2016 Applications

Applications Closed

Applications submission for the 2016 Piano Competition are closed. Entries have been reviewed by the selection jury and participants have have been announced. Please join us for the next stage in the competition.

Participants Announced
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2016 Olga Kern International Piano Competition Application Requirements

The 2016 Olga Kern International Piano Competition will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, from November 13–November 20, 2016. The Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities who will be between the ages of 18 and 32 on November 19, 2016. Participation in the Competition is conditional on a candidate submitting the required documents and recordings by June 1, 2016.


2016 Piano Competition Application


$180 (if submitted by 11:59 pm, EST, June 1, 2016)


Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Submitted materials will not be returned. Candidates’ documents and recordings will be assessed by the Screening Jury. The Screening Jury will admit 20–24 contestants to compete in Albuquerque. The list of candidates invited to the competition will be made public by August 1, 2016.

Video Recording

An unedited recording of the applicant must be submitted to the Piano Competition Office as follows:

  • The recording must be of excellent technical quality and preferably recorded professionally. 
  • The applicant’s face and hands must be clearly visible throughout the recording. 
  • The recording must be made within 12 months of the submission of the application. 
  • Minimum duration is 30 minutes. Maximum duration is 40 minutes. 
  • Only solo piano works will be accepted. 
  • The recording must be unedited. Post-production handling that affects the acoustic quality of the recording (such as bias, equalization and noise reduction) is permitted, but must be stated. 
  • The recording must be clearly and visibly labeled showing the applicant’s full name and the details of where and when it was made. 
  • You may include recordings from public performances or a recording studio. 
  • Each individual work must be recorded in one unedited take. 
  • The works, however, may have been recorded on different dates. 
  • Do not include titles, fadeouts, or video transitions.

Required Repertoire for Video Recording

  • One Bach Prelude and Fugue from the 1st or 2nd Well-Tempered Clavier
  • One etude from the following: Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin
  • One of the sonatas by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven
  • One piece of the Contestant’s Choice

Each composition should be performed in full. No individual movements will be permitted.

Competition Week

Required Repertoire for Competition

First Round/Preliminary Round (45 min. total):

1. One Prelude and Fugue by J.S. Bach (chosen from either book of The Well-Tempered Clavier).

2. Two contrasting Études chosen from the following:

  • Frédéric Chopin: Op. 10 and Op.25
  • Franz Liszt: Transcendental Études
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff: Études-Tableaux, Op. 33 and Op. 39
  • Alexander Scriabin: Études, Op. 42
  • Claude Debussy: Études

3. One Sonata by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or Ludwig van Beethoven.

4. One short piece by Rachmaninoff chosen from the following:

  • Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3
  • Morceaux de salon, Op. 10
  • Ten Preludes, Op. 23
  • Thirteen Preludes, Op. 32
  • Transcriptions

Second Round/Semi-final Round (60 min. total):

1. Work(s) of contestant’s choice.

2. Required piece (5-6 minutes long) written specifically for the Olga Kern International Piano Competition (sent to contestants two months prior to start of competition).

Third Round/Final Round:

1. Contestant’s choice of one of the following concerti for piano and orchestra:

  • Béla Bartók: Piano Concerti Nos. 2 or 3
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerti Nos. 3, 4, or 5
  • Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerti Nos. 1 or 2
  • Frédéric Chopin: Piano Concerti Nos. 1 or 2
  • George Gershwin: Concerto in F
  • Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in a minor
  • Franz Liszt: Piano Concerti Nos. 1 or 2
  • Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerti Nos. 1, 2, or 3
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerti Nos. 1, 2, or 3, or Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
  • Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major
  • Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in a minor
  • Alexander Scriabin: Piano Concerto in f-sharp minor
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerti Nos. 1 or 2

Each composition should be performed in full. No individual movements will be permitted.