Cliburn Announces 2021 Competition Changes
to Cash Prizes, Career Management, and Live Auditions

June 17, 2020–The Cliburn today announces key changes for the Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, scheduled for May 27–June 12, 2021, at Bass Performance Hall and Van Cliburn Concert Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

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. The world’s top 18- to 30-year-old pianists compete for gold in front of a live audience in Fort Worth, 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.


Cash prizes for the three medalists increase by 94% to $100,000 for gold, $50,000 for silver, and $25,000 for bronze. (2017 prizes were $50,000; $25,000; and $15,000, respectively.) This raises total cash prizes to $240,000, with other special prizes. For a complete prize list, visit

As in competitions past, the three medalists also receive a comprehensive and personalized career management package, to include three years of concert bookings, artistic planning mentorship, traditional and social media training, logistics support, and tax and financial planning guidance, as well as commercial recording releases and a complete promotional package.

The international artist management and concert booking services for the gold medalist will expand in 2021 to offer a global career launch. In addition to European and Australian representation by London-based Keynote Artist Management, the winner will have official management across Asia (excluding Japan) by LIU KOTOW International Artists Management, as well as booking services in South America (Halac Artists) and Japan (Concert Imagine). For complete career management package information or to book our 2021 winners, visit

“With each edition, we aim to offer to enhanced, more personalized career management services to best support our new winners and to adjust to a constantly changing world,” said Jacques Marquis, president and CEO. “This increase in cash prizes and expanded international exposure was planned long before the current pandemic and the total disruption of the concert industry; but these changes do meet the times, when career creativity and financial soundness have perhaps never been so important.”


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, rather than in eight cities around the world in January and February. The complete schedule and process is detailed below.

“Hearing the candidates perform live is key to selecting the best competitors,” said Marquis. “We’re looking forward to hosting the Screening Auditions in our hometown in April. This will be special for the Fort Worth community—an early start to the excitement of the Competition and the opportunity to hear 70 of the world’s top pianists!”


October 15, 2020
Applications due
Applications are open now. Complete rules and information HERE.

Nov. 2020–Jan. 2021
Two rounds of application and video review:
First by a pre-screening jury who will reduce the approx. 300 applications to 135, then by the Screening Jury, who will select 70 to come to the live auditions in Fort Worth.

February 25, 2021
Announcement of Screening Auditions pianists (70) and schedule
Invited pianists will perform 25-minute recitals before the Screening Jury and a live audience. Travel and lodging for pianists arranged for and provided by the Cliburn.

April 19–24, 2021
Screening Auditions (Ed Landreth Hall, TCU, Fort Worth, Texas USA)

May 4, 2021
Announcement of Competitors (30)

May 27–June 12, 2021
Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

CLICK HERE for more information on the Competition and Screening Juries.