1. International Piano Competition « Merci, Maestro! » is open to young pianists from all around the world.

In the beginning of 2020, 56 candidates from 25 countries have been selected for the final rounds of the competition.

Due to uncertainty caused by pandemic situation the management of the competition has decided to organize both final rounds of competition in ONLINE format with the following timing:

Online 1st rounds:

  • Tuesday, March 23th 2021 Category C
  • Wednesday, March 24th 2021 Category A and B

Online Finals*:

  • Friday, March 26th 2021 All categories

* max 10 candidates from each category will be selected to the finals.


The Gala concert of the winners is currently planned for Sunday, April 25th  2021 in Gothic Hall of the City Administration of Brussels. The winners will be invited to come to Brussels to perform in the Gala concert. The competition will facilitate the accommodation of the participants.

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


2. There are 3 categories for the competition: A, B and C. In 2021 all participants will participate in the same Categories (A, B or C) that they have registered in 2020.

3. The Competition is divided into pre-preselection round, the first and the final ONLINE rounds for all categories. The first and the final rounds are open to public for free.

4. 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


Additional prizes:

  • Special prizes: participation in several workshops, concerts and festivals in Europe
  • Prize to youngest participant in each category


Some winners will be awarded with scholarships to take part in master classes with famous pianists.

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

Certificate of participation will be issued to participants, who were not selected to the final round.

All the finalists will receive diplomas for their participation at the competition.

All winners will receive diplomas during the GALA concert.


5. Administration fees:

Bearing the current situation with COVID-19 virus, all registration fees payed by participants in 2020  will be counted for 2021.

No extra administration fees, neither new candidates for the competition 2021 will accepted.


6. The programs for both online rounds should be registered by March, 1st 2021 using the online form.

Video files with performances for both online rounds should be sent to using WeTransfer no later than March 1st 2021


7. Selection of participants

Pre-selection round: the list of participants has been already published on our website on March 5th, 2020

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

First online round: the list of the finalists will be announced after the deliberation of each category at the end of the day.

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

Final online round: the list of the laureates will be announced after the deliberation of each category at the end of the day.


If some selected participants do not confirm their participation in online rounds (and do not fill in the registration document before December  15st, 2020), the administration keeps a right to invite other participants who took part in the Pre-selection rounds in 2020. The total number of participants should not exceed the pre-defined limits.


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

9. Changes in the repertoire will not be allowed after after March 1st 2021.


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

11.Travel and accommodation expenses are at the candidates expense.

*Attention! Participants of the GALA concert who wish to stay in the host family need to fill out a request for accommodation in a host family form before April 1st, 2021. He or she should also make a deposit of 50 euros. This deposit must be carried out after confirmation of your application. The amount of EUR 50 is refundable with no damage to host family’s properties and will be refunded in cash after the Gala Concert 25.04.2021.

The accommodation in host families is foreseen exclusively for the date of the Gala Concert 2021: from April, 23 (check in 18h00-20h00) till April 26th 2021 (check out: 26.04.2021 at 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.


12. The candidates decide the order of pieces in their performance.

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

14. 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.

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

17. 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.

18. 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.

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

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

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

22. 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).

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

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

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