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International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians

The International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians is the junior section of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, and it is the largest competition for junior performers up to 17 years of age. The competition was established in 1992 on the initiative of the Association of Tchaikovsky Competition Stars and is held in the sections of piano, violin, and cello.

The first, second, and third prize winners receive special recommendation from the Association of Tchaikovsky Competition Stars to advance to the senior section without the preliminary procedure. Many laureates of the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians eventually became winners of the senior Tchaikovsky competition and other prestigious international musical contests.

Harvey Lavan "Van" Cliburn Jr., the winner of the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, was the President and the Honorary Chairman of the first Tchaikovsky Competition for young musicians. The position of the Art Director of the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians was held in different years by pianist Lev Vlasenko, violinist Viktor Tretyakov, cellist Vladislav Chernushenko and many other distinguished Russian and world’s cultural figures.

The competition takes place in different countries each time, maximizing the opportunity to participate in the competition for talented young musicians of various geographic areas. It provides the opportunity to be exposed to sophisticated audiences, reputable musicians of the jury panel, and other young fellow musicians from around the world. On top of the monetary awards, the laureates are engaged in concert tours arranged by the organizing committee at the conclusion of the competition.

Previous competitions and winners



1. Moscow, Russia (1992)



June 14 – 30

The first International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians took place on the base of the Moscow Conservatory. Violin and cello auditions were held at the Small hall, and the piano auditions took place at the Grand hall of the Moscow Conservatory. The honorary chairmen were: Mikhail Pletnev (piano section), Natalia Shahovskaya (cello section), Eduard Grach and Viktor Tretyakov (violin section). The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow conducted by Alexander Vedernikov, was invited to accompany violinists and cellists. Pianists performed with the Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Nikolai Alekseev.

2. Sendai, Japan (1995)

August 25 – September 10

Due to high artistic and organization level, the International Tchaikovsky Competition quickly established a worldwide reputation and soon after the first contest was over, the organizing committee received a suggestion to hold the second Tchaikovsky Youth Competition in Japan. Two orchestras participated in the contest: The Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Anisimov and The Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra. For the first time the piano section jury was chaired not by a Russian chairman, but by a Japanese pianist Hiroko Nakamura, Natalia Shahovskaya and Viktor Tretyakov chaired cello and violin jury once again.

3. Saint-Petersburg, Russia (1997)

August 23 – September 6

The third competition was held with the support of The Saint-Petersburg Conservatory. The opening and closing ceremonies and the third round took place at the Great Hall of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and the auditions took place at the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella. All three sections were accompanied by the St Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vladislav Chernushenko. The jury was chaired by Maxim Fedotov (violin section), composer Sergei Slonimsky (piano section) and Anatoly Nikitin (cello section).

4. Xiamen, China (2002)

October 18 – 31

Originally, the competition was planned to be held in 2000, but due to a bird flu outbreak the IV contest was postponed to 2002. The position of the Art Director was occupied by Yin Chengzong, the winner of the II International Tchaikovsky Competition, who came up with a proposal to hold the competition in his hometown of Xiamen. The jury was chaired by Aleksey Nasedkin (piano section), Natalia Shahovskaya (cello section) and Maxim Fedotov (violin section). The Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra participated in the competition in cooperation with 30 Russian musicians, which were invited to join the orchestra during the contest. The orchestra was conducted by Zheng Xiaoying and Yury Kochnev. The first, the second and the third rounds were held at the Gulangyu Music Hall and Xiamen Art Theatre. The closing ceremony was held at the Xiamen People’s Hall.

5. Kurashiki, Japan (2004)

March 3 – 21

In 2004 the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians returned to Japan. The opening ceremony, the first and the second Piano rounds were held at the Toko-Gakuda Hall. The first and the second violin rounds were held at the Syoutikuden Hall and cello rounds took place at the Kurashiki City Auditorium. The Tchaikovsky House-Museum in Kiln, Russia, participated in the competition for the first time and brought the exhibition of Tchaikovsky’s personal belongings. The participants performed with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov”, conducted by Yuri Tkachenko and Hiroshi Sekiya. The jury was chaired by the Russian Minister of Culture Alexander Sokolov (piano section), Maxim Fedotov (violin section) and Sergei Roldugin (cello section).

6. Suwon, Korea (2009)

June 6 – 28

The VI International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians took place in Suwon, Korea in 2009. The opening ceremony, the piano first and the second rounds, the closing ceremony and the final gala-concert were held at the Gyeonggi Arts Center Grand Hall. The cello first and second rounds were held at the Gyeonggi Arts Center Small Hall, and the violin first and second rounds were held at the Gyeonggi Arts Center Dasan Hall. There were three conductors Nance Gum, Yury Tkachenko and Alexander Polyshuk invited to perform with the Russian Symphony Orchestra and the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra. The jury was headed by Alexander Sokolov (piano section), Sergei Kravchenko (violin section) and Sergei Roldugin (cello section).

7. Montreux/Vevey, Switzerland (2012)

September 4 – 15

In 2012 The International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians for the first time held in Europe, on the shores of lake Geneva. The Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yury Temirkanov performed at the opening night. Third round participants performed at the Auditorium Stravinsky with the State Symphony Orchestra ”Novaya Rossiya”, conducted by Yury Tkachenko and with the Sinfonietta de Lausanne, conducted by Martin Fisher-Dieskau. The Swiss organizing Committee was led by Mr. Tobias Richter, Art Director of the Septembre Musical and the CEO of the Grand Théâtre de Genève. The jury was chaired by Viktor Tretyakov (violin), Alexander Sokolov (piano) and Krill Rodin (cello).

8. Moscow, Russia (2014)

June 23 – July 3

After a 20-year break, the competition returned to Moscow. The third round participants performed at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the State Symphony Orchestra ”Novaya Rossiya”, conducted by the Honored Artist of Russia Yury Tkachenko and Eurasian Symphony Orchestra (Kazakhstan), conducted by Aidar Torybaev. The jury was chaired by Vladimir Ovchinnikov (piano section), Aiman Mussakhajayeva (violin section) and Eleonora Testeleca (cello section). The organizing committee of the competition in Moscow consisted of the Moscow Conservatory, Russian State Academy of music and the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory.

9. Novosibirsk, Russia (2015)

December 5 – 15

The IX International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians was dedicated to the 175th birthday anniversary of the great Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, was held for the first time during winter time and in the capital of Siberia. The third round participants performed in the Arnold Katz State Concert Hall with the Belarussian State Academic Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the Honored Figure of Art of the Russian Federation, People’s Artist of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Anissimov and the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the Honored Artist of Russia Yury Tkachenko. The jury was chaired by Vladimir Ovchinnikov (piano section), Sergei Kravchenko (violin section) and Maria Tchaikovskaya (cello section). The competition was organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Novosibirsk region, the Association of the Tchaikovsky Competition Stars and the Interstate Corporation for Development.

10. Astana, Kazakhstan (2017)



June 15 – 25

The anniversary competition took place in the capital of Kazakhstan. Auditions were held in "Astana Opera" and in the halls of Kazakh National University of Arts. The closing ceremony was in Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall. The finalists were accompanied by the Eurasian Symphony Orchestra (conductor – Honored Artist of Russia Yuri Tkachenko) and the Symphony Orchestra of KazNUA (conductor – Aidar Torybaev). The chairmen of the jury were: Vladimir Ovchinnikov (piano section), Viktor Tretyakov (violin section), Sergey Roldugin (cello section). The contest was organized by the Association of Tchaikovsky Competition Stars and the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The contest was conducted with the support of the Kazakh National University of Arts, the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Akimat of Astana.

Competition partners

For years the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians partnerships included major educational institutions, concert venues and commercial companies. The Moscow Conservatory, Russian State Academy of Music and the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory stand out among the common educational partners of the competition. In 2015, the special prize for the winners, porcelain statuette ”Muse” – a symbol of Tchaikovsky’s patroness Nadezhda von Meck – has been designed by collective authorship of artists of Sergei Andriaka’s Watercolor and Fine Arts Academy, partner for the IX International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians.