Voting Procedures

Introduction

The Sydney International Piano Competition (The Sydney), including its 2021 Online Competition, aims to recognise and celebrate unique musical artistry in its prizewinners, to locate superb all-round pianists who are ready to undertake major international engagements. The Sydney encourage talented pianists from all over the world who are attempting to launch global careers and try to provide them with necessary skills and contacts to broaden their career opportunities.

The Sydney host a major event, inviting a jury of experienced musicians, most of them performing pianists themselves, but augmented by other musicians of calibre: composers, other instrumentalists, managers. The Sydney are conscious of raising the awareness of fine music and standards of musical performance in the Australian community, adding to the education and awareness of the next generation of talent in Australia. The Sydney aim to support the careers of the winners for several years after their initial success in Sydney.

32 competitors have been chosen by a preselection panel from the applications received for the originally scheduled 2020 competition and they will become the 32 competitors for the 2021 Sydney International Online Piano Competition.

Preselection Panel

The preselection panel consisted of five pianists/musicians of international experience: the Artistic Director of The Sydney Piers Lane AO, Gwenneth Pryor, Geoffrey Saba, Michael Spring and Kathron Sturrock. None of the preselection panel members have been a teacher of any applicant.

The Sydney’s management carefully reviewed each application to ensure it met the competition criteria. The panel only assessed applications and videos which were fully compliant. The jury was empowered, at its discretion, to disqualify any applicant if the application material supplied was not of a suitable quality for adequate assessment.

The panel members were asked to select their top 32 applicants. They listened in their own time to all of the recorded material. They were encouraged to keep notes on each performance and to deploy their own preferred method of scoring in order to arrive at their decision. Applicants were ranked according to the numbers of votes they receive. Those who received votes from all five jurors were immediately accepted, followed by those who received four, then three and so on, until the requisite 32 competitors were selected. If there was a tie for any remaining place(s) in the 32, the panellists revoted on the tied applicants until a decision was reached. Discussion was allowed at this point.

Reserves were similarly decided. A deserving number of reserves in no particular order have been informed of their status at the time of the announcement of the successful 32 applicants. The Artistic Director reserves the right to approach other applicants until 17 March 2021, should none of the official reserves be available to fill places vacated by withdrawing competitors.

Voting

Voting will be done online via email at the end of the Preliminary Round, the Semi Final Round and the Final Round by the jury in their home countries. Vote counting will be undertaken by the non-voting Chairman of the Jury and an independent scrutineer. Each of the seven jurors will submit the number of competitor names equal to the number of spaces available for advancement to the next round. The names will be sorted into groups according to numbers of individual votes. Group A will consist of names with seven out of seven votes from the jury, Group B of names with six out of seven votes from the jury, Group C with five out of seven votes and so on. The competitors who receive the most votes from the jury will advance to the next round. The names from Group A will advance first, then the names from Group B and so on, until the necessary number of places for advancement has been attained.

Ties

In the event of a tie for the last place(s), a revote will be held for the tied competitors in order to select just the required number of competitors.

Jurors/Competitors

Any juror having, or having had during the preceding five years, a family, teaching, professional or personal relationship with a competitor must declare such a relationship to the rest of the jury. Masterclasses do not count as a teaching relationship. That juror may, if he/she sees fit, include the name of a ‘related’ competitor as one of his/her twelve or six submissions on the voting paper. However, in such cases, the juror’s opinion will not count as a vote on behalf of that particular competitor. When counting the votes for each competitor, that juror’s vote for the competitor will become the ratio between the total number of votes received and number of jurors eligible to vote for that competitor.

Results

Results will be revealed to the jury at the conclusion of Preliminary Round voting and then again at the conclusion of Semi Final Round voting in April 2021, with the Final Round voting in June 2021. Results of the Preliminary Round will be revealed to the public on Friday 9 July 2021, the Semi Final Round on Thursday 15 July 2021 and the Final Round result on Sunday 18 July 2021. The relative standing of competitors in Preliminary and Semi Final rounds will not be revealed to jury or public.

Detailed Voting Procedure

1. Preliminary Round:

After viewing the Preliminary Round, the jurors’ task will be manifold:

i. To select the winner of the Roger Smalley Prize for the Best Preliminary Round Recital. Email voting papers with one space for a first choice and three spaces for ‘Maybes’ will be distributed. Jurors will nominate their favoured contestant to win the prize but will also submit three other ‘Maybe’ names, in no particular order, whom they would be happy to see win the prize. Should none of the jurors’ first choices of competitors produce a majority of votes (ie four out of seven votes, allowing for the possible ‘tie’ revotes as detailed below), the ‘Maybes’ will be added for consideration. Should no competitor then attain a majority vote, a further ballot will be held between the two competitors with the most votes.

ii. Should there be a tie between three or more competitors for the highest number of votes, a second ballot will be held of the tied competitors. Should none of the tied competitors attain a majority of these votes, then a further ballot will be held to decide between the two competitors with the most votes. In the event of a tie, the Chairman of the Jury will cast a deciding vote.

iii. Should there be a tie between competitors for the second most votes, the jury will first hold a ballot to decide between those tied competitors. Another ballot will then be held between the winner of that vote and the competitor with the most votes but who did not receive at least four

iv. To select twelve competitors to advance to the Semi Final Round. Email voting papers with twelve spaces will be distributed on which each juror will enter the names of twelve competitors in playing order – ie in no particular order of preference. The ‘Ties’ procedure outlined above will be used to resolve a tie in the last place(s).

2. Semi Final Round

After viewing the Semi Final Round, the task of the jurors will be manifold:

i. To select six competitors to advance to the Final Round. Email voting papers with six spaces will be distributed on which each juror will enter the names of six competitors in playing order – ie in no particular order of preference. The ‘Ties’ procedure outlined above will be used to resolve a tie in the last place(s).

ii. To select the winner of the Best Presented Program in Preliminary Round and Semi Final Round, using the procedure outlined above for the Roger Smalley Prize for the Best Preliminary Round Recital.

iii. To select the winner of the Geoffrey Tozer Most Promising Pianist not Proceeding to the Finals, using the procedure outlined above for the Roger Smalley Prize for the Best Preliminary Round Recital.

iv. To select the winner of the Ignaz Friedman Best Semi-Finals Recital, using the procedure outlined above for the Roger Smalley Prize for the Best Preliminary Round Recital.

3. Final Round

After viewing the Finals Round, the task of the jury will be manifold:

i. To select the Ernest Hutcheson First Prize winner. In awarding prizes, jurors should consider all Rounds of the Competition. If a juror has, or has had during the preceding five years, a family, teaching, professional or personal relationship with a competitor who is in the Final Round, that juror may be present from the start at the gathering of the jury, but he/she will not be permitted to vote until such point as his/her related competitor has been placed. Email voting papers with one space will be distributed to the jury. The jury will enter the name of one competitor to be awarded the Ernest Hutcheson First Prize. Should none of the competitors attain a majority of votesthen a further ballot will be held to decide between the two competitors with the most votes. Should there be a tie of two competitors with three votes each, and in the event of one juror being ineligible to vote, the Chairman of the jury will cast a deciding vote. Should none of the tied competitors attain a majority of votes, then a further ballot will be held to decide between the two competitors with the most votes. Should there be a tie between competitors for the second most votes, the jury will first hold a ballot to decide between those tied competitors. Another ballot will then be held between the winner of that vote and the competitor with the most votes but who did not receive a majority or at least half of the votes.

ii. To select the winner of the Percy Grainger Second Prize. After the Ernest Hutcheson First Prize winner is selected, voting papers will be distributed to the jury to name their choice for the Percy Grainger Second Prize. The Second Prizewinner will be determined using the same procedure as for the Ernest Hutcheson First Prize winner.

iii. To select the winner of the George Frederick Boyle Third Prize. After the Percy Grainger Second Prizewinner is selected, the George Frederick Boyle Third Prize will be determined using the same procedure.

iv. To select the winner of the William Murdoch Fourth Prize. After the George Frederick Boyle Third Prizewinner is selected, the William Murdoch Fourth Prize will be determined using the same procedure.

v. To select the Arthur Benjamin Fifth Prize and the Noel Mewton-Wood Sixth Prize. After the William Murdoch Fourth Prizewinner is selected, the Arthur Benjamin Fifth Prize will be determined using the same procedure, and hence the Noel Mewton-Wood Sixth Prize will also be determined.

vi. To select the Best Constructed Semi Final or Final Recital Program. After the completion of the selections of First to Sixth Prize winners, the jury will vote to select the winner of the Best Constructed Semi Final or Final Recital Program using the following procedure: email voting papers will be distributed with a space for jurors to nominate one competitor from the Final Round for the Best Constructed Semi Final or Final Recital program. Should none of the competitors attain at least four of the votes of the seven jurors, then a further ballot will be held to decide between the two competitors with the most votes. Should there be a tie between three or more competitors for the highest number of votes, a second ballot will be held of the tied competitors. Should none of the tied competitors attain a majority of votes, a further ballot will be held to decide between the two competitors with the most votes. Should there be a tie between competitors for the second most votes, the jury will first hold a ballot to decide between those tied competitors. Another ballot will then be held between the winner of that vote and the competitor with the most votes but who did not receive at least four out of seven

vii. To select the winner of the Best Performance of an Australian piece, using the voting procedure outlined above for the Best Constructed Semi Final or Final Recital Program.

viii. To select the winner of the Best Choice and Performance of an Encore, using the procedure outlined above for the Best Constructed Semi Final or Final Recital Program.

ix. To select the winner of the Best performance of a work by a Classical period composer (excluding Beethoven) and the Miriam Hyde Best performance of a work by a Romantic period composer (excluding Liszt), using the procedure outlined above for the Roger Smalley Prize for the Best Preliminary Round Recital.

x. To select the winner of the Best performance of a twentieth-century work and Best Performance of a work from any period before 1950 by a rarely-played and unduly neglected composer, using the procedure outlined above for the Roger Smalley Prize for the Best Preliminary Round Recital.

xi. To select the winner of the Edward Goll Best Performance of a work by Liszt and Lance Dossor Best Performance of a work by Beethoven, using the procedure outlined above for the Roger Smalley Prize for the Best Preliminary Round Recital.

xii. To select the Nancy Weir Prize for the Best Australian Pianist. This will go to the Australian who advances furthest in the competition. If two or more Australians advance to the same stage of the competition, a vote will be taken by the jury to determine the winner of the prize. If there are two competitors, the competitor with the majority of votes will win. If there are three or more, the jury will vote using the procedure outlined above for the Best Constructed Semi Final or Final Recital Program. If no Australian advances past the Preliminary Round, the jury will vote on the relevant competitors using the procedure outlined above for the Best Constructed Semi Final or Final Recital Program.

xiii. The winner of the Rex Hobcroft People’s Choice Prize (voted for by the online audience) will be announced on the Sydney International Piano Competition website 24 hours after the end of the Online Competition streaming concludes.