2024 Sydney Piano Lovers: Rules and Regs

At Piano+ we know just how much passion there is for the piano and its repertoire – and that this passion is not restricted to the professional sphere. In 2020 Piano Lovers was inaugurated for a completely different group of players: non-professional Australian and New Zealand pianists over the age of 32. 

This is a competition that is open to amateurs only – in the very best spirit and sense of that word! 

Amateur – Of French origin, ‘amateur’ originally denoted a lover of art… (ref Oxford Reference.com)

True lovers of the piano are, right now, working in spheres as diverse as science, aviation, medicine and more, while they continue their music making in a non-professional context. Fired by personal commitment and creative ambition, entrants to the competition come from all walks of life, united by their joy of the piano and the solace, challenge and beauty it brings into everyday life. 

Piano Lovers is open to non-professional players from all over Australia and New Zealand. We encourage everyone who loves piano to get involved, especially those who would benefit from and enjoy working towards a serious goal. In 2024 a new stream has been added for piano music from any genre including pop and rock. The classical genre will remain as in previous competitions so entrants can now choose the stream that best suits their love of piano music. 

Cash prizes are offered in each stream: First $1,000, Second $750 and Third $500. In addition, all Piano Lovers participants receive individual feedback about their performances from jury.

Queenslander Ian Lucas was the winner of Piano Lovers 2022, the co-winner of the inaugural Piano Lovers in 2020 and performed a part of the 2023 Competition event. Ian discovered a love of piano at a young age, studying under the guidance of his mother as a child, before receiving private lessons until his tertiary years. He left the Tasmanian Conservatorium after one year to spread his wings and fly high with a 30-year aviation career as a commercial pilot, working as an outback mailman and with the Flying Doctor Service in the Northern Territory, as well as at the Qantas group. He says:  

“My musical aspirations are simple. It’s to play repertoire I can technically manage as well and beautifully as I can’. 

Now that’s true passion! 

Key Dates

  • Entries open: Thursday 1 February 2024, 1pm AEDT  
  • Entries close: Monday 1July 2024, 12pm AEST
  • Winners’ Announcement: Thursday 1 August 2024 AEST 



First prize $1,000
Second prize $750
Third prize $500

Any Genre

First prize $1,000
Second prize $750
Third prize $500

All entrants will receive reports from the three members of the jury as well as a Certificate of Participation from Piano+.  

How to Apply

Apply Now

  1. Read the entry criteria and rules to ensure you comply. 
  2. Complete the online entry form available from 1 February 2024.
  3. Upload your proof of Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency 
  4. Upload your video application to YouTube (Unsure how? See Technical Support below) 
  5. Copy video URL to entry form. 
  6. Submit your entry fee of AUD$110 including GST (if applicable) 

See FAQs and Technical Support for queries.

Register your interest

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A panel of three jury will assess and provide feedback on each submission. The Jury will be announced by 1 February 2024. 

Eligibility, Rules and Process

1. Eligibility

    1. The competition is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens or permanent residents aged 30 years or over on 1 August 2024. 
    2. Entrants should not derive income from playing or teaching classical piano or other keyboard instruments. 
    3. Entrants may have studied piano/keyboard at a tertiary level.

2. Jury

    1. All applicants will receive a report on their playing from the jury. 
    2. The jury’s decision is final and binding.
    3. There will be no appeal process and no correspondence will be entered into.

3. Repertoire

    1. Entrants may choose their own classical or contemporary repertoire. 
    2. For the classical stream, the entry may include single movements from sonatas or suites. For the contemporary stream repertoire can be of any genre including pop and rock. 
    3. It may consist of one work or several with a total playing time of between 5 – 15 minutes. 
    4. Only solo piano works will be accepted. No ensemble or vocal works. 
    5. Performances may be from memory or from the score. 
    6. Repertoire at all levels of difficulty is welcomed. The jury will take into consideration the entrant’s musicianship and technical mastery of their chosen repertoire. 

4. Online Entries

    1. Entries open Thursday 1 February 2024, 1pm AEDT 
    2. Entries close Monday 1 July 2024, 12pm AEST 
    3. Results will be announced Thursday 1 August 2024 AEST 
    4. A non-refundable entry fee of AUD $110 including GST (if applicable) is payable 
    5. Entry must be accompanied by the entry fee.
    6. Late entries will not be accepted. 
    7. Applicants and winners of past Piano Lovers are permitted to apply but must submit different repertoire in 2023.

5. Supporting Documents

    1. All documents must be submitted online at the time of application. 
    2. Audition video(s) must meet the criteria listed below. 
    3. Copy of current passport or proof of permanent residence in Australia or New Zealand.
    4. A brief account of musical background and aspirations. 
    5. A brief account of non-musical studies and professional life. 
    6. Repertoire details of submitted video/s.

6. Video Recording Requirements

    1. Total time of recording(s) must not be less than 5 minutes nor more than 15 minutes. 
    2. The video must show the face and hands of the entrant at all times and be recorded in landscape. 
    3. The video may be a single, unedited recording of the entrant, or may consist of separate unedited recordings. 
    4. Multiple cameras are allowed as long as the performance itself is unedited, but one camera angle is acceptable. 
    5. Different pieces may be recorded on different occasions, but all recordings must be made after 1 February 2024. 
    6. The applicant’s name and repertoire must be included on the video. 
    7. The recording should be of excellent technical quality. 
    8. Post-production affecting the sound quality is permitted but must be stated. 
    9. Videos may be made available online and used for publicity (with each entrant’s permission). Therefore sound, video quality and background should be carefully considered. 
    10. It is highly recommended that the video is recorded on a piano. Where that is not possible a digital piano with pedals attached (eg. Yamaha YPD144R, Kawai CN35, Roland HP702DR) is acceptable. An electric keyboard or other keyboard instrument is not permitted. Click here to view available recording venues.  
    11. To ensure best quality sound, the piano lid should be opened during the performance.
    12. A list of suggested recording venues by our piano partners has been compiled. Click here. It is not a requirement to use these venues for your recording. 


  1. Any interpretation or disputes in any part will be read as the rules and conditions contained in English on the official website. 
  2. Piano+ does not take any responsibility for any inconvenience or loss incurred.
  3. The law applicable to Piano Plus Australia and contractual and other rights shall be the law of the State of New South Wales, Australia.

Applications Open Now!

Videos should be uploaded via Youtube.

  1. Sign into Youtube with a Google Account (See video tutorial below)
  2. Click the upload button in the top right corner
  3. If you do not have a Youtube Channel, follow the prompts to set one up.
  4. Select the file you wish to upload
  5. Fill in any details you wish to include such as video title etc.
  6. Choose the privacy settings for your video. We recommend you make your video application ‘Unlisted’. Only people with the URL can view this video.
  7. Copy the URL link for your video and include it in your application

Video Tutorials

How to Sign In to Youtube/Create an Account

How to upload an unlisted video to your Youtube Account

How to Copy your Video’s URL

Do I need to have reached a certain grade in piano tosubmit an application?
No, repertoire at all levels of difficulty is welcomed. However, mature musicianship and technical mastery of the chosen repertoire will be important considerations when choosing the winner(s).


May I create a video application by recording and editing together multiple takes of each performance?
No. Your performances must be one single take, although multiple camera angles are accepted.


I am interested in applying but not ready to submit my application. What should I do?
Please submit your email address above to register your interest and we’ll contact you with any new or updated information about the competition. If you would like to speak with a member of staff to discuss your entry further, please email us here. 


Does my video application need to be professionally recorded?
No, videos can be recorded at home. As the video may be made available to the public,we would recommend ensuring the best quality recording you can. Give yourself the best chance of capturing your musicianship and skill! Our piano brands will provide a list of available venues and stores where you can record, which we will list on our website.


I do not want my video to be made public. What should I do?
Please indicate this preference in your application.


I teach piano for a living.May I apply?
No, entrants should not be professional keyboard players and should not derive their main income from playing or teaching piano or any keyboard instrument.


I work in the music industry,but not as a professional pianist or keyboardist or as a keyboard instrument teacher.May I apply?


I do not have access to a quality piano to record my video application. What should I do?
Please email us here , indicating your location and we’ll share some recommendations of music studios. Alternatively, some of our piano brands will provide a list of available venues and stores where you can record on a quality piano. These will be listed on this webpage.  The Sydney will not cover any expenses associated with your entry, such as piano hire, studio expenses or travel.However, as long as your instrument is in tune, the jury will be very understanding of your particular piano situation.  


I am an Australian or New Zealand citizen/permanent resident but no longer live in Australia or New Zealand. Can I apply?
Yes. Please note that the winner of The Sydney Piano Lovers’Competition will be invited to participate in Sydney in July 2023 at their own expense.  


What repertoire should I choose?
Repertoire is the entrant’s own choice, of any level of difficulty. It must be for solo piano, may consist of one work or several and may include single movements from sonatas or suites. It should be between 5 and 15 minutes long. We encourage you to choose repertoire that best displays your musicianship and technical skills. 


I’m playing a number of pieces. May I upload each performance separately? Do I need to record them one after another?
Preferably, the entry should be one single video but multiple videos will be accepted as long as they follow the application guidelines. Please note, the time limit of between 5 and 15 minutes is for the entire application. Different pieces may be recorded on different occasions. 


May I choose to perform the same piece if I am selected to perform during the2023 Sydney International Piano Competition ?
Yes, winner(s)may play the piece(s) included in their video entry at  the 2023 Sydney International Piano Competition or may offer  different repertoire.  

 I’ve submitted my application but no longer wish to compete. Can I get a refund?
No, entry fees are non-refundable.


Why do I need to pay GST?
Applicants within Australia are required to pay GST under Australian Tax Law. Applicants from outside Australia are not required to pay GST as they are not resident in Australia. 


I need help recording my video. What should I do?
Please read carefully the guidelines for  recording your video. We recommend asking someone for assistance, finding the best quality recording device available to you and placing it on a sturdy platform or tripod, angled and tested for the best range and quality of tone. The entrant’s face and hands must be seen at all times during the recording.  


May I refer to sheet music during my performance?


Donate Now

Family, friends and supporters – you can assist The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition with a tax-deductible donation. Your gift ensures The Sydney’s newest competition will flourish into 2025. Email Marcus Barker, for more details.