The Sydney International Piano Competition has announced the names of the 32 competitors who will compete in the event which was originally to have taken place in July this year. The organisers announced earlier this week that the 12th iteration of the Sydney International Piano Competition, which normally runs every four years, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the organisers are working to find new dates, at this point the competition is likely to take place in 2021.

Tony LeeTony Lee is one of three Australian competitors in the 12th Sydney International Piano Competition

If a competitor has exceeded the age limit of 32 by the time the competition takes place, they will still be permitted to compete, due to the extraordinary circumstances.

The pool comprises six women and 26 men, from countries including Canada, Hungary, Ukraine, China, Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Japan, Korea, Uzbekistan and Brazil. China leads the charge with seven competitors, followed closely by Russia with six, then Canada, Japan and Australia with three each.

The three Australian pianists who made the cut are seasoned players. Kevin Chow was a finalist in the ABC Young Performers Awards in 2018, while Tony Lee was a semi-finalist that same year and the winner of the Australian National Piano Award in 2016 – he also took out the award for Best Australian Pianist at the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition. Indonesian-Australian pianist Calvin Abdiel took out Second Prize (along with a swathe of other awards) in the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition in 2017.

“Our panel of selectors had an extremely tough choice this year selecting our 32 competitors,” said the competition’s Artistic Director Piers Lane. “We received over 240 outstanding applications from pianists of 33 nationalities which demonstrates The Sydney’s worldwide reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions. We’re thrilled with our chosen competitors and know we’ll be in for an exciting competition when it happens in 2021.”


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