Piano Competition Application Tips

The deadline to apply for the 2020 Cleveland International Piano Competition is coming up. As you prepare your application, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The heart of any piano competition application is the video. Strive for the highest quality sound you can manage (let your friend with the new iPhone 11 put that thing to good use). Your face and hands must be clearly visible throughout, but it’s more important for the selection committee to hear you at your best than to have a close-up of your hands or face.
  • Find a quiet space to record–a practice room at a school or conservatory is ideal (make sure there are no brass players practicing next door). Minimize all ambient noise: turn off phones and put a “Do not disturb” sign on the door.
  • You should record your audition for the Cleveland International Piano Competition in one continuous video. Consider it a performance. You may take as much time as you need in between pieces, but the camera must keep rolling.
  • Don’t forget the repertoire requirements: 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, the remaining time can be filled with the repertoire of your choice. You should have 20-25 minutes of playing time.
  • Keep breathing and interpret the music.
  • Give yourself enough time to upload your video–don’t wait until the last minute!
  • If you are selected for the Cleveland Competition, you may play your audition pieces in the first two rounds.
  • The full application and application requirements are on the Cleveland International Piano Competition website.

If you have any questions about the piano competition application, feel free to contact us via email.

Good luck!

Nikita Mndoyants: Past, Present, and Future

Nikita Mndoyants had a year of exciting debuts, important milestones, and more than a few “homecomings” that kept the 2016 Mixon First Prize winner traveling almost constantly.

Among the highlights was a June debut at Carnegie Hall in New York, which Pianist magazine called “a stunning start for Mndoyants.”  He also made his solo debut in the famed Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, performed at the Ruhr Piano Festival in Germany, and appeared as a guest artist with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, conducted by the great Charles Dutoit.

He returned to Cleveland to perform as part of the 2017 Concert Series, the Salle Cortot for a recital in Paris, and also to both the Chopin Festival in Poland and the International Music Festival in Wissembourg, France, where he serves as Artist-in-Residence.

Looking ahead, Mr. Mndoyants has numerous concert engagements in Europe, Russia, and the U.S., plus a tour of the U.K. with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra “Evgeny Svetlanov” and a solo tour of South Africa.

Nikita Mndoyants on Tour

When Nikita Mndoyants won first prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition last year he was awarded more than a cash prize.  He also received a Carnegie Hall debut, a compact disc recording on the Steinway & Sons label, and dozens of concert engagements in the U.S. and abroad.

Earlier this year he began fulfilling those engagements, beginning with two concerts in Europe – one in the Salle Cortot in Paris, and another at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels.  These two concerts were part of the Steinway Prizewinner Concert Network, a collaboration of piano competitions, concert organizers, festivals, and radio stations that introduce select young pianists to international audiences.  CIPC was invited to be a part of this prestigious network last year.

Mr. Mndoyants will perform in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in June, and then follow with summer performances at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York City), Brevard Music Festival (North Carolina), and the Chautauqua Institution (New York).  He will launch the U.S. component of his 2017/18 season with a performance with the Escher String Quartet for the Tuesday Musical Association (Akron, Ohio), continuing with multiple visits to the U.S. that extend into the spring.


Those wishing to catch an upcoming concert can see him right here in Cleveland at
3:00 pm on Sunday, April 30 at the Maltz Performing Arts Center.  He will preview parts of his solo Carnegie Hall program and partner with members of The Cleveland Orchestra for Schumann’s stunning Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44.

While in Cleveland Mr. Mndoyants will visit the schools participating in the PianoKids program for a short performance and a Q&A session with the children.  He also will teach master classes in the piano department of Cleveland State University’s School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.  CIPC extends its thanks to Mr. Mndoyants for sharing his gifts with the young people of our community and to Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland for providing the piano for his performances in the schools.

Festival Events Make CIPC2016 More Than a Competition

Stanislav Khristenko, Anderson and Roe Piano Duo, and Dan Tepfer.

While more than 30 thoroughly amazing contestants are battling it out on the stages of Gartner Auditorium and Severance Hall, the “festival” component of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and Festival will offer an amazing array of concert, enrichment, education, and community outreach programs.  These events, which are supported by a major grant from the Cleveland Foundation, will be held in four University Circle venues, as well as multiple locations throughout the Greater Cleveland community.


First up is 2013 Mixon First Prize winner Stanislav Khristenko, who will perform at the opening ceremony in Gartner Auditorium on July 24. Mr. Khristenko will present Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, a solo work by Johannes Brahms, then collaborate with CityMusic Cleveland for George Gershwin’s hugely popular Rhapsody in Blue. Joel Smirnoff will conduct.

Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, hailed as “the most dynamic duo of this generation” by the San Francisco Classical Voice, will electrify the stage of the Maltz Performing Arts Center at 8:00 pm on Saturday, July 30. Known for their Emmy-nominated music videos, chart-topping albums, and explosive performances, this extraordinary duo will present a concert of works by Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel – plus their own brilliant interpretations of Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, and Radiohead. Continue reading

2106 Winner’s Prize Package Largest Ever

The winner of the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition will receive the most substantial prize package in the event’s history, thanks to the generosity of committed patrons and the increasing global awareness of CIPC.

To begin, the first prize cash award, known as the Mixon First Prize in honor of its donors, Mal and Barbara Mixon, has been increased from $50,000 to $75,000. The Mixons have been providing the first prize cash award since 2005, and it is among the most generous of any piano competition in the world.

In addition to some 50 concert engagements in the U.S., the winner has been invited to perform in a number of prestigious European venues, including the Salle Cortot (Paris), the Barletta Piano Festival (Italy), the Armonie della Sera Piano Festival (Italy), the Duszniki Festival (Poland), and the Vilnius Piano Festival (Lithuania). Continue reading

Performance Order Announced

fbpost_1200x1200A drawing has been conducted to determine performance order for the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition & Festival.  Pianists will perform in this order for the first and second round.  The eight contestants who advance to the semi-final round will also remain in the original order.  Performance order for the chamber music and concerto phases of the final round will be based on repertoire.  Click HERE to watch a video of the drawing. Continue reading

35 Pianists Invited to CIPC 2016

fbpost_1200x1200Thirty-five contestants have been invited to participate in the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition & Festival this summer. They were selected from among more than 320 applicants, the largest number in the history of the event.

The 35 contestants range in age from 19 to 30. Yuanfan Yang, who won the 2015 CIPC Young Artists Competition, is the youngest contestant at age 19. Thirty-year-old Shen Lu and Ronaldo Rolim are the oldest. There are five women and 30 men, representing a total of 15 countries, including Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Continue reading

PianoKids Comes to the Competition!

PrintThe 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition and Festival will welcome a very new and different audience this summer as 50 young children participate in PianoKids at CIPC. This special, all-day version of the in-school PianoKids will involve several artists from the ArtsConnect program, including Andris Koh, Aniela Eddy, and Natsumi Shibagaki – the original PianoKids teaching team.

Aged between 8 and 12 years, the children are older than the pre-schoolers taught during the school year and able to enjoy several hours of a “day camp” experience. CIPC is working with the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland to offer the program and help provide supervision. The event will be held at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Continue reading

CIPC Featured in International Piano

Check out this great article about the 2016 Competition from the March/April issue of International Piano magazine!  And thanks to our friends at Rhinegold Publishing you can read the last two complete editions free of charge!  Just follow this link to fill out the registration form.  Once you have filled out the form, you will then receive an email stating that you have access to their website.  Click on the link, scroll to the bottom of the page, and enter the promo code “CIPC16.” http://www.rhinegold.co.uk/registration/

Continue reading

CIPC Joins Steinway Prizewinner Concert Network

apolloThe Cleveland International Piano Competition has become the first U.S. competition to join the Steinway Prizewinner Concert Network, a collaboration of piano competitions, concert organizers, festivals, and radio stations that introduce select young pianists to international audiences.

As a result of this new partnership, the Mixon First Prize winner of the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition has been engaged for two performances. These include recitals at the famed Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels on January 25, 2017 and the Philharmonie Luxembourg on January 26, 2017.

“This is outstanding news for our future winners, who will now receive the immediate benefit of top-notch introductions to both European and American audiences,” said CIPC President and CEO Pierre van der Westhuizen. “It also speaks very highly of the talents of our past winners, whose amazing skills have helped to build the reputation of the CIPC around the world.”

Steinway & Sons founded the network in 2007 together with the Gewandhaus, Leipzig in order to help young, highly talented pianists gain access to top-ranked international venues and influential audiences. Since then, prizewinners from 20 competitions have performed 150 concerts in 25 different venues.

“As one of the most renowned American competitions, we are very happy that the CIPC is joining the network and becoming our first partner in the U.S.” said Gerrit Glaner, Head of the Concert and Artist Department at Steinway & Sons, Hamburg.

Photo by Roger Mastroianni.