2020 Cleveland International Piano Competition

Online Application

Paper Application

Below is information regarding the 2020 Cleveland International Piano Competition and Festival.
Click the “+” button to view the relevant information.

To apply, click the “Online Application” button above.
Be sure to select the correct application from the drop-down menu on the left-hand side of the page.

Competition Highlights

Dates: July 26 – August 9, 2020

  • Winner receives the Mixon First Prize of $75,000 USD plus a New York debut, management services, and a recording on the Steinway & Sons label.
  • All contestants perform two rounds.
  • All contestants receive travel assistance of $1,000 USD.
  • Special prizes for best performances of Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Baroque, American, Russian, and Contemporary.
  • Total cash prizes, including finalist and special prizes, of more than $175,000 USD.
  • Room and board for all contestants during the competition.
Application Information

Online Application Guidelines

Online Application Information and Instructions

  • The 2020 Cleveland International Piano Competition and Festival will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, USA from July 26 – August 9, 2020.
  • The Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities who will be between the ages of 18 and 32 on August 8, 2020.
  • Participation in the Competition is conditional on a candidate submitting the required documents and recordings (See “Video Recording Requirements,” below) by November 26, 2019 (late submission: December 17, 2019, late fee applies.)
  • Application Fees: if submitted by 11:59 pm, EST November 26, 2019: $150. If submitted after November 26, and by December 17: $200 ($50 late fee).
  • No applications will be accepted after 11:59 pm EST on December 17, 2019.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Submitted materials will not be returned.
  • Candidates’ documents and recordings will be assessed by the Screening Jury.
  • The Screening Jury will admit 24 contestants to compete in Cleveland.
  • The list of candidates invited to Cleveland will be made public by May 1, 2020.

Video Recording Requirements

Repertoire requirements for video audition recording: one movement of a sonata by Mozart, Haydn or Beethoven and one etude by Chopin from op. 10 or 25. Once the requirements are met, remaining time can be filled with the repertoire of the candidate’s choice. You may the pieces in any order you wish.

An unedited recording of the applicant must be submitted either online or on a DVD by mail to the CIPC Office as follows:

  • Audition should be recorded in one continuous unedited video, meaning there shall be only one video submitted with the application. Just as in a performance, the camera should keep rolling in between pieces. Do not include titles, fadeouts, or video transitions.
  • The recording must be of high technical quality.
  • The applicant’s face and hands must be clearly visible throughout the recording, with no movement from the camera.
  • The recording must be made within 12 months of the submission of the application.
  • Minimum duration is 20 minutes. Maximum duration is 25 minutes.
  • Only solo piano works will be accepted.
  • The recording must be unedited. Post-production handling that affects the acoustic quality of the recording (such as bias, equalization, and noise reduction) is permitted but must be stated.

Online Application

Paper Application


Opening Ceremony
July 26

First Round
July 27 – 28
All candidates perform 20-minute solo programs

Second Round
July 29 – July 31
All candidates perform 30-minute solo programs

Semi-Final Round
August 1 – August 2
Eight candidates perform 40-minute solo programs

Final Round, Chamber Music
August 4 and 5
Four finalists perform with Escher String Quartet

Final Round, Concerto
August 7 and 8
Four finalists perform with The Cleveland Orchestra

Awards Ceremony
August 9


Matti Raekallio, Finland, Chairman
Hung-Kuan Chen, China
Noriko Ogawa, Japan
Matan Porat, Israel/Germany
Mūza Rubackytė, Lithuania/France
Margarita Shevchenko, Russia
Balázs Szokolay, Hungary
Mira Yevtich, Serbia/Australia

Competition Repertoire

First Round and Second Round
Use the requirements listed below to choose repertoire for the first two rounds. Over the course of the first round and the second round, each of the requirements listed below must be represented once. Once the category requirements are met, remaining time can be filled with the repertoire of the candidate’s choice. A category may be repeated, but not a piece.

Candidates may present their choice of works in any order, provided the first round performances does not exceed 20 minutes, and second round performances do not exceed 30 minutes. All contestants will perform two rounds before the first jury vote.

  • One Chopin etude
  • One sonata by Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven

Semi-Final Round
Use the requirements listed below to choose repertoire for the semi-final round. The semi-final round will consist of a recital not to exceed 40 minutes. Once the category requirements are met, remaining time can be filled with the repertoire of the candidate’s choice. A category may be repeated, but not a piece. The program should demonstrate the candidate’s ability to present a stylistically diverse program.

  • One work or group of works by Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, or Schumann (choose one composer)
  • Original transcription(s) to be provided by the Cleveland International Piano Competition (not to exceed eight minutes in length)
Final Round, Chamber Music

Choose one work from the following list:

BRAHMS, Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34
DVORAK, Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81
FRANCK, Piano Quintet in F Minor
SCHUMANN, Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 44
SHOSTAKOVICH, Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57

Final Round, Concerto
Choose one concerto from the following list:

BEETHOVEN, Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
BEETHOVEN, Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19
BEETHOVEN, Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
BEETHOVEN, Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
BEETHOVEN, Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73
BRAHMS, Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
BRAHMS, Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83
CHOPIN, Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11
CHOPIN, Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
GRIEG, Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
MOZART, Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453
MOZART, Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466
MOZART, Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467
MOZART, Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491
MOZART, Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503
MOZART, Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595
PROKOFIEV, Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26
RACHMANINOFF, Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
RACHMANINOFF, Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30
SCHUMANN, Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
TCHAIKOVSKY, Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23

Competition Rules and Regulations
  • Between twenty-four (24) and thirty (30) contestants will be accepted to participate in the competition and their names will be announced to the public.
  • The signing of the acceptance form constitutes acceptance by the contestant of all rules and regulations. The original English version of these rules governs all interpretations.
  • All contestants will receive travel assistance of at least $1,000.
  • While participating in the competition, all contestants will be provided with housing,
  • meals, practice facilities, and transportation.
  • All works are to be performed from memory and in their entirety, with the following exception: scores are permitted for the chamber music round.
  • Repertoire must be different for each round.
  • Submitted repertoire is subject to review by competition officials.
  • The order of appearance of pianists will be determined by a drawing conducted by competition officials that will be recorded and made available for viewing online.
  • Jury members will not make contact with contestants while such contestant is continuing to compete.
  • Contestants cannot be current students to any members of the jury.  It is preferable that contestants have not had a master class with a member of the jury within the past six months.
  • Any jury member who has taught a contestant within the last five years, or who will teach a contestant in the immediate future, or has a family relationship with a contestant, must abstain from voting on that contestant.  Jury members may also waive their vote for personal or professional reasons.  All declarations of abstentions will be made the night before the competition begins and will be maintained throughout the competition.
  • All ballots will be written and signed without discussion and submitted to the Jury Chairman.  The Jury Chairman will review the ballots and then submit them to competition officials for scoring.
  • Jury members will not discuss their opinions and decisions regarding proceedings, marks, or rankings outside the jury room.
  • Jury members will score each contestant on a range of 1 to 25 (except for their declared abstentions).
  • To balance the scores of a consistently high-scoring juror with a consistently low-scoring juror the scores of all jurors are processed to the same statistical distribution by computer.  This scoring procedure overcomes a potential difficulty because it virtually eliminates the impact of any juror’s abstention. Without this balancing, it is possible that a contestant who is a student of a consistently high-scoring juror could be hurt when that judge necessarily abstains from voting for that candidate.
  • The decision of the jury is final and not subject to questions, revisions, or appeal.
  • The competition will consist of four separate rounds:  first round (all contestants); second round (all contestants); semi-final round (eight contestants); chamber music round and final concerto round (four contestants).
  • The names of the candidates for the second, third, and fourth rounds will be announced to the public in performance order without regard to rank.  After the fourth round is completed, the names of the four finalists will be announced in order of rank.
  • Beginning with the semi-final round, after the score is determined for each contestant, a cumulative score will be determined as follows:
    • At the end of the semi-final round, the first and second rounds together count for 50% of the score, and the semi-final round counts for 50% of the score.
    • At the end of the final round, the first and second rounds together count for 25% of the score; the semi-final round counts for 25% of the score; chamber music round counts for 25% of the score; and the final concerto round counts for 25% of the score.
  • All announced prizes will be awarded.
  • Prizes may be subject to U.S. income tax laws.
  • If any unexpected situations which arise in the execution of these guidelines, the Jury Chairman, the Chair of the Board of Directors, and the President & CEO will resolve such situations.