impressionist, 20th century etc). The only requirement for this recording is that it must include a full Beethoven Sonata.

The DVD can include performances from different concerts/recitals/competitions, as long as it is obvious that they were filmed LIVE.

If the recording was made during a concert/recital/competition, the use of multiple cameras is allowed. If, however, the recording is made in a studio, we strongly recommend using one camera only, filming hands and body from the pianist’s right hand side.

The video recordings should show the candidate’s hands and face very clearly at all times.

When recording large works, it is allowed to stop/cut between movements, but not during the movements/sections.

The repertoire on this DVD may repeat as part of the 90 minute semi-final program, though the jury will favorably notice the diversity of selections and a wide range of repertoire.

 

The SEMI-FINALS in VERBIER

Usually 12 pianists will be invited for the semi-final round, after the selection made on the DVD recordings. It is possible that the number might be lower than 12, or slightly higher (but no more than 14 pianists)
The submitted repertoire for the semi-finals must be at least 90 minutes in length, include major pieces of the piano repertoire and an obligatory Sonata by Beethoven (which can be the same, or a different one, from the recording).
Pianists are advised to take into consideration that the jury will select approximately 45 minutes from this submitted program, therefore shorter pieces are also very desirable. If, for example, a candidate submits only lengthy works such as the Liszt Sonata or Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, they accept the fact that the jury will need to cut their performances and designate certain movements or passages to be performed.
A wide range of styles and diversity in character are highly recommended.
Timings should be provided for all works (including movements).

 

THE FINAL ROUND in VERBIER

The 3 selected finalists will be joined by a string quartet to perform one of the following piano concertos:

Mozart: K 414, 415, 449 (in Mozart’s own version a quattro)
Chopin: E minor, F minor (in Sikorski’s transcription for quartet)

The candidates must prepare one of these concertos in its entirety with the understanding that they will perform either one, or two, or all three movements of their chosen concerto, depending on what the jury will decide. The rest of the program for the final round (up to 55 minutes for each finalist) will be solo selections from the previously submitted repertoire of 90 minutes (see semi-finals).

 

OTHER REGULATIONS

1. The competition committee retains the right to reject any application which does not conform in its entirety to the competition’s regulations.
2. All repertoire must be performed from memory.
3. The playing order of contestants is to be determined by a straw ballot, a system that will apply to every stage of the competition.
4. The day before the semi-final round in Verbier, a meeting will be held with the Chairman of the Jury requiring the attendance of all contestants. The purpose will be to confirm information, obviate misunderstandings, and to let the pianists know which works (selections) they will be expected to perform during the semi-finals.
5. Contestants selected for the rounds in Verbier must remain available at all times throughout the Competition.
6. Latecomers for events may face disqualification.
7. All Jury decisions will be final and not subject to appeal.
8. The Foundation will retain all rights to video or audio recordings of Competition performances.
9. No additional fee will be payable for any performance given in the course of the Competition.

 

PRIZES

Total of $50,000 in prizes includes: First prize $25,000; Second prize $15,000; Third prize $10,000. The first prize winner will play a recital at the 2020 Verbier Festival.
Prize money may be taxable in the country of performance.