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Bartók World Competition attracts 214 composers

The Bartók World Competition and Festival attracted 214 submissions from composers all around the globe by the deadline of August 31, with the winning pieces set to become a part of next yearʼs piano competition.

The Bartók World Competition of Composition is open to composers from all over the world, aged 40 or under, and concerns works for solo piano. The award-winning works will be performed at the final Gala Concert on November 25, 2018, and will be part of the repertoire of the next Bartók World Competition for young pianists in 2019.

The organizers of the event, supported by the Ministry of Human Capacities, consider the high number of applications a success, coming after a similarly successful violin competition in 2017. The 214 compositions were submitted by musicians from 53 countries, underscoring the competitionʼs international popularity.

Some 25 applications came from Hungary alone, with a high number of artists from Italy, the U.S., and South Korea also submitting pieces. The competition also received entries from countries as far afield as Iran, Uzbekistan, and Mexico.

"Bartók is at home in Hungary; his mother tongue is ours, we understand him best, and it shows clearly that the entire world needs our interpretation of his works," said Andrea Vigh, rector of the Liszt Academy of Music, which announced the competition. "The Liszt Academy was Bartók’s alma mater, and the Bartók World Competition greatly contributes to Hungary’s reputable image and strengthens our position among talented peoples."

The entries will be evaluated by Liszt Academy faculty members in mid-September. The faculty, chaired by Gyula Fekete, head of the Composition Department and vice president of the Liszt Academy for research and international affairs, will judge the 5-6 minute pieces without knowing the identity of each artist.

The pieces picked by the selection committee will be reviewed by an international jury of well-known contemporary composers including Thomas Adès, Chaya Czernowin and Unsuk Chin. Pianist Andrey Korobeynikov will support the assessment of submissions.

Performers at the Gala Concert will include Junior Prima, Artisjus and Liszt Prize-winning pianist Balázs Fülei, Liszt and Prima Prize-winning pianist Dénes Várjon, and Artist of Merit János Balázs, likewise a winner of the Liszt and Prima Prize.