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Exciting news for our 2022 Piano Star competitors: announcing new partnership with the Luzerne Music Center!
Announcing New Sponsorship for the 2022 Piano Star Competition - Piano League

Exciting news for our 2022 Piano Star competitors: announcing new partnership with the Luzerne Music Center!

Piano League is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Luzerne Music Center, a prestigious summer music camp in Lake Luzerne, NY, USA, for musicians from all over the world ages 9 to 18. Luzerne Music Center will be sponsoring over $10,000 USD in scholarship to the 2022 Piano Star Internatio...


Today the Ferruccio Busoni - Gustav Mahler Foundation releases the following statement:

Words fail to express the abhorrence and grief the war in Ukraine evokes in all of us.
More than 70 years ago, the Busoni Competition was conceived as a peace project, seeking to heal the wounds of World War II and to build bridges between estranged nations and cultures. Then, as now, the future of peace in Europe and the world depended on dialogue, cooperation, and the strengthening of shared values.
In honour of that origin, we strongly encourage all young pianists of any nationality, but particularly those from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, to participate in the upcoming edition of the Busoni Competition. Once again, we are inviting the world to bridge its divisions and share our dedication to classical music.



🔴 Statement of the WFIMC regarding Russian and Belarussian Candidates

The WFIMC and its members have condemned in the strongest terms the horrendous war that has caused unimaginable pain and suffering among the people of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the war has caused a growing isolation of Russian and Belarussian musicians, often without differentiation between state-sponsored artists who represent their government's ideology, and musicians who have taken great risks and gone out of their way to voice their opposition to this war.

The statutes of the World Federation of International Music Competition require its member competitions to maintain the strictest ethics, and to treat its participants with integrity, dignity and humanity. No candidate can be seen as an official of his/her government, and no participant can be automatically declared a representative of an ideology simply because of his or her nationality. To the contrary, our organisation will always protect and support young musicians regardless of where they come from. Using the universal language of music, we encourage young artists to act as ambassadors of dialogue, understanding and bridge building between people.

It is the responsibility of the WFIMC to prevent the instrumentalization of young musicians. With this in mind, we strongly recommend and ask our member organisations not to discriminate against and exclude any young and gifted artists from participating in their competitions. They are fighting for a better future, and they are in dire need of all the support we are able to extend to them.


The board and secretariat of the World Federation is in frequent contact with many of our members, trying to mediate and support where we can. Following many inquiries, we are also in the process of evaluating and discussing the status of our Russian members. A statement in this regard will follow within the next week.

World Federation of International Music Competitions
Peter Paul Kainrath, President



Dealing with Pain: A Psychologist’s Piano Journey

Name: Heather O’Donnell
Location: Cologne, Germany
Profession: Psychologist (former pianist)
Years of Piano Studies: depends on how you count, but officially 22.

The history of my “disruptive and mysterious health issues” runs almost parallel to my history as a pianist. I started playing the piano, like most professional pianists, at the age of five, and the first strange symptoms arrived in my teens. I was more prone to joint pain, anemia, and struggles with depression than my peers. At 18, I was experiencing quite a lot of pain while playing which led to teachers mentioning disorders such as ‘repetitive strain syndrome’ or ‘tendonitis’, though my practicing habits at this point were not especially enthusiastic or vigorous, and should not have placed an extraordinary level of strain on my body.

However, upon entering the conservatory, I discovered a means to distinguish myself from my peers: as an obsessive and almost self-punishing practicer. This could involve starting at 6 am and acquiring 11 or 12 hours of practice time before the day was over. I mention this with a wish to distinguish genuine commitment to an artistic undertaking from sheer stupidity. Unfortunately, my approach was mired much more in the latter than the former. It was also displaying socially avoidant behavior: the practice room was a more controlled and immediately gratifying environment than the unpredictable world outside. It was comforting to be inside the small room with the big piano and the music that so beautifully and gratifyingly reflected seemingly limitless aspects of human experience.

I was rewarded for this approach, not so much in genuine progress at the instrument (this would have more likely occurred with a third of the practice hours, combined with explorations into other aspects of musicianship and developmental life experiences), but more in a social reward system from the conservatory community which cheered me on in my ostentatious displays of commitment and self-flagellations. I learned to practice over pain signals and to focus exclusively on herculean programming as a means of securing social standing in an environment in which there were few clear guidelines on how to enter professional life following studies. I developed a love for large-form and highly ambitious pieces which I maintain to this day (whether or not this is a psychologically healthy tendency is another question): the Liszt Sonata, Wanderer Fantasy, the Goldberg Variations, the Concord Sonata to name a few. The brush with heroism in such pieces is habit-forming, and playing them is indeed a thrilling experience.

But heroism/thrill-seeking lies often on the opposite side of the spectrum to longevity. Especially when one is overreaching their physical and psychic capacities. And, it’s important to mention- female bodies are not ideally fitted to modern piano design.

So, I won’t go into too much detail about the 15 or so years in which pain became chronified, and the symptoms became more pronounced and stranger. There were frequent visits to all sorts of medical and therapeutic practitioners. I found pianists who were specialized in rehabilitation after injury and worked for several years with them. I sought out a lot of help from physiotherapists, Feldenkrais teachers, a manual therapist, psychotherapists, among others, and these interventions were sometimes helpful but didn’t seem to be able to break the cycle of alarming symptoms, which eventually congealed into a triad of 1) chronic pain, 2) a lack of sensation in the fingers and 3) weakness/lack of control/trembling in some fingers. A story that illuminates this: at some point in the mid-2000s, I met with a good friend and confided to her what kinds of things I was experiencing. She looked down at my hand (at that point the left hand was particularly affected) and then impulsively reached out, holding onto my hand, saying in a shocked tone: “It looks like the hand of a dead person”. There was a certain degree of muscle atrophy in the palm, and, of course, I was cradling the hand protectively most of the time, because the pain was disturbing and scary.

It wasn’t just the hands and arms that were presenting alarming symptoms: I was in poor health. I couldn’t go for more than two hours without needing to collapse into a deep nap, and when I’d stand up too quickly I’d lose my sight for about 4-10 seconds and feel dizzy. This was related to anemia which was connected with a lifelong bout with (until that point) undiagnosed celiac disease. In 2008, I was finally hospitalized for a week to run a battery of tests intended to identify the source of anemia. On the last day, before they were about to release me without an answer to the problem, a doctor ran a celiac test and the results were through the roof. Afterwards, I resorted to a logical fallacy: ‘Celiac was the cause of my health problems’. The reality was much more convoluted, and, as often happens in life, clear lines of causality cannot be drawn in real world problems which are protracted, messy and too old and entrenched to trace. Biological problems fuel psychological responses like stress reactions, and stress reactions can chronify and exacerbate biological problems. The biopsychosocial maelstrom of health disruption resists clear clinical diagnoses, and it is sometimes a psychologically healthier approach to learn to live with uncertainty and stop torturing oneself with questions like: “What caused this?”

Even though I was able to treat Celiac disease, the hand/arm problems and chronic pain lingered and occasionally flared. It was simply a dreadful thing to be a pianist in this condition. I stopped.

Then began a fumbling attempt to identify who I was without the mantle of ‘pianist’, which I had worn since I was a kid. Should I go back to school and study something? If so, what? What am I interested in? What are my abilities? The answer to these questions at that point was usually: “I have no idea!” I landed on psychology, and managed to win a spot at the Freie Universität in Berlin. The next 5 years were engulfed by limping through an endless battery of statistics, experimental design, probability theory, and different approaches to clinical and experimental psychology. And most importantly, after struggling for years to successfully carry a pregnancy to term, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

Now on the other side of training as a psychologist and specialist in musicians’ health and injury prevention, I have started to play again in the last couple of years. I’ve been enjoying going back to old pieces and finding, to my delight, that they’re still sitting in my system, waiting to be picked up and dusted off. We all love stories of triumph and overcoming crisis, but this isn’t one of those! This is, by all means, not a hero’s story. I walk (pianistically speaking) with a pronounced limp, and this is now part of me. I can’t practice more than 90 minutes – 2 hours per day without the pains and other symptoms returning. Maybe this will stay like that forever, maybe it will change, I’m not so concerned with putting a lot of mental energy into wondering about that.

If I can play the piano for a little bit today, well then, that’s nice!

Cliburn Competition Releases Statement Regarding Russian Pianists - Piano League
Cliburn Competition Releases Statement Regarding Russian Pianists - Piano League

Cliburn Competition Releases Statement Regarding Russian Pianists - Piano League

Today, the Cliburn competition released a statement concerning Russian pianists participating in the Audition Round of the competition. Below is the full statement: March 3, 2022 The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is reprehensible and heartbreaking. The Cliburn stands firmly against and condemns this...

Photos from The Cliburn's post

Photos from The Cliburn's post


There is SO MUCH to look forward to in 2022 & 2023! As we prepare for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (just 4 MONTHS away), we are proud to announce that applications are open NOW for the third edition of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival (for pianists age 13 to 17), which will take place June 8-17, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. Virtuoso pianist and phenomenal educator Janina Fialkowska will serve as jury chair. The first three rounds will again take place on the beautiful SMU campus, and the Final Round will see three exceptional pianists performing full concertos with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at Meyerson Symphony Center! Full details and the application can be found at

June 2-18, 2022: Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
October 12-18, 2022: Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition
June 8-17, 2023: Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival


NOW OPEN: Applications for the 2022 Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians (13-25 September)!

The Competition is a platform showcasing
young talents from around the world. Open to candidates of all nationalities aged under 24.

Applications close 30 April. Details at

MEET OUR JURY | the jury members of piano division

#musicilluminatestheworld #abrandnew2022


Applications now open for the 64th Busoni Piano Competition!
Info >

#busonicompetition #applynow #piano #wfimc

The 2021 Piano Star International Competition Grand Final Winners have been announced!🌟--It has been a competitive and r...

The 2021 Piano Star International Competition Grand Final Winners have been announced!🌟
It has been a competitive and rewarding few months and the caliber of musicianship was extremely high with hundreds of applicants from around the world competing for 32 Grand Final slots. Congratulations to all of our winners!

Thanks to all the students that participated, judges who served on our panels, and staff that pulled this all together! See you next year for the 2022 Piano Star International Competition✨

Piano Star 2021 | Trailer

Only three days until the Piano Star 2021 grand finals🌟 Tune in this weekend to hear some outstanding and talented pianists perform live!

Amateur Division Grand Final: December 11th, 8p EST
Professional Division Grand Final: December 12th, 3p EST

Streaming links in comments!

Piano Star 2021 | Trailer

Don't forget to support our pianists and watch the grand finals of this year's Piano Star International Competition!🌟

Amateur Division Grand Final: December 11th, 8p EST
Professional Division Grand Final: December 12th, 3p EST

Streaming links in the comments!

We're excited to announce the Preliminary Round results of this year's Piano Star International Competition!🌟

We're excited to announce the Preliminary Round results of this year's Piano Star International Competition!🌟

Dear PL fans,We are receiving an unexpectedly high number of questions about the 2021 Piano Star Competition between tod...

Dear PL fans,

We are receiving an unexpectedly high number of questions about the 2021 Piano Star Competition between today and yesterday. In order to answer these questions properly, we have made the decision to have a one-time, 3-day extension to the application deadline.

The new application deadline will be Wednesday, Oct 27th, 2021, 11:59pm Pacific Time. (3am ET)

The date of announcement of the Preliminary Round results will remain the same: November 7th, 2021.

Please take advantage of this one-time extension and apply before the application window closes!

Piano League


New York, NY



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We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Piano League as their 2022 competition scholarship sponsor!
Music is my passion! Not my style bragging, but when your 8yo students is winning ALL the International Piano Competitions he enters, and he just won 1st prize at a competition which will include him in the 2023 Season at Carnegie Hall … proud teacher here. Congratulations Louis for another work superbly done! With Long Gao ABRSM American Protégé Piano League The Pianist Piano Magazine Steinway Piano Gallery - Carolina Miller Piano Company Fazioli Pianoforti G. Henle Verlag Universität Mozarteum Salzburg Conservatorio Rossini Curtis Institute of Music The Julliard School At Lincoln Center
Attention young pianists - the 2021 Piano Star International Competition is accepting applications beginning Sept. 1! This annual competition is presented by the Piano League - a multi-platform media outlet that connects pianists from around the world with piano-based news, entertainment, and community - co-founded and directed by 2016 HHIPC alum, Brian Lin. In addition to running the Piano League, Brian is also pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Bravo, Brian! 🎹👏👏
🌸 ПОСЛЕДНИЙ ДЕНЬ ПРИЕМА ЗАЯВОК НА международный конкурс "SPRING IN LONDON" !❤ 🇬🇧Лондон с его королевским лоском и роскошью традиций приветствует участников! Город привлекает людей искусства и дает возможность для творческого самовыражения, знакомства с различными культурами, школами и подходами к арт-обучению. Настал ваш черед! 🇬🇧Участвуя в конкурсе SPRING IN LONDON вы получаете приглашение в клуб "королевских экспертов". Члены нашего экспертного совета - педагоги высших квалификационных категорий, популярные концертирующие артисты, организаторы престижных культурных событий в Европе. ПОДАТЬ ЗАЯВКУ:
Hey, guys! How do you doing? I want to share with you a romantic and beautiful piano composition from one of my favorite composer Keys Of Moon. I hope you will enjoy this! And I wish you a really great day! 🎵🎶🎹
Hi! I want to show you a really impressive and touching piano composition from PeriTune. I'm pretty much sure you're gonna love this! That reminds me why I'm in love with this instrument. Enjoy this! 🎶🎵 #pianomusic
Dear friends! We are happy to announce that the first recital of the second round of Crescendo International Youth Music Competition 2021 is premiering on our youtube channel right now: The recital videos will be available for 24 hours only, please support the young performers, share, and enjoy!
After 3 intensive rounds, 2020 Piano Star International Competition Winners Showcases has been announced. Congratulations to Opus119 students representing Global region: Taige Wang (10) Gold Medal in age 10-12 Lucie Kim (14) Silver Medal in age 13-15 Angela Lee (16) Gold Medal in age 16-18 They received a combined total of $80000 scholarship award. Piano League Steinway & Sons Taige W Leilei
More piano competition news - 2020 HHIPC alum, Andrew Shi (16) is a finalist in the 2020 Piano League "Piano Star" International Competition for pianists up to 18 years old. Bravo, Andrew and best wishes in the final round 🎹👏😷! 2016 HHIPC alum, Brian Lin, is the Founder & Executive Director of the Piano League. Congrats to Brian on this great endeavor!