Bartók World Competition & Festival


6 September 2018


Even the organisers were surprised by the immense popularity of the composition round of the Bartók World Competition and Festival. 214 young composers from all over the world have submitted their piano compositions for the contest. In accordance with the Constitution of the Bartók World Competition, the winning compositions of this year’s composers’ contest will constitute a part of the obligatory repertoire – besides Bartók’s prominent piano works – at the 2019 Piano Round.  

214 works were submitted from 53 countries to get judged by the Selection Committee by the end of the application period, 31 August . Besides the 25 Hungarian applicants, most candidates are from Italy, the US, South Korea, but there are also Uzbek, Mexican and Iranian composers among the applicants. The submitted piano pieces – from all together 5 continents – prove Béla Bartók’s worldwide prestigious position and great international significance. As the President of the Liszt Academy, Dr Andrea Vigh said: „Bartók is at home in Hungary, his mother tongue is ours, we understand him best, and it shows clearly that the entire world needs our interpretation of his works. Musicologists and performers accumulate this Hungarian treasure and national heritage shoulder to shoulder. The Liszt Academy was Bartók’s alma mater, and the Bartók World Competition greatly contributes to Hungary’s reputable image and strengthens our position among talented peoples.”

Faculty members of the Liszt Academy - chaired by the Head of the Composition Department and Vice-President of the Liszt Academy in Research and International Affairs, Gyula Fekete – were handed over the submitted music sheets and audio files supplied with anonymous codes only, which they will evaluate together in mid-September.  Composers under 40 years of age were invited to submit their 5-6 minute- long piano solo pieces for the contest. The Selection Committee will choose compositions to be viewed by the illustrious international jurors: as representatives of the most acknowledged contemporary composers, Thomas Adès, Chaya Czernowin and Unsuk Chin accepted our invitation to be members of the jury, while Andrey Korobeynikov supports the assessment process as a pianist, as he sees the submitted works from a different perspective: do they  give pianists the opportunity to show both their musical and technical abilities? The prize winning works as well as the compositions receiving honourable mentions will be performed by the Junior Prima, Artisjus and Liszt-Awards winning pianist, Balázs Fülei, the Liszt – and Prima Awards-winning pianist Dénes Várjon and by the Meritorious Artist János Balázs, winner of the Liszt and Prima Awards at a Gala Concert on 25 November.