About Piano Cleveland

Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists Returns in 2018

February 05th 2017
Young Artists

CIPC for Young Artists took Cleveland by storm in its first international iteration in 2015, with sensational young pianists delighting audiences and critics with their skill, poise, and unbridled joy in performing.  We are thrilled to again present the brightest young talent currently studying in music schools and conservatories worldwide this coming summer.

The event will be held from May 30 through June 9 in three venues:  the first three (solo) rounds will be held in Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music; the final round, during which six finalists perform with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, will be held in the Maltz Performing Arts Center; and an award ceremony, featuring the announcement of the winners and their encore performances, will be held in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art on the final day.  The Bravissimo party will follow immediately afterward in the museum’s Ames Family Atrium.

In addition to contestant performances, four very special guest artists will perform recital concerts on various evenings throughout the 11 days of the Young Artists competition.  Leonid Nediak, who won second prize (Junior Division) and audience prize at the 2015 CIPC for Young Artists, will kick things off at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, May 30.  Leonid will perform with Cleveland’s amazing Contemporary Youth Orchestra, a professionally-run orchestra of young students recognized for their skill, energy, excitement, and joy.  Drew Petersen, winner of the 2017 American Pianists Award, will perform on Monday, June 4, and the duo of Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee – both of whom are CIPC medalists – will wrap it up on Thursday, June 7.

Members of the jury and guest teachers will present master classes and lectures to contestants and local piano students on most mornings of the competition.  These classes, which are free and open to the public, present a wonderful learning opportunity for piano students, their parents, and everyone interested in learning more about the highly creative process of learning piano music.

CIPC also is pleased to present a new free event this year, Dvořák and Donuts, a fun-filled exploration of music for youngsters and their parents.  The PianoKids Trio will present a signature program of interactive musical entertainment; tables will be set up for music-related coloring; clips from Disney’s amazing Fantasia 2000 will be shown; and vouchers will be available to watch the day’s performance.  Donuts and other refreshments will be served!

The contestants themselves will compete two age groups:  Juniors (age 12 to 14) and Seniors (age 15 to 17).  Prizes will be awarded as follows:

Senior Division
First Prize: $25,000
Second Prize: $10,000
Third Prize: $5,000, presented by George Milbourn, in memory of Peg Milbourn

Junior Division
First Prize: $10,000, presented by the Payne Fund
Second Prize: $5,000, presented by Clara T. Rankin
Third Prize: $2,500, presented by Brian and Gina Jeckering

The judging is done by two separate juries.  The Screening Jury chooses the contestants from among the applicants.  This year 182 young pianists representing 28 countries applied – an increase over 2015 (162 applicants).  Ten contestants in each age group will be invited from among these 182 applicants to participate in the competition.

Once in Cleveland, the contestants will be scored by the Competition Jury, which is responsible for determining the finalists, and ultimately ranking them into first, second, and third place.  Throughout the process, the jury does not discuss the contestants among themselves, nor do they have any contact with students who are still competing.  They also recuse themselves from scoring any contestant they may have taught at any point.  These steps are taken to maintain the highest levels of fairness and integrity to the jury process.


Paul Schenly, United States
Artistic Director of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and is the Founder/Director of the summer festival “Pianofest in the Hamptons.”

Hyoung-Joon Chang, South Korea
Professor of Music at Seoul National University.

Emanuela Friscioni, Italy
Member of the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music; founder of the Classical Piano Performance Academy at Cuyahoga Community College.

Caroline Oltmanns, Germany
Head of the Piano Department at the Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University.

Pierre van der Westhuizen, South Africa/United States
President and CEO, Cleveland International Piano Competition.


Paul Schenly, United States
Artistic Director of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and is the Founder/Director of the summer festival “Pianofest in the Hamptons.”

Antonio di Cristofano, Italy
Artistic Director of the International Piano Competition “Alexander Scriabin” (Italy).

Alexander Ghindin, Russia
Mixon First Prize winner, 2007 Cleveland International Piano Competition.

Yaron Kohlberg, Israel
Second Prize winner, 2007 Cleveland International Piano Competition.

Leonel Morales, Spain/Cuba
Professor of Music and Performing Arts at the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio (Madrid), Professor of the Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum University Salzburg, and Professor at the Conservatori Superior de Música de Castelló (Spain).

Olga Radosavljevich, United States/Serbia
Member of the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1960.

Marco Sollini, Italy
President and Artistic Director of the Marche Musica Association, Founder and Artistic Director of the Armonie della Sera Chamber Music Festival.

Truida van der Walt, South Africa
Senior lecturer in piano at North-West University, Potchefstroom.


Tickets for all events – including subscription packages – will be available to CIPC donors beginning January 15.  General public ticket sales begin March 1.  Please call 216-707-5397 for more information.


Check out these great posts

Q&A with Martín García García


This past week, Piano Cleveland spoke with Martín García García, Mixon First Prize Winner of the 2021 Cleveland International Piano Competition, to understand how he is preparing for his upcoming debut at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, October 12th.

Continue Reading

The History of Hearing Your Favorite Tunes on the Piano


Guest blog post by music historian and performer, Anna O’Connell. This year at the Cleveland International Piano Competition will mark the debut of a new exciting feature: Piano Transcriptions!

Continue Reading