About Piano Cleveland

Young Artists Return in 2018

August 10th 2017
Young Artists

A little more than two years ago a select group of exceptionally talented young pianists surprised and delighted the audiences, critics, and jury members in attendance at the 2015 CIPC for Young Artists. The level of skill and poise displayed by the young virtuosos was, according to the Plain Dealer, “remarkable to behold,” and seasoned veterans of competition watching were captivated by their performances.

CIPC is pleased to announce that CIPC for Young Artists will be held again this year, presenting another opportunity for young pianists to hone their performance skills and audiences to catch an early look at rising stars.

The event will be held May 30 through June 9, 2018. Twenty pianists in two age groups will be invited to participate following a rigorous, worldwide preliminary screening round: ten in the junior division (ages 12 to 14) and ten in the senior division (ages 15 to 17). The opening ceremony, solo rounds, guest artist performances, and master classes will be held at the Cleveland Institute of Music. The final round, during which three finalists from each division will perform with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, will be held at the Maltz Performing Arts Center.

Contestants will be announced March 1.

Once in Cleveland, all contestants will perform before audiences and a second, competition jury. The jury will hear all contestants in two solo rounds, then vote as follows: advance six contestants from each division to the solo semi-final round; advance three contestants from each division to the final concerto round, where each pianist will perform with an orchestra; rank all finalists and award first, second, and third prizes in each division.

The 11-day event will be highlighted by a number of additional concerts, events, and activities designed to broaden the educational experience for the young pianists and add to the enjoyment of piano music enthusiasts. Of particular interest is the opening ceremony, which will include a concerto performance by Leonid Nediak with Cleveland’s Contemporary Youth Orchestra. Mr. Nediak charmed the audience in 2015 on his way to winning the Audience Prize and second prize in the Junior Division; the Contemporary Youth Orchestra is a professional orchestra of young musicians that imbues every performance with excitement, energy and joy.

Tickets for all events will be available in January. Please read on for additional details.


May 30
Opening Ceremony
Cleveland Institute of Music

Performance by Leonid Nediak and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra
All contestants and members of the jury will be introduced on stage, and an open reception will follow the performance.

May 31 – June 1
First Round
Cleveland Institute of Music

All junior division contestants perform 20-minute solo programs
All senior division contestants perform 25-minute solo programs

June 2 – 3
Second Round
Cleveland Institute of Music

All junior division contestants perform 20-minute solo programs
All senior division contestants perform 25-minute solo programs

June 4
Cleveland Institute of Music

Guest artist performance by Drew Petersen, winner of the 2017 American Pianist Association Award and the accompanying $100,000 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship.

June 5 – 6
Semi-final Round
Cleveland Institute of Music

Six contestants from the junior division perform 30-minute solo programs
Six contestants from the senior division perform 45-minute solo programs

Cleveland Institute of Music
Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank, both of whom are previous CIPC medalists, return to perform together for Cleveland audiences.

June 8
Final Round
Maltz Performing Arts Center

Three contestants from the junior division and three contestants from the senior division perform as soloists with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Gerhardt Zimmermann conductor. Winners will be announced on stage following the performances.

June 9
Award Ceremony and Encore Performances
Bravissimo Gala

Location to be determined
Prizes will be awarded and the medalists will perform encore recitals, followed by a celebration gala to benefit the Cleveland International Piano Competition.


Paul Schenly, Chair (USA)
Emanuela Friscioni (Italy)
Stanislav Khristenko (Ukraine)
Caroline Oltmanns (Germany)
Pierre van der Westhuizen, President and CEO, Cleveland International Piano Competition


Paul Schenly, Chair (USA)
Antonio di Cristofano (Italy)
Alexander Ghindin (Russia)
Olga Gradojevich (USA/Serbia)
Yaron Kohlberg (Israel)
Leonel Morales (Spain/Cuba)
Marco Sollini (Italy)
Truida van der Walt (South Africa)


Senior Division Prizes
First Prize: $25,000, presented by Zoya Reyzis
Second Prize: $10,000
Third Prize: $5,000

Junior Division Prizes
First Prize: $10,000
Second Prize: $5,000
Third Prize: $2,500

Additional Prizes
A guest artist concerto performance during a future season of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Gerhardt Zimmermann, conductor.

The artist selected to perform with the Canton Symphony Orchestra also has been invited to perform a solo recital on the Faculty Artist Series at Malone University, a private liberal arts college located in Canton, Ohio.

An invitation from the International Franz Liszt Competition in the Netherlands to perform at Amsterdam’s famous Grachtenfestival in the summer of 2018.  Participation includes includes the Competition’s Master Class Academy in Utrecht and Amsterdam, which features master classes in solo piano and chamber music, an entertaining cooking clinic, media training, and guided tours of Dutch cultural gems such as the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum.  Transportation, board, lodging, and tuition will be provided.

An invitation to participate in Pianofest in the Hamptons, a summer festival offering exceptionally concentrated study to a small group of pianists selected by audition.

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