Rules and Regulations

Eligibility and Applications

1. Eligibility

  1. The Sydney International Online Piano Competition is open to the 32 competitors accepted to take part in the 2020 Sydney International Piano Competition.
  2. A reserve list of Competitors, selected for the 2020 competition, will remain unchanged.

2. Jury

  1. Artistic Director Piers Lane AO will be non-voting Chairman of the Jury.
  2. An international voting jury of seven has been assembled.
  3. Names of jury members have been published on the website.

3. Supporting Documents

  1. The Sydney’s office reserves the right to request additional information and documentation as required, in addition to the documentation supplied during the 2020 application process.
  2. Supporting documents will be used to promote the Sydney International Online Piano Competition and the selected 32 competitors in printed and electronic forms.
  3. The applicant grants to The Sydney the right to use any and all submitted documents supplied during the 2020 application process and any additional materials requested, free of any rights, fees or charges.

Competition Details

4. Competition Stages and Repertoire

  1. The Sydney International Online Piano Competition will consist of three Rounds: Preliminary, Semi Final and Final. Up to three video recordings will be required from competitors: a 40-minute recital for the Preliminary Round, a 50-minute recital for the Semi Final Round and a 80-minute recital for the Final Round
  2. All Rounds and Interviews will be streamed on demand to an online public from 2 – 18 July 2021.
  3. Preliminary and Semi Final rounds recital videos must be submitted by 31 March 2021.
  4. All competitors will be required to submit their Finals video by 31 May 2021.
  5. The jury will assess the Preliminary Round during the first fortnight of April 2021. Twelve Semi Finalists will be judged during the second fortnight in April 2021. The jury will judge the Six Finalists videos during June 2021. The winners and all prizes will be announced on 18 July 2021.
  6. At all stages of the competition competitors and jurors will be banned from publishing the status of any competitor. Any infringement of this rule will result in immediate disqualification of the competitor.
  7. Each program should be constructed as a recital, such as would be presented for a public concert, whether it be 40-minutes, 50-minutes or 80-minutes long. Each program should have its own logic and shape, chosen to highlight the competitor’s range and strengths, while following the repertoire guidelines and demonstrating a developed understanding of program-building and communication with an audience.
  8. Changes are permitted to repertoire.
    1. Detailed repertoire for the Preliminary, Semi Final and Final stages must be submitted to The Sydney before 31 January for approval before commencing the recording.
    2. Timings of all works must be included.
    3. Encores should be included.
    4. An outline of the theme that is being explored in the semi final recital must be submitted.
    5. Competitors may choose to include the original repertoire chosen for the 2020 competition, augmenting it with additional repertoire to meet the new requirements of the Sydney International Online Piano Competition, or may choose to alter the entire repertoire.
  9. All works must be played from memory.
  10. The Preliminary Round video should consist of a recital program no longer than 40-minutes.
    1. It may contain a mix of unrelated repertoire but should be carefully programmed to make a cohesive whole. The choice and shaping of program will be taken into account by the jury.
    2. The program must include an Australian piece of any length or period. It may be included in the main body of the recital, or it may be the encore.
    3. The Preliminary Round recital should include an encore suitable to the program. The encore timing  is in addition to the 40 minute recital repertoire. The encore should be verbally introduced.
    4. Twelve competitors will be chosen to advance to the Semi Finals.
  11. The Semi Final Round video should consist of a program no longer than 50-minutes.
    1. The program should be based on a theme of the player’s choice and the shaping of the overall program will be taken into account by the jury.
    2. The theme must be explained in a detailled written statement but may also be spoken about by the competitor during the presentation. Submission of the detailled written statement to The Sydney is required within ten days of the recordings.
    3. Spoken introductions to each work or group of pieces will be required. The introductions must precede each separate work or group of works in the program, spoken beside the piano immediately prior to sitting at the instrument, and recorded as part of the single, unedited take. Spoken introductions should include the name of the piece and the composer and any details the performer feels would contribute to an appreciation of the performance. The introductions may be witty or serious, very personal or merely factual. The contestant’s ability to communicate verbally will be taken into account by the jury. The spoken introductions should preferably be in English. Where spoken English introductions are not possible, written translation of all comments must be submitted to The Sydney within ten days of the recordings.
    4. Six competitors will be chosen to advance to the Finals.
  12. The Final Round video should consist of a program no longer than 80-minutes.
    1. The repertoire should reflect the player’s concept of an ideal debut recital at a major concert hall in any country of the world.
    2. The performance must contain spoken introductions to the pieces, preferably in English, as per the requirements for the Semi Final Round.
    3. The program must be played without interruption or edits – without the customary long intermission between first and second halves of the program, though up to five minutes of rest may be taken at some point in the program, with the competitor in full view at all times.
    4. Two encores with spoken introductions should be added. The encore timing is in addition to the 80 minute recital repertoire.
  13. In addition to recording recital videos, the 32 competitors will be required to undertake a recorded video interview with Piers Lane in April-May 2021.
  14. The broadcasting order of competitors will be drawn at a public event in Sydney on 25 March 2021. Competitors will maintain the same broadcasting order throughout all rounds of the competition.

5. Repertoire Regulations

  1. Any applicant who knowingly gives inaccurate or misleading information will be disqualified.
  2. Applicants who have competed previously in the Sydney International Piano Competition may not submit any piece performed publicly in that Competition.
  3. Overall timings in recital rounds must be adhered to. Spoken introductions in the Semi Finals and Finals should be included in the time limits, though up to five minutes’ extra time will be permitted. Encores and spoken introductions to those encores should be in addition to the main recital timing. If competitors exceed the time limit for any round, the adjudication and broadcast may be stopped at the time limit and/or competitors may be disqualified.
  4. The Australian piece in the Preliminary Round should be published and may be of any period or length. Transcriptions may be included. The Australian Music Centre offers help online and works previously commissioned by the Competition are listed on the website. A digital copy of the score must be supplied.
  5. A digital copy of any contemporary or rarely performed works must be supplied.
  6. Repertoire must be different for each stage. Finalists may not repeat repertoire from the preceding two rounds.
  7. Repertoire performed for the original 2020 audition submission may be repeated in the 2021 Sydney International Online Piano Competition.
  8. Only solo piano works will be accepted.

6. Video Recording Requirements

  1. All 32 competitors must submit both Preliminary and Semi Final round recordings by 31 March 2021 via a secure dropbox link supplied directly to the competitor by The Sydney.
  2. All 32 competitors must submit a Final round recording before or by 31 May 2021 via a secure dropbox link supplied directly to the competitor by The Sydney.
  3. From 1 May 2021, if a competitor is unable to record a Final recital due to personal circumstances influenced by the global pandemic, The Sydney may choose to allow the public broadcast of the competitor’s Preliminary and/or Semi Final recitals. However, the competitor will forfeit any prizes and money that may have been awarded, having failed to submit the three required recordings. If the Preliminary and/or Semi Final rounds are included in the  streaming, then the disqualified competitor will not be liable for any return of the contribution of AUD$2,500 towards recording costs.
  4. Performances must have been recorded within the 3 months preceding the submission date. Preliminary, Semi Final and Final round recordings may be recorded on the same or on separate days.
  5. The recording must be of excellent technical quality and preferably recorded professionally and must adhere to the detailed filming and audio specifications found here.
  6. Performance videos must include one single, unedited camera angle that shows the face and hands of the competitor at all times. This camera angle will be used for judging.
  7. Competitors must advise The Sydney of their recording date, time, venue and audio technician/support (if any) as soon as the session(s) are booked, no later than 31 January 2021.
  8. A representative of The Sydney will attend the recording session via live Zoom broadcast to validate the recording is done in a single, unedited take.
  9. All raw video and audio files must be uploaded to The Sydney’s secure transfer platform immediately after the recording session and as observed by its representative via a Zoom screenshare session.
  10. Competitors are encouraged to record before a live audience of any size, but the performance is acceptable with or without audience in attendance.
  11. A list of worldwide recording partner venues is provided here.
  12. Full recording requirements can be found here.

7. Expenses

  1. Competitors must organise their own recital venues and recordings. The Sydney will contribute in total up to AUD$2,500 towards these expenses payable directly on receipt of an invoice from the competitor’s preferred contractor/s.
  2. All travel, accommodation or other expenses involved in the recording of the performances will be the sole responsibility of the Competitor.

8. Voting

Voting procedures are detailed here.

9. Broadcast Rights

  1. The competitor grants to The Sydney broadcast rights to film, photograph, record, broadcast, live stream, reproduce, transmit, play, show and/or televise as part of a film, online series/platform or television documentary, the competitor’s uploaded recital performance/s for the purpose of promoting the current and future Competition(s), and/or the Arts in Sydney, Australia and Internationally.
  2. The competitor grants to The Sydney and its commercial broadcast partners the rights to include any recital performance/s as selected or approved by the Artistic Director on any commercial CD or DVD recordings made or authorised by Sydney International Piano Competition.
  3. The competitor must not use or broadcast the recorded recital performance/s for any reason prior to the broadcast of the Sydney International Online Piano Competition and then, only after 31 July 2021.

10. Contracts and Taxation

  1. Competitors must enter into a Competitor’s Agreement with The Sydney no later than 4 weeks after notification of entry to the Sydney International Online Piano Competition.
  2. The Competitor’s Agreement will oblige the First Prize Winner to perform exclusively on behalf of The Sydney in  Australia and New Zealand  until 31 December 2023.

11. Interpretation

  1. The Online Competition is governed by the terms and conditions on The Sydney‘s official website.
  2. Changes to the rules and regulations may be required from time to time in response to the ever changing effects of the global pandemic.
  3. The Jury’s decision is final and binding.
  4. There will be no appeal process and no correspondence will be entered into.
  5. The law applicable to the Sydney International Piano Competition and contractual and other rights shall be the law of the State of New South Wales, Australia