May 27–June 12, 2021
Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU • Bass Performance Hall • Fort Worth, Texas USA
Marin Alsop, jury chairman

The best pianists in the world.
The ideal performance environment.
Unrivaled international exposure.
The launch of careers.

The most prestigious classical piano contest in the world” (Chicago Tribune)


Additional subscription options, as well as single ticket purchases, will be available in September 2020.

Widely considered one of the preeminent international music contests, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition exists to share excellent classical music with the largest international audience possible and to launch the careers of its winners every four years. Building on a rich tradition that began with its 1962 origins in honor of Van Cliburn and his vision for using music to serve audiences and break down boundaries, the Cliburn seeks, with each edition, to achieve the highest artistic standards while utilizing contemporary tools to advance its reach. The world’s top 18- to 30-year-old pianists compete for gold in front of a live audience in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as a global online viewership of over 5 million. Beyond cash prizes, winning a Cliburn medal means comprehensive career management, artistic support, and bolstered publicity efforts for the three years following.

The sixteenth edition of the Cliburn Competition will take place May 27–June 12, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas at Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU (Preliminary and Quarterfinal Rounds) and Bass Performance Hall (Semifinal and Final Rounds).

New to the Sixteenth Edition:

  • An additional concerto in the Final Round (replacing the chamber music)
  • 9 of the 10 jury members are new to the Cliburn jury
  • The Cliburn looks forward to  presenting the first two rounds of Competition at the brand-new Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU
  • Cash prizes for the three medalists increase by 94% from 2017 to $100,000 for gold, $50,000 for silver, and $25,000 for bronze
  • International artist management and concert booking services for the gold medalist will expand in 2021 to offer a global career launch
  • Due to the global pandemic and its implications on international travel, the Cliburn will now host its live Screening Auditions at TCU’s Ed Landreth Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, USA in April 2021


October 15, 2019–Applications Open
Spring 2020–Premium Ticket Subscription Packages On Sale
Fall 2020–Additional Ticket Subscription Packages On Sale
October 15, 2020–Applications Due
Early 2021–Single Tickets On Sale
February 25, 2021–Announcement of Screening Auditions pianists (70) and schedule
April 19-24, 2021–Screening Auditions (Ed Landreth Hall, TCU, Fort Worth, Texas)
May 4, 2021–Announcement of Competitors (30)
May 27–June 12, 2021–Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition