Rules and Conditions

1. International Piano Competition Merci, Maestro! is open for young pianists from all around the world. The Competition will take place in Brussels, Belgium, on April 11-16th 2023 after the pre-selection round on March 6-10th, 2023 (preselection is based on video recordings).

2. There are 4 categories for the competition: A, B, C and D:

  • Category A: for candidates younger than 10 years old (inclusive) at the time of the Competition
  • Category B: for candidates from 11 to 14 years old (inclusive) at the time of the Competition
  • Category C: for candidates from 15 to 20 years old (inclusive) for the time of the Competition
  • Category D: for candidates from 21 to 25 years old (inclusive) for the time of the Competition

The Gala concert of the winners is currently planned for Sunday, April 16th  2023 in the Muziek academy of Anderlecht (Brussel).

3. The Competition consists of:

For category A, B, C:

  1. Pre-selection round (via video recording). After registration, all candidates will be invited to a pre-selection round. The number of participants in the pre-selection round is not limited. During the pre-selection round (via video recording) maximum 80 candidates for all category will be accepted for the participation at the competition. The list of participants who pass to the next rounds will be published on our website on March 10th, 2023 (after 20:00).
  2. First round (life performance in Brussels). During the First round maximum 10 candidates from each category will be accepted for the participation at the second round of the competition. The list of the participants at this round will be announced after the deliberation of each category at the end of the day.
  3. Second (Final) round (life performance in Brussels). The list of the winners will be announced during the GALA concert as well as a list of the participants at the GALA concert (normally 1st prize winners will take part at the GALA concert).

For category D:

  1. Pre-selection round (via video recording). After registration, all candidates will be invited to a pre-selection round. The number of participants in the pre-selection round is not limited. During the pre-selection round (via video recording) maximum 80 candidates for all category will be accepted for the participation at the competition. The list of participants who pass to the next rounds will be published on our website on March 10th, 2023 (after 20:00).
  2. First round (life performance in Brussels). During the First round maximum 10 candidates from each category will be accepted for the participation at the second round of the competition. The list of the participants at this round will be announced after the deliberation of each category at the end of the day.
  3. Second round (life performance in Brussels). The list of the finalists (maximum 4) will be announced after the deliberation of thecategory at the end of the day.
  4. Third (Final) round (life performance with orchestra in Brussels). The list of the winners will be announced after performing at  the GALA concert with orchestra. 

The first and the final rounds are open to public for free.

4. Program requirements

Changes in the repertoire will not be allowed after registration at the competition.

ALL CATEGORIES – Pre-selection round

For all categories: YouTube or any other video file download link to one piece recently performed by the applicant. Recording can be from any performance, competition or homemade. 

Program for all categories: one virtuous study and works of a free choice

From the edition 2023: no music by Russian composers can be performed during the competition

The whole repertoire must be played by memory.

Program duration:

  • Category A: maximum 5 min 
  • Category B: maximum 10 min 
  • Category C: maximum 15 min 
  • Category D: maximum 20 min 

The program at the pre-selection round and First round may be repeated. The programs of the First and Final round may be repeated, but during the Final round one new piece should be presented that has not been performed on the First round.

Category A ,B, C

First round:

Category A : maximum  8 minutes

  1. One of the pieces of J.S. Bach
  2. One virtuous study (etude) by Czerny, Clementi, Chopin, Liszt
  3. A work(s) of a free choice 

Category B : maximum  10 minutes

  1. One of the Prelude and Fugue from WTC or two- or three-part invention of J.S. Bach
  2. One virtuous study (etude) by Czerny, Clementi, Chopin, Liszt
  3. A work(s) of a free choice

Category C : maximum 15 minutes

  1. One of the Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach from WTC
  2. One virtuous study (etude): F.Chopin, F.Liszt, C.Saint-Saëns, C.Debussy, V.Kosenko Etude op.19 n 4 (Courante) ; V.Kosenko 11 etudes op.8 (n 1,3,5,6,9)
  3. A work(s) of a free choice

Second (Final) round:

Category A : maximum 10 min

  1. One of the pieces of J.S. Bach
  2. Few pieces of a free choice

Category B : maximum 15 min

  1. One movement of a classic sonata (tempo allegro) or variations: Haydn, Mozart,Beethoven
  2. Few pieces of a free choice

Category C : maximum 20 min

  1. One movement of a classic sonata (tempo allegro) or variations: Haydn, Mozart,Beethoven
  2. Few pieces of a free choice

Category D

First round:

Category D : maximum 20 minutes

  1. One of the Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach from WTC
  2. One virtuous study (etude) : F.Chopin, F.Liszt, C.Saint-Saëns, C.Debussy, B.Lyatoshynsky “Concert Etude-Rondo “, S.Bortkiewicz 10 etudes op.15 (n 1,3,5,9)
  3. A work(s) of a free choice

Second round:

Category D : maximum 25 min

  1. One movement of a classic sonata (tempo allegro) or variations: Haydn, Mozart,Beethoven
  2. Few pieces of a free choice 

Third (Final) round:

Category D : 

Participants must play the first movement of one of the following piano concertos:

  1. W.A.Mozart Piano concert N.20 (D minor) KV 466
  2. L.van Beethoven Piano concerto N.3 (C minor) op.27

5. The order of pieces to perform:

First round:

  1. One of the pieces of J.S. Bach
  2. One virtuous study
  3. A work(s) of a free choice

Second round:

  1. Bach (Category A) / One movement of a classic sonata (tempo allegro)  or variations : Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (Categories B, C)
  2. Few pieces of a free choice
  3. The virtuous study at the pre-selection round and First round may be repeated 

The programs of the First and Final round may be repeated, but during the Final round one new piece should be presented that has not been performed on the First round.

6. Prizes:

Prizes for the winners of the International Competition for Young Pianists «Merci, Maestro!»

Category A:

  • First prize: 150 euro
  • Second prize: 100 euro
  • Third prize: 50 euro

Category B:

  • First prize: 200 euro
  • Second prize: 150 euro
  • Third prize: 100 euro

Category C:

  • First prize: 300 euro
  • Second prize: 200 euro
  • Third prize: 150 euro

Category D:

  • First prize: 500 euro
  • Second prize: 300 euro
  • Third prize: 200 euro

Special Prizes: 

  • Prizes to youngest promising participant in each category
  • Special diplomas
  • Part of the sscholarships to take part in the festival & master classes  International Music Academy “FORTE” (www.musicacademy.be) with famous musicians
  • Special prizes: participation in several workshops, concerts and festivals in Europe

If several winners receive the same number of points, the prize is distributed among them in equal proportion.

All winners will receive prizes in cash at the Gala concert. 

All the finalists will receive diplomas for their presence at the secretary office of the competition. 

Certificate of participation will be issued to participants, who were not selected to the final round, in the evening after the announcement of the first-round results at the secretary office of the competition.

7. Administration fees:

  • A non-refundable registration fee at the moment of the registration (VISA) together with a YouTube Link with a recent recording of the participant and all documents specified in the requirements for inscription before March 1st, 2023
  • No extra documents, no changeset of the program after submit to the participation are accepted.
  • In case of the list of the documents is not completed administration are wright don’t accept the participation.
  • Selected candidates will be informed by the administration of the competition by March 10th 2023.
  • Category A:     60 euros 
  • Category B:     80 euros 
  • Category C:     100 euros 
  • Category D:     120 euros 

8. Registration has to be submitted before March 1st, 2023.

You can register HERE.

Changes in the repertoire will not be allowed after registration at the competition.

All video links, documents for visa application, photos of the participants, etc… have to be attached to the registration document. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

*Attention! Foreign participants of the Competition, who need entry visa to Belgium, will receive an invitation letter confirming his/her participation in the Competition only after payment of the administration fees.

All supporting documents for visa applications will be sent by e-mail. IF origin documents are needed, the participant will cover 20 Euros of postal costs.

9. All travel and accommodation costs are at the candidate’s expense. 

However, the candidates may file a request for free accommodation in one of our carefully selected host families.

*Attention! Each participant who desires to stay in the host family has to fill out the request for accommodation in a host family and send it to the organizers of the Competition (between 10 and 20 march 2023 if the candidate is accepted for the competition). The number of available places in host families is limited.

He or she should also make a deposit of 50 euros. This deposit must be paid during the registration process for host family (with credit card).

The deposit of EUR 50 is refundable (under conditions of no damage to host family’s properties) and only in cash after the Gala Concert on 16.04.2023. 

In case of refusal of the candidate to stay in the host family, the deposit will not be refunded.

To consider the accommodation in host families the full set of documents (filled-in application, photo, copy of passports and proof of payment of registration fee) should be submitted no later than March 2o, 2023.

The accommodation in host families is foreseen exclusively for the dates of competition: 

  • Check in: from April, 15.04.2023, 18h00-20h00
  • Stay : till April 17.04.2023.
  • Check out: 17.04.2023 , 08h00-10h00

Beyond these dates no accommodation in host families is possible. If a participant would like to stay in Belgium longer, he is kindly asked to take care of his accommodation himself.

Additional information: The host families only provide rooms for accommodation. No other services are included. The participants should take care themselves about food, transportation and other needs related to their stay in host families.

Beyond these dates no accommodation in host families is possible. If a participant would like to stay in Belgium longer, he is kindly asked to take care of his accommodation himself.

10. Participants registration

Those who participate in person are kindly requested to register themselves upon arrival.

The registration will take place at: Muziekacademy Anderlecht, Brussel, Pl. de la Vaillance 5, 1070 Anderlecht.

  • For Category C, D:       Tuesday, April 11th 2023 (time to be confirm)
  • For Category A, B:       Friday, April 14st 2023  (time to be confirm)

11. Rehearsals (only for the participants of the competition)

Rehearsals at the competition’s piano:

  • CAT C, D          Tuesday, April 11th 2023 (time to be confirm) 
  • CAT A, B          Friday, April 14st 2023 (time to be confirm)

Rehearsals-trainings in the rooms with piano:

  • CAT C, D           April 11-15, 2023 : 09:00 – 18:00 
  • CAT A, B Thursday – April 14-15, 2023: 09:00 – 18:00 

12. All works must be performed by heart without partitions.  

13. The prize-winners commit themselves to giving a benefit concert for the Competition.

14. The candidates need to be present minimum 30min before the performance.

15. If the candidate is a student of one of the jury’s members this member cannot vote.

16. The candidate who already received one prize cannot participate one more time in the same category.

The public is prohibited from photographing or filming during the performances. The direction of the Competition has the right to do and reproduce pictures, video and audio recordings, as well as broadcasting on the radio and TV channels.

17. Members of the Jury are musicians and teachers with worldwide reputation.

18. Decisions of the jury are irrevocable. Only the members of the Jury shall be competent for any dispute. Their decisions are irrevocable and should not be justified. It Members of the jury can possibly decide not to give any prize in one category. If two candidates end up at the same place, the President of the Jury will decide about the winner.

19. The « Merci, Maestro! » competition reserves the right, without payment of fees, to record and distribute recordings for media and other purposes, including the Internet, and to televise, broadcast, film, record, videotape, photograph or live stream all stages of the competition, all prize performances and concerts.

20. The « Merci, Maestro! » competition reserves the right to change the conditions and rules in the interest of the competition.

21. In case of refusal of the candidate to participate in the competition, the registration fee will not be refunded.

22. All the pieces chosen by the candidates themselves must be accepted by the Jury and published in a repertoire.

23. The announcement of one category’s finalists will take place after the appearance of all the candidates of the category (at the end of the day).

24. The passage of the candidates is organised in alphabetical order. Nevertheless, the direction of the Competition has the right to modify their order.

25. The direction of the Competition is not responsible for any physical or material damages that could result from the participation at the contest.

26. Each participant is responsible for personal medical insurance, risk and personal belongings insurance.