XIV. Piano Competition 2021

For the german version click here


The competition is open for all Pianists of all nations.
Application deadline: June 15, 2021.
Age Limit: Pianists of all nations who were born after September 21, 1987 are entitled to apply for the competition.

Dates & Places

  • 25. – 30.09.2021

    Registration & 1st – 3rd Round

    Orchesterzentrum NRW, Brückstraße 47, 44135 Dortmund

  • 01.10.2021

    Rehearsal Day for the Orchestra Final (not open to the public)

  • 02.10.2021 | 06:00pm

    Orchestra Final

    Orchesterzentrum NRW

  • 03.10.2021 | 11:00am

    Laureate’s Concert

    Hansa Coking Plant, Emscherallee 11, 44369 Dortmund

The performance times of the participants will be drawn.

Find more information about the dates & places here.


  • Arnulf von Arnim
    Chairman | Germany
  • Ingeborg Danz
  • Ian Fountain
  • Gabriel Kwok
    Hong Kong
  • Ewa Kupiec
  • Antti Siirala
  • Tamás Ungár
  • Elisso Virssaladze
  • Idith Zvi

Download Juryordnung (Deutsch) Download Jury Rules (English)

Competition Repertoire

  • One Impromptu (D935, D946 or D899) or one movement of a Sonata by Franz Schubert
  • One virtuoso Etude by Frédéric Chopin
  • One Etude by Debussy, Skriabin, Strawinsky or Czerny of free choice
The works of the pre-selection may but do not have to be part of the competition program.
The pieces can be recorded individually and then combined into one video. Cuts during the pieces and editings of the video are not permitted.

1st Round
  • Franz Schubert: Impromptu F minor D 935 No. 1
  • Domenico Scarlatti: One of his sonatas of free choice
  • Frédéric Chopin: One virtuoso Etude
  • One Etude by Debussy, Skriabin, Strawinsky or Czerny of free choice
2nd Round
  • Franz Schubert: Valses nobles D 969
  • Schubert/Liszt: 2 Lied-(Song-)transcriptions of free choice
  • Franz Schubert: One of his Sonatas D 537, D 568, D 575, D 664, D 784 or Wanderer-Fantasie D 760
3rd Round
  • Franz Schubert: One of his Sonatas D 845, D 850, D 894, D 958, D 959 or D 960
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: One of the Piano Concertos No. 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5


1st Prize – 10.000 €, CD-Production & Media Package
In addition to the prize money, the 1st prize winner will receive a CD production and a media package with a total value of over € 25,000. The CD will be published by GWK Records and distributed by NAXOS.
2nd Prize –  8.000 €
3rd Prize – 5.000 €
Audience Award – 2.000 €

The three finalists will also receive a professional recording of their final round with the Duisburg Philharmonic.

Concert engagements may be offered to the prizewinners, among others, by the Duisburg Philharmonic, the International Schubert-Fest Dortmund, Werner Richard – Dr. Carl Dörken Stiftung, GWK – Gesellschaft zur Förderung der westfälischen Kulturarbeit, Konzertgesellschaft Schwerte, Schloßkonzerte Melschede and others.

Host families

The International Schubert-Competition Dortmund offers a limited amount of private accommodations in host families for free. This offer is only available for participants of the competition and not for persons who visit the competition. Please indicate in the Online-Application-Form, if you want to use this service. In case that there are less private rooms than participants, who expressed the wish for a private accommodation, those participants are eligible for a private accommodation, who applied first. Travel exepnses can not be refunded.

Please note the changed conditions regarding the travel expenses: In an earlier version of the conditions of participation for the originally planned competition in 2020, an reimbursement of travel expenses for the participants were announced. Due to the corona pandemic, the postponement of the competition and the associated additional burdens, the competition can’t refund any travel expenses for the piano edition in 2021.

Conditions of Participations

Age limit

Pianists of all nations, who were born after 21 September 1987, are entitled to apply for the competition

Application and Application Deadline

The application is only possible via the Online Portal. We do not any longer accept applications via mail and will only consider complete applications.
You will need to attach the following documents to your application in the Onlineportal:
– a short CV: musical education (university and teacher), competitions awards, concert activities (PDF)
– your competition programm (you can find the repertoire here)
– a portrait photo in high resulation, which should not be older than two years
– the link to your preselection video The competition program can be changed after the application until the application deadline expires. Changes to the competition program after the application deadline expired are not possible.

The application deadline is June 15, 2021.

Application Fee

The Application Fee is 100,00 €. The payment of the application fee is made during the Online-Application-Process via PayPal, CreditCard or Bank Transfer. Please note, if you choose Bank Transfer, that your application is only complete when we received your payment before the application deadline expired. The application fee will not be refunded. We are planning to hold the competition in September. However, should this not be possible due to the corona pandemic, of course all applicants get reimbursed their application fee.

Invitation to the competition

The competition pre-jury will decide after the application deadlinde and after watching all pre-selection videos in June 2021 who will be invited to the competition. All applicants will be informed about the results. The decision can not be contested and no reason need to be given. A legal claim to participate in the competition does not exist. The registered participants have to inform the competition office immediately, if they want to renounce participation. In this case the application fee will not be refunded.

Competitions rounds

All of the three competition rounds and the orchestral final in the Orchesterzentrum NRW and the prizewinner concert in the compressorhall of the Hansa Coking Plant are open to the public. The personal registration for the competition and the draw for the competition order will take place in the Orchesterzentrum NRW. Participants, who don’t appear to the registration, arrive too late to the registration or the competition rounds or can’t show their confirmation of participation, may not require to be heard in the competition.
All works have to be recited from memory.
The orchestra finale will be accompanied by the Duisburg Philharmonic.  The competition repertoire (including all conditions) is binding for the participants competition program. Changes to the competition program after the application deadline are not possible.

Laureate’s Concert and Award Cermony

The concert will take place in the “Kompressorenhalle der Kokerei Hansa”. The free attendance at the prizewinner concert is obligatory. It’s expected that the prizewinners receive their prices personally. The program of the prizewinner concert will be made by the jury after the orchestra final.

Instruments & Practicing

Practicing rooms during the competition are available in the Orchesterzentrum NRW. The rooms are equipped with either a grand piano or a piano. In some cases there are also practicing rooms with pianos in the host families. All participants will have enough time to prepare in a rehearsal room with a grand piano before their respective performance. During the competition rounds and the orchestra final in Dortmund, the participants can choose between two different Steinway D Grand Pianos.


Prize-Winners are obligated in their future careers not to indicate any awards other than those actually given to them. The XIV. Piano Competition 2021 will be broadcasted on the competitions facebook page and the competitions website via livestream. The competition have the right, without giving any fee to the competitors or their assign. a) to make a radio-recording, tv-, video- or film-shot and/or take photographs from all competitions and from the Prize Winners Concert to offer it the press b) to make and sell records, cds, tapes, videos etc. from all competitions completely or in cuttings without print-limit or to assign the production and sell to other people.