Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition

The Paloma O'Shea Santander International Piano Competition (in Spanish: Concurso Internacional de Piano de Santander "Paloma O'Shea") is a piano competition taking place in Santander, Spain. Founded in 1972 by Paloma O'Shea as a national prize, it turned into an international competition in its 2nd edition, and was professionalized in the mid-70s, being accepted into the World Federation of International Music Competitions in 1976.

Organized by the Albéniz Foundation and chaired by the Infanta Margarita and sponsored by a network of civil service and private companies, it arranges an extensive world tour for the winners, including debuts in auditoriums such as the Carnegie Hall, National Auditorium of Music and the Wigmore Hall and cash prizes. The 19th edition of the competition will take place from July 25 - August 5, 2018 (Registration deadline November 13, 2017).

The competition

Currently, 20 pianists are accepted into the competition through a demanding shortlist of candidates. The competition consists of a preliminary round (pre-auditions in Spain, Paris, New York and Moscow), a recital round, a chamber music round and final concerto round with a symphony orchestra.

Guest artists

During the last stages of the competition, the participants perform with guest artists and ensembles. Past ensembles include the London Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Spanish National Orchestra, Madrid Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Takacs Quartet, Ysaÿe Quartet and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and conductors Philippe Entremont, Sergiu Comissiona and Jesús López-Cobos. This year, guest artists will include RTVE Symphony Orchestra , director Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez and the Quiroga Quartet.


Members of the jury have included Josep Colom, Gary Graffman, Federico Mompou, Vlado Perlemuter, Joaquín Achúcarro, Aldo Ciccolini, Nikita Magaloff, Paul Badura-Skoda, Hiroko Nakamura, Eliso Virsaladze, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Rafael Orozco, Philippe Entremont, Alicia de Larrocha and Dimitri Bashkirov. This edition, the jury will be composed by Dimitri Alexeev, Akiko Ebi, Márta Gulyás, Claudio Martínez-Mehner, Arie Vardi, Ian Yunwook Yoo and Marco Zuccarini.

Prize winners

This is a partial listing of prize-winners of the Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition.

Special prizes