Rules and Conditions

The feasibility of the Competition as well as a Gala concert will be subject to Governmental rules regarding the COVID social gatherings regulations and will be confirmed later.

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 21-24th 2022 after the pre-selection round on March 2-4th, 2022 (preselection is based on video recordings).

2. There are 3 categories for the competition: A, B and C:

  • 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 21 years old (inclusive) for the time of the Competition

The Gala concert of the winners is currently planned for Sunday, April 24th  2022 in Gothic Hall of the City Administration of Brussels. 

3. The Competition consists of:

  1. Pre-selection round (via video recording) 
  2. First round (life performance)
  3. Final round (life performance) 

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

  1. Pre-selection round (via video recordings)

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 20 candidates by category will be accepted for the participation at the competition*:

  • Category A: maximum 20 candidates
  • Category B: maximum 20 candidates
  • Category C: maximum 20 candidates

* The administration keeps rights to invite more participants for take part in the pre-selection rounds in certain category if less than 20 candidates get registered for other categories.

The list of participants who pass to the next rounds will be published on our website on March 5th, 2022.

2. First round (life in Brussels)

During the First round maximum 10 candidates from each category will be accepted for the participation at the final round of the competition:

  • Category A: maximum 10 finalists
  • Category B: maximum 10 finalists
  • Category C: maximum 10 finalists

The list of the finalists will be announced after the deliberation of each category at the end of the day.

4. Program requirements

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

  1. Pre-selection round

For all categories : one virtuous study and work(s) of a free choice.

Programm duration:

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

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

2. First round program :

Category A : maximum  8 minutes

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

Category B : maximum  10 minutes

  • One virtuous study
  • One of the Prelude and Fugue from WTC or two- or three-part invention of J.S. Bach
  • A work(s) of a free choice

Category C : maximum 15 minutes

  • One virtuous study
  • One of the Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach from WTC
  • A work(s) of a free choice

3. Final round program :

Category A : maximum 10 min

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

Category B : maximum 15 min

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

Category C : maximum 20 min

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

5. The order of pieces to perform:

First round:

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

Final round:

  • Bach (Category A) / One movement of a classic sonata (tempo allegro)  or variations : Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (Categories B, C)
  • Few pieces of a free choice
  • 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:

Category A:

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

Category B:

  • First prize: 400 euro
  • Second prize: 300 euro
  • Third prize: 200 euro

Category C:

  • First prize: 600 euro
  • Second prize: 400 euro
  • Third prize: 250 euro

Special prizes:

Prizes to youngest promising participant in each category

  • Special diplomas
  • Invitation and discount for participation in International Music Academy “FORTE” in Brussels (www.musicacademy.be)
  • Scholarships to take part in master classes with famous pianists
  • 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.

Certificate of participation to participants who are not selected to the final round will be issued in the evening, after the announcement of the first-round results or after the GALA concert.

All the finalists will receive diplomas in the evening, after the announcement of the final-round results or after the GALA concert.

All winners will receive diplomas at the GALA concert. All winners are expected to take part of the GALA concert.

7. Administration fees:

Category A: 60 euros to be paid in 2 instalments:

  • A non-refundable registration fee of 30 euros on registration.
  • If accepted, the rest 30 euros (balance: 60 – 30 = 30 euro) to be paid by March 10th 2022.

Selected maximum 20 candidates will be informed by the administration of the competition by March 5th 2022.

Category B: 80 euros to be paid in 2 instalments:

  • A non-refundable registration fee of 40 euros on registration.
  • If accepted, the rest 40 euros (balance: 80 – 40 = 40 euro) to be paid by March 10th 2022.

Selected maximum 20 candidates will be informed by the administration of the competition by March 5th 2022.

Category C: 100 euros to be paid in 2 instalments:

  • A non-refundable registration fee of 50 euros on registration.
  • If accepted, the rest 50 euros (balance: 100 – 50 = 50 euro) to be paid by March 10th 2022.

Selected maximum 20 candidates will be informed by the administration of the competition by March 5th 2022.

Fees have to be paid to with credit card (after completing the ONLINE application form) or via bank transfer (if you choose this option please contact the administration).

All the costs related to bank money transfer should be paid by the participant.

8. Registration has to be submitted before March 1st, 2022.

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 5 and 10 march 2022 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 24.04.2022. 

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 10th, 2022.

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

  • Check in: from April, 20.04.2021, 18h00-20h00
  • Stay : till April 25.04.2022.
  • Check out: 25.04.2022 , 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

All participants are kindly requested to register themselves upon arrival.

The registration will take place at Piano’s Maene Bruxelles, Rue de l’Argonne 37, 1060:

  • For Category C:        Wednesday, 20th April 2022 at  09:00 – 18:00
  • For Category A, B:    Thursday, April 21th 2022 at 09:00 – 18:00

11. Rehearsals

Rehearsals at the competition’s piano:

  • Wednesday, April 20th: 09:00 – 18:00
  • Thursday, April 21st: 18:00 – 20:00

Rehearsals-trainings in small rooms with piano:

  • Wednesday, April 20th: 09:00 – 18:00 at the academy 
  • Thursday, April 21st: 09:00 – 18:00 at the academy
  • Friday, April 22nd: 09:00 – 18:00 at the academy
  • Saturday, April 23rd: 09:00 – 12:00 at the academy

*Only for 10 finalists of Category C: 

  • Friday, April 22nd: 09:00 – 15:00 at Tchaikovsky Music School

Rehearsal plannings will be announced several days prior to the competition.

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.