Piano 2018


The 2018 Geneva Piano Competition will be held from 27 October - 8 November in Geneva, Switzerland. The competition is open to all pianists born after 8 November 1988, regardless of gender or nationality. Candidates  who  have  already  won a first Prize at one of the earlier Geneva Competitions are not allowed to enter for the same discipline again.

Application deadline: May 4th, 2018




  • Hortense Cartier Bresson
  • Fabrizio Chiovetta
  • Géry Moutier
  • Cédric Pescia
  • Akiko Shirogane



All pieces must be performed by heart, except for the compulsory piece and the contemporary piece (Recital II), as well as the chamber music work. Candidates may choose the order in which they wish to perform their programme during each round.

A. Preliminary round – video recording

  • J. S. Bach: a choice of one piece among the following :
    - Preludes & Fugues (Well-Tempered Clavier) BWV846 – BWV893
    - Partitas (min. 3 movements) BWV825 – BWV831
    - Toccatas BWV910 – BWV916
    - English Suites (min. 3 movements) BWV 806 – BWV811
    - French Suites (min. 3 movements) BWV 812 – BWV817 
  • F. Chopin or F. Liszt: ONE Etude at choice
    - Chopin: Etudes Op. 10 or Etudes Op. 25
    - Liszt: Transcendental Etudes S. 139 OR
    - Etude de Paganini S. 141
  • Third piece at free choice (for piano solo)

The works chosen for the preliminary round may be performed again during the competition.

B. Recital I: (max. 40 candidates - max. 30 min.)

  • One work at choice by one of the following composers:
    - J. Brahms
    - F. Chopin
    - F. Schubert
    - R. Schumann
  • A classical piece at choice from the following list:
    - W. A. Mozart: Rondo in D Maj. KV 485 (5‘)
    - J. Haydn: Variations in F min. Hob. XVII/6 (16’)
    - L. v. Beethoven: Andante in F Maj. WoO 57 (8’)
  • Compulsory work commissioned from a Swiss composer (max. 10’)

C. Recital II: (max. 16 candidates – max. 45 min.)

  • A Sonata by Beethoven at free choice
  • One or several works by Claude Debussy (approx. 10 min.) at free choice.
  • A piece composed after 1950, at choice from the included list.

D. Semi final round: (max. 8 candidates –max. 60 min.)

The programme is divided into two parts. Order of performance at free choice of the candidates:

  • W. A. Mozart’s Quintet KV 452 for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (25 min.)
  • The rest of the programme is at free choice. Works already performed in other rounds may not be repeated (except those included in the preliminary round). Determining factors include originality, choice of repertoire and variety.

E. Final round with orchestra (3 finalists)

  • At choice, one of the following concertos:
    - Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto n°3 in C minor Op. 37
    - Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto n°4 in G Major Op. 58
    - Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto n°5 in Eb Major Op. 73
    - Béla Bartók Concerto: n° 3 Sz 119
    - Johannes Brahms: Concerto n°1 in D minor Op. 15
    - Johannes Brahms: Concerto n°2 in Bb Major Op. 83
    - Frédéric Chopin: Concerto n°1 in E minor
    - Frédéric Chopin: Concerto n°2 in F minor
    - Franz Liszt: Concerto n°1 in Eb Major
    - Franz Liszt: Concerto n° 2 in A Major
    - Serge Prokofiev: Concerto n° 2 in G minor Op. 16
    - Serge Prokofiev: Concerto n° 3 in C Major Op. 26
    - Maurice Ravel: Concerto in G
    - Camille Saint-Saëns: Concerto n° 2 in G minor Op. 22
    - Camille Saint-Saëns: Concerto n° 4 in C minor Op. 44
    - Robert Schumann: Concerto in A minor Op. 54

With the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Peter Oundjian

List of contemporary works at choice for the Recital II:

Luciano Berio Sequenza IV (12')
*William Blank Lightnings (8’)
Pierre Boulez 12 Notations (11')
Pierre Boulez 1ère Sonate (12')
Elliot Carter Caténaires (4’)
Unsuk Chin 3 Études à choix (env. 15’)
Henri Dutilleux 3 Préludes (12')
Beat Furrer Voicelessness. The Snow Has No Voice (10’)
Stefano Gervasoni Studio di disabitudine (14')
György Kurtag 8 Klavierstücke Op. 3 (7')
Michael Levinas Trois Etudes (10')
György Ligeti 3 Etudes à choix (env. 12’)
Olivier Messiaen Petites esquisses d'oiseaux (14')
Rebecca Saunders Shadow (11’)
Salvatore Sciarrino une Sonate pour piano (10')
Karlheinz Stockhausen Klavierstück IX (11')
*Stefan Wirth Faims II (5’)
Yannis Xenakis Evryali (10‘)
* Musical scores available at the office of the Geneva Competition



  • 1st Prize : CHF 20,000.- (= approx. € 18,500.-)
  • 2nd Prize : CHF 12,000.- (= approx. € 11,000.-)
  • 3rd Prize : CHF 8,000.- (= approx. € 7,350.-)


  • A Breguet watch will be presented to the winner of a First Prize
  • Audience Prize: CHF 1,500.-
  • Young Audience Prize: CHF 1,000.-
  • Students Prize: CHF 1,000.-
  • « Georges Leibenson » Special Prize : CHF 3,000.-
  • « Paul Streit » Special Prize: CHF 3'000.-

The Audience Prize is awarded by the audience at the Final performance.
The Young Audience Prize is awarded by young students of partner schools.
The Students Prize is awarded by students in musicology and of partner Universities of Music.
The « Georges Leibenson » Special Prize is awarded freely by the Jury.
The « Paul Streit» Special Prize is awarded to a particularly deserving pianist.



In addition to its official prizes, the Geneva Competition offers a career development programme, providing precious support and advice to help boost laureates' careers. The programme includes two years of concert management, as well as CD recordings, international tours, a festival and professional workshops. It is coordinated by the Geneva Competition’s official concert agency: Promusica-Genève.