November 1, 2021

Applications are in for the sixteenth edition of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition—taking place June 2–18, 2022, in Fort Worth, Texas USA—and the pool represents the largest and most diverse in the organization’s 60-year history. The Cliburn received 388 applications, a 34% increase over the last edition in 2017, from pianists hailing from 51 countries.


“Following the vision of Van Cliburn, the Cliburn Competition serves two mandates: to constantly grow the international fanbase for classical music, and to discover and support the best-of-the-best young pianists,” said Jacques Marquis, president and CEO. “This excellent application response is a testament to the artform’s vibrancy; it is our job now to manage the selection process carefully, as our experts determine the 30 who will be invited to Fort Worth in June. With this level of geographic representation and, particularly, after the global challenges of the past two years, the Competition will be a truly extraordinary celebration of the resiliency of the human spirit, and of the power of music.”



  • Ages 18 to 31 (as of Competition dates) *
  • 277 men, 110 women, 1 non-binary
  • 51 nations comprising 6 continents represented
    • Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czechia, France, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
    • Most represented: China (77), South Korea (60), United States (51), Russia (43)

*An extra year of eligibility was added to the Cliburn’s normal age range of 18–30 due to the pandemic-related one-year postponement.



  1. Applications were due October 14, 2021, and included performance videos, musician references, press reviews, concert history, and personal statements.
  2. Now through January: a pre-screening jury reviews all applications and selects approximately 135 pianists to move on. From those, the members of the Screening Auditions Jury (listed below) select 72 pianists they would like to hear perform during the live Screening Auditions. (Schedule to be announced January 27, 2022.)
  3. March 6–12, 2022: Screening Auditions
    1. 72 pianists perform 25-minute recitals
    2. PepsiCo Recital Hall at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas USA
    3. Five-member Screening Auditions Jury: Angela Cheng(Canada), Arnaldo Cohen (Brazil), Christopher Elton (United Kingdom), Alexander Kobrin (Russia/United States), and Anton Nel (South Africa/United States). 
    4. Pianist travel and lodging are arranged for and covered by the Cliburn.
    5. Screening Auditions are open to the public and are free to attend.
  4. March 30, 2022: Announcement of 30 competitors selected to compete in the Competition
  5. May 29, 2022: Competitors return to Fort Worth
  6. June 2–6, 2022: Preliminary (30 competitors) & Quarterfinal (18 competitors) Rounds at the new Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU
  7. June 8–18, 2022: Semifinal (12 competitors) & Final (6 competitors) Rounds at Bass Performance Hall
  8. June 18, 2022: Awards Ceremony, announcement of gold, silver, bronze medalists + special awards; cash prizes total $265,000; medalists also win career management packages worth a total of over $1 million.