The Conducting from the Piano Category is open to professional and student pianist-conductors up to age 34. Eligibility is based on age on the first day of the competition (9th May 2023). You can check your age on that date here:
The deadline for video submissions to the preliminary round is 31st December 2022. After the video submissions have been adjudicated, a maximum of 12 competitors will be accepted into the First Round in Meiningen.
Preliminary Round (Video Submission):
- Time limit: 15 minutes
- Required work: the main movement from one of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas
- Additional pieces for piano solo may be chosen freely.
- Time limit: 25 minutes
- The program for this round may be chosen freely from the repertoire for solo piano. Works from the previous round may not be repeated.
- Time limit: 40 minutes
- This round consists of a rehearsal of a piano concerto with the Meiningen Court Orchestra. The competitor may choose how many movements of the concerto are rehearsed. From this round onwards, the chief conductor and the orchestra itself each receive a jury vote. Please choose one of the following concertos to prepare:
- Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, op. 15
- Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, op. 19
- Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37
- Wolfgang Amadeus von Mozart, Piano Concerto in D minor, KV 466
- Wolfgang Amadeus von Mozart, Piano Concerto in A major, KV 488
- Johann Sebastian Bach, Piano Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056
- In this round, competitors conduct and perform the complete piano concerto from the previous round with the Meiningen Court Orchestra.
Notes on choosing free repertoire:
The Jury will take into account the stylistic diversity and the artistic and technical demands of the repertoire chosen. Pieces that meet any of the following criteria will also be looked on favorably:
- Pieces by composers, the interpretation of whose works by Hans von Bülow set a benchmark in terms of fidelity to composer intentions: Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky
- Pieces (or transcriptions and arrangements for piano) by composers with connections to Meiningen: Hans von Bülow, Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Max Reger, Günter Raphael.
- New music composed after 1970 (works for prepared piano are not allowed).
Time limits refer to the total duration of the music played, not including the breaks between pieces or movements. Repeats may be played within the time limits given. In the Preliminary and First Rounds it is acceptable to play a single movement or selection of movements from a longer work.
The program for the video round must be played from memory and recorded as a complete performance with no cuts or editing. The competitor must be completely visible, including their feet. The camera should not be placed more than five meters away from the competitor.
Use of the orchestral score when conducting from the piano is permitted.
Competition judges for the Preliminary Video Round in the Conducting from the Piano Category in January 2023
To maintain transparency, the video submissions in the Preliminary Round will be adjudicated by a separate jury. The chair of the jury is Prof. Christian Wilm Müller. The jury for the Preliminary Round will meet in Meiningen in January 2023 to make their adjudications.
The competitors selected for the First Round in May in Meiningen will be notified by 31st January 2023.
- Prof. Christian Wilm
Born in Meiningen, Christian Wilm Müller is professor and teaches piano and piano chamber music at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany. >>> more
- Prof. Imre
- Die Jury für die digitale Vorrunde besteht aus Juroren, die nicht Teil der späteren Wettbewerbsjury sind.
- Aris Alexander
- Aris Alexander Blettenberg was first prize winner conducting from the piano in 2015 in Meiningen. In autumn 2021 he won the 16th International Beethoven Competition in Wien, Austria. >>> more
Competition judges in the Conducting from the Piano Category in May 2023 in Meiningen
- Prof. Christian Wilm
Born in Meiningen, Christian Wilm Müller is professor and teaches piano and piano chamber music at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany. >> more
- Prof. Ewa
- Polish pianist Ewa Poplocka leads piano classes at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
- em. Prof. Martin
Born in England, Martin Hughes is Professor Emeritus of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. >>> more
- Prof. Henri
Born in Finland, Henri Sigfridsson is Professor of Piano at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. >>> more
- Prof. Sontraud
Sontraud Speidel is Professor of Piano and a member of the Pro Hochschule committee at the Karlsruhe University of Music, Germany. >>> more
- Dr. Paul
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Paul Rickard-Ford is Head of the Piano Department at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. >>> more
Hélène Tysman is a freelance pianist from France. In 2010 she won the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. >>> more
From the Second Round onwards, both the chief conductor of the Meiningen Court Orchestra and the orchestra itself each have a jury vote.
- Meiningen Court Orchestra
The musicians of the Meiningen Court Orchestra have a collective vote in the jury from the Second Round onwards.
1st Prize: €10.000
2nd Prize: €6.000
3rd Prize: €4.000
An Audience Favorite Prize will be awarded at the concerts following the competition.
Special prizes in the Professional Category and Conducting from the Piano Category:
Special Prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work, sponsored by Carl Bechstein Foundation: €1,500
Special Prize for the best interpretation of a work by Ludwig van Beethoven, sponsored by Carl Bechstein Foundation: : €1,500
Special Prize for the best interpretation of a work by Max Reger (to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 2023), sponsored by Carl Bechstein Foundation: : €1,500Further prizes and concert engagements will also be awarded. The details of these are still being finalized. The list is being updated regularly and additions may be made right up until the start of the competition.
The fee of €150 includes participation in the competition from the Preliminary Round onwards.Competitors selected to participate in the First Round onwards (with the exception of the finalists) have the opportunity to receive feedback in the form of a 45-minute masterclass with members of the jury. The masterclasses will take place on Tuesday, 16th May 2023 and charged at €80 for 45 minutes. Please indicate on the registration form if you wish to take part. Competitors who advance to the Second Round receive a masterclass free of charge. The finalists do not participate in the masterclasses.
The deadline for video submissions to the preliminary round is 31st December 2022.
The competition begins with a closed Preliminary Round of video submissions in January 2023. Successful applicants will be informed of their selection for the First Round in Meiningen by 31st January 2023.
The competition rounds in Meiningen are open to the public and will be held at the Brahms Concert Hall at the Elisabethenburg Palace (Meininger Schlosskirche) and at the Studio Theater at the Meiningen State Theater. The winners will perform in a ceremonial concert concluding the competition on 18th May 2023, at which the prizes will be officially awarded.
Competitors selected to take part in the First Round will present their programs of solo repertoire on Saturday, 13th May and Sunday, 14th May 2023. Performance times will be determined after the completion of the Preliminary Round. The Second Round with the Meiningen Court Orchestra will take place on Monday, 15th May 2023. The competitors chosen to participate in the First Round onwards (with the exception of the finalists) will have the opportunity to take part in masterclasses with members of the jury on Tuesday, 16th May 2023.
The Final Round with the Meiningen Court Orchestra will take place on Wednesday, 17th May 2023.
The competition concludes on Ascension Day (18th May 2023) with a Gala Concert including prize ceremony and drinks reception at the Meiningen State Theater.
The competitors will be informed in advance of the availability of practice facilities, as well as warm-up and performance times. Times given are guidelines only. The organizers expressly reserve the right to make small changes to the competition schedule.