- The competition is open to pianists of all nationalities born on or after November 1st, 1993. There is no lower age limit, though considering the requirements of the competition we generally don’t invite pianists younger than 16.
- The application process is by recommendation only. We ask our international advisors (see “Board of Advisors”) 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 video recording, filmed without edits. The application deadline is June 15, 2021.
- Upon carefully examining the recordings, the Vendome Prize pre-selection committee (see “Jury members”) will select approximately 12 pianists who will be invited to the semi-finals in New York. Each semi-finalist will have their travel and housing expenses covered. Travel receipts (in economy) must be provided to the organizers; reimbursement is typically made after the end of the competition.
- 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 22, and at least 8 concertos for pianists aged 22 to 27. During the competition, the pianists will not be tested on these concertos.
- 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 VIDEO RECORDING
Candidates will use an online application portal available on the Vendome website (www.vendomeprize.com) and each invited pianist will be sent a password and instructions on how to fill out the application form and upload the following materials:
*a copy of your passport or similar official document furnishing proof of date of birth
*one headshot photo (submitted electronically)
*a curriculum vitae
*a complete list of current repertoire (also chamber music works) which must include at least 6 concertos with orchestra (for pianists up to 22 years of age) or at least 8 concertos (for pianists between 22 and 27)
*one or several links to unedited video recordings. The best way is to upload your file on YouTube and mark it UNLISTED (unless it is already public, if you or someone else uploaded it previously). Please do not send us actual video files as attachments.
About the video recording:
- It must be filmed on or after January 1st, 2020.
- It must be at least 60 minutes long, but it could be longer if the candidate wishes to submit more.
- It 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 specific requirement for this recording is that it must include at least two contrasting movements from a Beethoven Sonata.
- If the pianist wants to include a performance with orchestra, that is allowed as long as it represents not more than 33% (one third) of the total timing of the submitted video recording(s).
- The video submission can be made of multiple performances from different concerts/recitals/competitions, as well as studio recordings, as long as it is obvious that they were all filmed without edits. 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 recording(s) should show the candidate’s hands and face very clearly at all times. Each piece on the video recording(s) must be listed with complete title, as well as starting points of each work/movement for easier navigation. When recording large works in a studio, it is allowed to stop/cut between movements, but not during the movements/sections (i.e. no edits).
THE SEMI-FINAL ROUND
- Usually twelve (12) pianists will advance to the semi-final round, after the selection made on video recordings. It is possible that the number might be lower than 12.
- The submitted repertoire for the semi-finals must be at least 90 minutes in length, include major pieces of the piano repertoire, among them a complete Sonata by Beethoven.
- Repertoire submitted for the video application MAY be repeated in the semi finals.
- Timings should be provided for all works (including movements).
- 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.
- It is possible that, after your submission of the 90 minute program (see paragraph 2), the Chairman of the Jury or the Director of the Competition might reach out to you and discuss your choices. This will be in order to identify together the best way to construct a well-rounded and highly effective program.
- About two weeks prior to the semi-final round in New York, the candidates will be informed which exact selections (works, movements) from their submitted 90-minute program have been chosen by the jury for their performance in the semi-final. Usually, each pianist will perform about 45 minutes of their submitted repertoire.
THE FINAL ROUND
Three (3) selected finalists will each perform a one-hour solo recital.
There is one compulsory piece that all three pianists must perform: Intermezzo op. 118, no. 6 in E flat minor by Johannes Brahms (Please note that this piece is in addition to the 90 minutes program submitted previously and can not be performed during the semi-final round)
The remaining repertoire for this 60-minute performance will be chosen together by the Chairman of the Jury and the 3 finalists, from the already submitted program (see paragraph 2 from “The Semi-Final Round”).
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 in the semi-finals is to be determined by a straw ballot, and will be kept the same for the final round.
4. The day before the beginning of the semi-final round in New York, a meeting will be held with the Chairman of the Jury requiring the attendance of all contestants.
5. Contestants selected for the LIVE rounds in New York 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 Vendome Prize will retain all rights to photos taken during the competition, as well as to the video or audio recordings of all performances.
9. No additional fee will be payable for any performance given in the course of the Competition.
Vendome Grand Prize: $30,000, a recording on the Steinway & Sons label and several international performances
Each of the other two finalists receives an award of $5,000
Vendome Virtuoso Prize for the highest ranked semi-finalist not admitted to the final round: $2,000
Travel and housing expenses are covered for each of the 12 semi-finalists.
Prize money may be taxable in the country of performance.