SEVENTEENTH VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION
May 21–June 7, 2025
Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU • Bass Performance Hall • Fort Worth, Texas USA
Paul Lewis, jury chairman
For questions about the application process or requirements, please contact Michael Bellinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Seventeenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, from May 21 to June 7, 2025, under the auspices of the Cliburn.
- The Seventeenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities. First-prize winners of previous editions of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition are not eligible to compete. Applicants must have been born after June 7, 1994, and on or before May 21, 2007.
- In some cases, international competitors will need visas. Applicants should consult the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate for guidance.
- Competitors must not have any professional or other commitments during the time of the Competition, beginning with orientation and piano selection, which will take place starting on May 18, 2025. No exceptions will be allowed.
- All competitors accepted to the Competition will be provided complimentary round-trip, economy-class travel to Fort Worth.
- Competitors will be accommodated individually in private homes between May 17 and June 8, 2025, with meals, practice facilities, and transportation provided. Competitors will be responsible for their own accommodations on any days falling outside of this time period. Competitors who are not participating in the Quarterfinal, Semifinal, or Final Rounds of the Competition are not required to stay until the end of the Competition, but are encouraged to do so. Those who wish to stay in Fort Worth are required to participate in events planned for them by the Cliburn. Any guests accompanying competitors will be responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses.
- Medalists will be asked to be available for up to seven (7) days following the Competition, as determined by the Cliburn, for meetings, press, photography, and other related matters the Cliburn deems necessary.
- All information contained in this document was correct at the time of publication. However, the Cliburn reserves the right to make changes if circumstances dictate.
IMPORTANT DATES for applicants to the Seventeenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition:
October 16, 2024 – Application submission deadline
October 30, 2024 – Recommendation submission deadline
January 14, 2025 – Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance to the Screening Auditions
January 28, 2025 – Announcement of Screening Auditions schedule
March 9–15, 2025 – Screening Auditions in Fort Worth, Texas USA
March 19, 2025 – Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance to the Competition
March 24, 2025 – Commissioned work provided to competitors
April 2, 2025 – Announcement of competitors to the public
April 2, 2025 – Last day to make changes to repertoire or running order
May 18, 2025 – Orientation and piano selection begins
May 21, 2025 – Competition begins
June 7, 2025 – Awards Ceremony
RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR APPLICATION
- Applicants must have been born after June 7, 1994, and on or before May 21, 2007.
- All applications must be completed and submitted through the online application form, Acceptd.
- All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CDT / UTC-5 on Wednesday, October 16, 2024. No late or partial applications will be accepted.
- All applicants must submit a nonrefundable application fee of One Hundred Fifty USD ($150), payable through Acceptd. Payment will be taken on the final page of the application; applications cannot be submitted without payment.
- Applications will include uploads of:
- 35–40 minute video performance (Please note: videos should not exceed 4 GB per file);
- Passport, birth certificate, or equivalent proof of age;
- At least three high resolution color photographs (300 dpi or higher), including one color headshot looking directly at the camera and one image that can be cut to extreme horizontal, suitable for publicity purposes; and
- Copies of any press reviews or articles from the past five seasons.
- Applicants must submit contact information for four musicians as references. Two references designated by the applicant will be sent an automated email requesting their recommendations once the application is submitted. Recommendations are due by October 30, 2024.
- An acknowledgment will be sent to each applicant upon receipt of the completed application. Applicants will not be allowed to submit unless all information and payment is complete.
- Applicants should retain copies of all materials sent with their applications. The Cliburn will accept no responsibility for applications not received.
- All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. The Cliburn reserves the right to request additional information from or about an applicant. All applicants will be notified by January 14, 2025 whether or not they have been accepted to perform in a screening audition.
RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR SCREENING AUDITIONS
- Prior to acceptance or non-acceptance to the live Screening Auditions, applications will be subject to two rounds of application and video review:
- A pre-screening jury will review all applications and select approximately 150 applicants for further review by the Screening Jury.
- The Screening Jury will review these applications and select no more than 84 to perform in the live screening auditions in Fort Worth.
- Live screening auditions will be held in Fort Worth, Texas from March 9 to 15, 2025. No more than 84 applicants will be accepted for a screening audition, in which they will be required to give a 25-minute recital before a live audience and the Screening Jury. Video recordings of performances by those applicants unable to attend the live screening auditions will be accepted only under special circumstances, such as illness during the scheduled audition, at the discretion of the president of the Cliburn.
- Applicants invited to give a live screening audition in Fort Worth will be provided with one (1) round-trip, economy-class flight to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, as well as accommodations and ground transportation to/from the screening audition venue. The Cliburn will not provide travel or additional accommodations for guests.
- Travel and accommodations will be arranged solely by the Cliburn.
- Meals, incidentals, airport transfers, and any other expenses are the responsibility of the applicant and will not be provided by the Cliburn.
- All applicants will be notified whether or not they have been accepted for the Competition no later than March 19, 2025. The 30 selected pianists will be announced to the public no later than April 2, 2025.
RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE COMPETITION
- The Competition will consist of four separate rounds: Preliminary, Quarterfinal, Semifinal, and Final. Preliminary and Quarterfinal Rounds will be held at Van Cliburn Concert Hall on the campus of TCU, and the Semifinal and Final Rounds will take place at Bass Performance Hall.
- The jury will advance 18 pianists to the Quarterfinal Round, 12 to the Semifinal Round, and 6 to the Final Round.
- The order of appearance of pianists in the Preliminary Round will be determined by a drawing. The Preliminary and Quarterfinal Rounds of Competition will follow this order except for reasons of accident, illness, or other unusual circumstances, at the discretion of the president of the Cliburn. The order of appearance in the Semifinal and Final Rounds will depend on rehearsal scheduling, program content, and administrative requirements, and may vary from that of the Preliminary and Quarterfinal Rounds. All phases of the Competition will be open to the public.
- A selection of Steinway pianos will be provided for the pianists’ performances in each venue. Time will be assigned to each pianist to choose his or her preferred instrument beginning May 18, 2025. Pianists will be notified of these assigned times.
- It is anticipated that all rounds of the Competition will be broadcast live and recorded for subsequent use, in any manner or for any purpose the Cliburn deems appropriate, and on all media now known or hereafter devised. Personnel may record and/or photograph all aspects of the Competition. Neither the Cliburn nor its assignees or licensees may be held liable for any payments to competitor arising out of materials derived from these recordings. Applicants are required to sign a release form yielding all rights on such materials to the Cliburn, its assignees, or its licensees.
- Pianists may not contact or speak with any member of the jury while they are active in the Competition. Any violation of this rule may disqualify the pianist.
APPLICATION VIDEO SUBMISSIONS
Videos will be submitted through the online application process. Submissions must be between 35 and 40 minutes in length. The repertoire will consist of works chosen by the pianist and may be selected from works offered for the Competition recital rounds. Only complete works will be accepted. Applicants may submit one video containing all works, or separate videos for each work. All videos must be filmed with both the pianist’s face and hands in the frame at all times. If submitting all works in one video, recordings may be paused between each repertoire selection. Each work must be a continuous and unedited performance. Videos must not be filmed more than twelve (12) months prior to submission.
Each pianist will perform a recital not to exceed 25 minutes in length. The repertoire will consist of works chosen by the pianist and may be selected from works offered for the Competition recital rounds. Both complete works and individual movements from larger works will be accepted.
PRELIMINARY ROUND (30 competitors)
Each pianist will perform a recital not to exceed 40 minutes in length. The repertoire for this recital will consist of works chosen by the pianist and must include the commissioned work of 4 to 6 minutes in length, composed by Gabriela Montero. Only complete works will be accepted.
QUARTERFINAL ROUND (18 competitors)
Each pianist will perform a recital not to exceed 40 minutes in length. The repertoire for this recital will consist of works chosen by the pianist. Repertoire from the Preliminary Round may not be repeated. Only complete works will be accepted.
SEMIFINAL ROUND (12 competitors)
The Semifinal Round will be held in two phases.
Phase I: Each pianist will perform a recital not to exceed 60 minutes in length. The repertoire will consist of works chosen by the pianist. Repertoire from the Preliminary and Quarterfinal Rounds may not be repeated. Only complete works will be accepted.
Phase II: Each pianist will perform a Mozart piano concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Repertoire must be chosen from the following:
- Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271
- Piano Concerto No. 15 in B-flat Major, K. 450
- Piano Concerto No. 19 in F Major, K. 459
- Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466
- Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467
- Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat Major, K. 482
- Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
- Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491
- Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503
- Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595
FINAL ROUND (6 competitors)
Each competitor will perform two concertos with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
Concerto 1: Pianists must select one concerto from the following list:
- BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, op. 15
- BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, op. 19
- BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37
- BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, op. 58
- BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, op. 73
- CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, op. 11
- CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, op. 21
- GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue
- GERSHWIN Piano Concerto in F Major
- GRIEG Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 16
- LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, S. 124
- LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, S. 125
- MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, op. 25
- RAVEL Piano Concerto in G Minor
- RAVEL Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major
- SAINT-SÄENS Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 22
- SAINT-SÄENS Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, op. 103
- SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 54
Concerto 2: Each competitor may select any work up to 42 minutes in duration that is scored for piano and orchestra; concerto choices are subject to approval by the Cliburn, the conductor, and the orchestra. Pianists are encouraged to consider limited rehearsal times.
RULES AND PROCEDURES RELATING TO REPERTOIRE
- Total performance times include applause and pauses and will be strictly enforced. The jury retains the right to stop a performance if the pianist exceeds the allotted time. Repeats are at the discretion of the pianist in order to remain within the time limit.
- All works must be performed by memory, except for the commissioned work. A page turner will be provided as requested.
- If requested, pianists must supply the Cliburn with a copy of the edition of the score used in the preparation of each work performed.
- The Cliburn has commissioned a new work of 4 to 6 minutes in length from Gabriela Montero. All competitors are required to perform the commissioned work in the Preliminary Round. The commissioned work will be sent to competitors no later than March 24, 2025.
RULES RELATING TO PRIZES AND ENGAGEMENTS
- The prizes and awards specified on Cliburn.org will constitute the only prizes and awards of the Seventeenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. No other prizes, awards, or remuneration will be permitted, except by express decision of the Cliburn.
- Taxes will be deducted from prizes according to U.S. tax laws in effect at the time of the Competition.
- The Cliburn is in the process of negotiating a number of recital and orchestra engagements for the medalists of the 2025 Competition, to be performed within the three-year period following the Competition. A list of potential engagements forming part of the prizes will be published in the Competition program book. Medalists are expected to make best efforts to fulfill all prize engagements. Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of the medalists’ claims to prizes, awards, and engagements, at the discretion of the Cliburn.
- The First, Second, and Third Prize winners will give, if requested, a maximum of three appearances without charge for the benefit of the Cliburn.