2023 Rules and Regulations



  1. The 2023 Sydney International Piano Competition (the Competition) is open to pianists of all nationalities born between 23 July 1990 and 6 July 2005.
  2. Admission will be limited to a maximum of thirty two (32) competitors.   
  3. A reserve list of competitors will be chosen.    
  4. A selection committee of four judges, including Artistic Director Piers Lane AO, will be responsible for the choice of competitors from the applications received.


  1. Artistic Director Piers Lane AO will be non-voting Chairman of the Jury.
  2. An international voting jury of seven will be assembled.
  3. Members of the jury will be published on the website when announced.


  1. Applications open Friday 1 July 2022.
  2. Applications close Monday 14 November 2022 at 11.59am Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).
  3. A non-refundable application fee of USD $205 is payable.
  4. Applications must be made online via Acceptd.com   
  5. Applications will be checked by the Office of the Sydney International Piano Competition (The Sydney) and formal notice of acceptance or rejection of the application will be sent via email no later than the end of February 2023.   
  6. Reserve competitors will be notified when the list of 32 successful applicants is announced.  
  7. The application fee must be paid online through Acceptd.com   
  8. Once applications are submitted NO changes to repertoire can be made.
  9. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  10. The Sydney reserves the right to request additional information as required.
  11. All supporting documents must be uploaded and submitted at the time of final application.
  12. Supporting documents will be used to promote the competition and the selected 32 competitors in printed and electronic forms.
  13. The applicant grants to The Sydney the right to use any and all submitted documents free of any rights, fees or charges.


  1. Late applications will be accepted up to Monday 28 November 2022 at 11.59am AEDT, upon which a non-refundable late application fee of USD $280 is payable.
  2. Late Late applications will be accepted up to Monday 5 December 2022 at 11.59am AEDT, upon which a non-refundable late late application fee of USD $355 is payable.  
  3. All rules 3d – 3m will apply to late applications.   

5. Postponement

  1. In the event of the Competition being cancelled in 2023 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Competition will be delayed to July 2024.   
  2. A decision will be made by late 2022 should this be necessary.  
  3. Any applicant selected via Acceptd prior to a postponement decision being made and who subsequently may have exceeded the upper age limit in 2024, will still be eligible for the postponed Competition.  
  4. Application fees are non-refundable in the event of postponement of the Competition.


  1. All documents must be submitted online at the time of application.
  2. Audition video(s) must include the following:
    i. Brief biography of no less than 150 words and no more than 500 words.
    ii. Copy of current passport clearly showing all personal details.
    iii. Current professional photographs. Must be 300dpi resolution and a minimum size of 1.8MB. Colour versions only are acceptable.
    iv. Documentation of musical studies.
    v. The names and contact details of at least two musicians of standing who would be happy to support the application if asked.  Email addresses and phone numbers must be provided.
    vi. Documentation of musical activity in the last five years. This may include participation in international piano competitions, awards, concert appearances, programs and reviews, upcoming engagements and any commercial recordings.


  1. The recording may be a single, unedited recording of the applicant or the application may be made up of separate unedited recordings. In all cases, total time of all recordings submitted must not be less than 20 minutes nor more than 35 minutes and must show the face and hands of the applicant at all times.
  2. Must contain solo piano works by at least three composers.  
  3. One of the works performed on the video(s) may be repeated by accepted competitors in the Preliminaries or Semi Finals.   
  4. Movements of works are acceptable for the audition video but full works are required for the Preliminaries and/or Semi Final rounds repertoire.   
  5. Must be made within 12 months of the submission of the application.   
  6. The recording must be of excellent technical quality and preferably recorded professionally.   
  7. Post production affecting the sound quality is permitted, but must be stated.
  8. Only solo piano works will be accepted.   
  9. The recording must be clearly and visibly labelled on the video screen for 3 – 5 seconds, showing the applicants full name and the details of where and when it was made. This can be either a separate slide or an overlay at the start of the video.   

Competition Details


a. All Rounds will be open to the general public, except for the preselection process.
b. The Preliminaries will consist of two Rounds: 

    The repertoire is Own Choice and should contain pieces by at least two composers. 
    i. The repertoire is Own Choice and should contain pieces by at least two composers.
    ii. Round 2 should contain different composers from Round 1.

c. A twenty-first century Australian piece or pieces (ie composed after 1 January 2000) must be included in either Round 1 or Round 2. The piece or pieces should total a minimum of 7 minutes. A list of suggested possibilities is shown here. If you wish to play individual movements of larger works, please contact The Sydney for approval.
d. Twelve competitors will be selected to advance to the Semi-finals.
e. The Semi-finals will consist of two Rounds: 

      i. The repertoire is Own Choice and should consist of two or more pieces.
      ii. The program should be built around a theme of the competitor’s choice.
      iii. Competitors will be asked to give verbal introductions to their programs.
      iv. The introductions may be given at the commencement of the recital or else between major groups of pieces. 
      v. The introductions should be in English, but special consideration will be given to performers whose first language is not English.  
      vi. The introductions may be just factual, or more personal, serious or witty.  
      vii. They should reveal the competitor’s ability to communicate verbally with an audience, while highlighting the connections between the pieces chosen for the program.
      viii. Short encore/s must be included in the performance. The titles(s) must be announced from the stage.  
      ix. The timing of the encore(s) and verbal introductions must be included within the 70 minute time limit.   
      i. Competitors should prepare a set of pieces (sonata + encore) made up of pieces chosen from each of Group 1 (violin and piano works) and Group 2 (cello and piano works) below.   
      ii. When the results of the Preliminaries are announced, Semi-finalists will be informed as to whether in the Semi-finals they will be performing their chosen pieces from either Group 1 of Group 2.    
      iii. Six Semi-finalists will perform violin and piano works (from Group 1); six Semi-finalists will perform cello and piano works (from Group 2).

Group 1 
Please select ONE pair of pieces from this list to be performed with violinist Andrew Haveron. 

Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 7 in C minor Op. 30 No.2 + Jules Massenet/Martin Pierre Carsick: Méditation from Thaïs’ 
Franz Schubert: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major DuoD.574  + Fritz Kreisler: La Gitana  
Johannes Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 in A major Op. 100  + Manuel Ponce/Heifetz: Estrellita  
Edward Elgar: Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor Op.82 + Edward Elgar: La Capricieuse  
Richard Strauss: Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major Op. 18  + Fritz Kreisler: Schön Rosmarin  
Maurice Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in G major + Gershwin/Heifetz: ‘It aint necessarily so’from Porgy and Bess. 

Group 2
Please select ONE pair of pieces from this list to be performed with cellist Li-Wei Qin.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata No.2 for Cello and Piano in G minor Op.5 No.2 + Niccolò Paganini arr. Pierre Fournier: Introduction and Variations on one string on a theme from Rossini’s “Moses in Egypt’
Felix Mendelssohn: Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in D Major Op.58 + Fritz Kreisler: Liebesleid 
Frédéric Chopin: Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor Op.65 + Gabriel Fauré Romance Op.69 
Johannes Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in F Major Op.99 + David Popper: Spinning Song Op.55 No.1 
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor Op.19 + Edward Elgar: Salut d’amour (in D Major) 
Dmitry Shostakovich: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor Op.40 + Sergei Rachmaninoff: Vocalise Op.34 No.14 (in E minor) 

e. Six competitors will be chosen to advance to the Finals.
f. The Finals will consist of two Rounds: 

      Competitors should choose one concerto from the following list. The concertos will be performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  

      Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto in D minor BWV 1052 
      Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto No. 1 in C major Op.15 
      Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto No. 3 in C minor Op.37 
      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in G major K.453 
      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in D minor K.466 
      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in E flat major K.482 
      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in C minor K.491 
      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in C major K.503 
      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in B flat major K.595 
    2. ROUND 2: POST 1800 CONCERTO
      Competitors should choose one concerto from the following list. The concertos will be performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

      John Adams: Century Rolls  
      Samuel Barber: Concerto Op.38  
      Béla Bartók: Concerto No. 2 in G major Sz.95 BB101  
      Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto No. 4 in G major Op.58
      Johannes Brahms: Concerto No. 1 in D minor Op.15  
      Frédéric Chopin: Concerto No. 2 in F minor Op.21  
      George Gershwin: Concerto in F   
      Edvard Grieg: Concerto in A minor Op.16  
      Franz Liszt: Concerto No. 2 in A major S.125  
      Sergei Prokofiev: Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op.16  
      Sergei Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor Op.1 (revised version)
      Maurice Ravel: Concerto in G major  
      Camille Saint-Saëns: Concerto No. 5 in F major Op.103  
      Robert Schumann: Concerto in A minor Op.54
      Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 2 in G major Op.44 (revised version)

g. The playing order of competitors will be drawn by May 2023 and competitors will be advised in advance of arrival in Sydney. Competitors will maintain the same playing order throughout the competition, with the possible exception of the Finals Concertos.
h. The order of appearance in the Finals will be at the discretion of the Artistic Director for rehearsal and programming considerations. 
i. All works must be played from memory except for Round 2 of the Semi Finals. Competitors may also choose to play their 21st century Australian piece(s) from a score.  
j. Each solo program should be chosen as a recital, such as would be presented for a public concert, whether it be 20 minutes, 30 minutes or 70 minutes long. Each program should have its own logic and shape, chosen to highlight the competitors range and strengths, while demonstrating a developed understanding of program-building and communication with an audience. Intelligent programming will be considered during pre-selection of competitors.  
k. No changes are permitted to repertoire after submission of the application. 


a. Any applicant who knowingly gives inaccurate or misleading information will be disqualified.  
b. Applicants who have competed in a previous edition of the competition may not submit any piece performed publicly or shown online in that competition.
c. Where repertoire is prescribed, applicants must choose from that list.
d. Recital repertoire should not include any works for prepared piano.
e. Overall timings in recital rounds must be adhered to. If competitors exceed the time limit for any round, they will be stopped and may be disqualified.  
f. Repeats may be observed at the competitors discretion. Please consider timings when making such decisions.
g. The twenty-first century Australian piece or pieces in the Preliminaries must be published and must total a minimum of 7 minutes in length. Individual movements of sets or sonatas may be played at the discretion of the Artistic Director. Applicants should contact The Sydney to check if their selection meets the required criteria. Transcriptions may be included. The Australian Music Centre offers help online and The Sydney website lists works composed for its Composing the Future competition in 2021.
h. Semi-finalists may not repeat any piece played in the Preliminaries.  
i. Competitors may be disqualified if they do not know both concertos from memory for the first rehearsal of each concerto.  
j. A page turner will be provided for Round 2 of the Semi Finals and for 21st century Australian pieces if required.   


a. Competitors must arrive in Sydney no later than Saturday 1 July 2023.
b. All entry into Australia and issue of a visa will be at the determination of the Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs – Immigration and Citizenship (the Department of Home Affairs) at time of entry. 
c. Competitors must complete all VISA paperwork as required by the Department of Home Affairs and provide such paperwork to The Sydney no later than 28 February 2023, so that The Sydney can apply to the Department of Home Affairs on behalf of the competitor for a VISA.  
d. Competitors must supply to The Sydney no later than 28 February 2023 a valid health and travel insurance policy for the period they will be in Australia for the Competition. 
e. Applicants may be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination status for the visa application for entry to Australia and for subsequent arrival in Australia.  
f. If fully vaccinated competitors are required to undertake mandatory quarantine on arrival into Australia the cost will be covered by The Sydney. Travel will commence earlier to accommodate this requirement. Unvaccinated competitors will be responsible for any hotel quarantine costs in Australia. 
g. A contribution of the lesser of either two thirds of the value or a maximum of AUD$2,000 for a return economy airfare from the competitors nearest international airport with an airline chosen by the competition will be given. The choice of airline will be made to ensure competitor arrivals on Saturday 1 July 2023 are best managed. Ground transport to or from the nearest international airport will not be provided. 
h. Student accommodation will be provided along with a travel allowance of AUD$25 for each overnight stay from arrival into Sydney.
i. Ground transport from accommodation to venue will be provided if not within walking distance.  
j. If eliminated after any stage of the Competition, accommodation and living allowances will become the sole responsibility of the eliminated competitor from that point. 
k. All other travel, accommodation and living expenses are the sole responsibility of the competitor. 


a. Four piano makes will be used during the Competition.
b. Competitors will perform on at least two and up to four different piano makes during the Preliminaries and Semi-finals of the competition, the order of which will be determined through a public draw in May 2023. Further details of use of pianos can be found here. 
c. Daily practice facilities will be provided for competitors with some possible limitations on duration.
d. Piano trials and rehearsals for every Round will be provided to competitors including rehearsal time with chamber music partners and orchestras.  
e. Sunday 2 July will be a compulsory publicity day and no practice facilities will be available.   


a.  Voting procedures are detailed here.


a. The competitor grants to The Sydney the right to film, photograph, record, broadcast, live stream, reproduce, transmit, play, show and/or televise as part of a film, online series/platform or television documentary the competitors performance(s) in the Competition, for the purpose of promoting the current and future Competition(s), and/or the Arts in Sydney, Australia and internationally.  
b. The competitor grants to The Sydney and its commercial broadcast partners the right to include any recital performance(s) of the competitor as selected or approved by the Artistic Director on any commercial physical and/or digital CD recordings made or authorised by The Sydney. 


a. Successful applicants will be required to agree to a separate Competitors Agreement no later than 4 weeks after notification of entry to the competition.  
b. The First Prize Winner will be bound under an exclusive Australian performance contract until 31 December 2025.  
c. All prize monies are taxable under the Australian Taxation Office.
d. The Sydney will assist Competitors to apply for a compulsory Australian Tax File Number and Australian Business Number. 


a. Any interpretation or disputes arising in any part will be read as the rules and conditions contained in English on the official website.
b. These rules may be updated from time to time and in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
c. As an Australian incorporated entity The Sydney is required to comply with international sanctions laws imposed by Australia. Applicants should assess whether they are subject to any sanctions or restrictions in Australia, including with respect to obtaining an Australian visa to enter the country, before submitting an application. The Sydney can at its own discretion refuse or cancel a competitor’s application to ensure compliance with Australian law. Where necessary applicants should seek their own legal or immigration advice about this process.
d. The Sydney will not be liable for any liability or loss arising from, and costs associated with, the Competitor’s application for entry into or participation in the Competition, including loss incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, except to the extent caused or contributed to by The Sydney’s negligence, wrongful act, omission or default.
e. The Jurys decision is final and binding.  
f. There will be no appeal process and no correspondence will be entered into. 
g. The law applicable to The Sydney and contractual and other rights shall be the law of the State of New South Wales, Australia.