Entries opened for the first time online this week for the prestigious 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia (SIPCA) with a revised format under its new Artistic Director, Piers Lane AO.
This internationally recognised competition is open to pianists of all nationalities aged 18 to 32 and has an impressive alumni of first prize winners hailing from all corners of the globe, among them Konstantin Shamray in 2008 and Avan Yu in 2011. It has been recognised by the World Federation of International Music Competitions almost since its inception in 1977.
Entries are now open for the 2016 competition, to be staged in the Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium and at the Sydney Opera House in July, with audition videos sought before the closing date of December 1, 2015. The revised competition has reduced the number of accepted competitors from 36 to 32 and will reduce that number to 12 after the two preliminary rounds.
Other innovations to the competition include the requirement for early round participants to play on the allocated four different pianos, reflecting the real life environment of concert performance, rather than having a choice of instruments. There is also an extension to the time allocations for the performance rounds and in the Finals the Artistic Director has expanded the Round 1 Concerto selection repertoire from only Mozart to now include Bach, Haydn and Beethoven.
Unique to the competition is the provision of flights and expenses for all 32 competitors to come to Sydney to perform and compete for almost $200,000 in prizes on offer across 19 categories.
Under the directorship of Piers Lane AO the competition prizes have this year been named in honour of significant and influential Australian pianists such as the Ernest Hutcheson first prize of $50,000, the Percy Grainger second prize of $25,000 and the Eileen Joyce concerto prize. There is also a People’s Choice Prize named after Rex Hobcroft AM who founded the competition with Claire Dan, AM, OBE.
“This competition is renowned as one of the world’s greatest piano competitions and it distinguishes Australia as the host nation, so it seemed an obvious opportunity to recognise the strength of Australia’s pianistic culture and celebrate some of our finest past pianists,” Lane said.
The competition’s first prize winner will have an extensive Australia-wide performance tour along with international appearances including a debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a performance at the Mariinsky International Piano Festival, as well as a CD recording for Hyperion Records.
Click here for more information about the competition.
About Piers Lane AO, Artistic Director
London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane is one of the most inquisitive and engaging live performers of his generation. In great demand as soloist and collaborative artist, recent highlights include performances of Busoni’s mighty piano concerto and Frank Bridge’s Phantasm at Carnegie Hall, premières of Carl Vine’s second Piano Concerto, written for him, with the Sydney Symphony and the London Philharmonic, and sold-out recitals at Wigmore Hall.
Five times soloist at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, Piers Lane’s concerto repertoire exceeds ninety five works and engagements with many of the world’s great orchestras including all the BBC and Australian symphony orchestras; London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and Warsaw Philharmonic orchestras; Orchestre National de France; the American and Gothenburg symphony orchestras among many others.
Piers Lane has recorded extensively for Hyperion Records, but also for the ABC Classics, BMG, Chandos, Classics for Pleasure, Decca, EMI Eminence, Lyrita and Unicorn-Khanchana labels. A popular broadcaster, he has written and presented over 100 programmes for BBC Radio 3, including the 54-part series, The Piano.
Lane is currently Artistic Director of the acclaimed Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville and has Honorary Doctorates from Griffith University and James Cook University.