Online Edition | 27th November – 20th December 2021

We are delighted to announce the Montecatini International Piano Competition 2021 (Online Edition). The Montecatini International Piano Competition is committed to supporting the most outstanding young musicians by recognizing their full potential. The winners’ prizes offer young talents a concert opportunity, recording contract and professional media promotion as a crucial steppingstone towards a professional concert career. Our international jury are searching for exceptional musical talent and, most importantly, for artistic individuality as a performer.

With the support of our international partners, Steinway & Sons, Karma Sound Studios, Pianist Magazine and Schott Music, as well as the Tokyo International Piano Association (TIPA) in Japan, we share a joint vision dedicated to cultivating talented artists, building digital innovation and creating a music festival community, attracting large, diverse audiences, music lovers and artists from around the world.


Aisa Ijiri

Founder & Artistic Director of Tokyo International Piano Association | Concert Pianist | Steinway Artist  

Chris Craker

Founder & Creative Director of Karma Sound Studios | Executive Producer

Sofya Gulyak

Concert Pianist | Professor of Piano at Royal College of Music, London

Melanie Spanswick

Composer & Author at Schott Music | Professor of Piano at Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London

Luciano Ruotolo

Founder & CEO at Nomea Ltd 


Category: Junior

A. 6 – 9 years old | B. 10 – 13 years old | C. 14 – 17 years old

 Category: Senior

18 – 36 years old

*Age limits as of November 27th, 2021


・Recital Prize | International concert engagements

・Best Recording Prize | Recording contract

・Schott Music Prize 

・Mimas Festival Prize 

・TIPA Festival Prize | Festivals in Montecatini – Belgrade – Tokyo

・Artist Promotion | Digital marketing

・Audience Prize | Online concerts


27th November 2021



  • Biographical information: please include information about your musical background as well as appropriate references

* Full Name | Email | Phone | Date of Birth | Programme | Short Biography

  • A link to a competition entry video of up to 15 minutes in length for the ‘Junior Category A and B’, 20 minutes in length for the ‘Junior Category C’, and 30 minutes in length for the ‘Senior Category’, showing a variety of repertoire from J S Bach to 21st Century which should demonstrate the range and scope of your artistry. (YouTube, Vimeo, etc)
  • The video(s) must be unedited, but it does not have to be from a concert performance.
  • The video(s) must have been shot no earlier than 27th November, 2020

(1 year before the application deadline).

  • Please include only complete movements or complete works (no excerpts). Concerti and chamber music are not accepted in this competition, and the works have to be published.
  • The first 10 competitors to apply for this competition in both the UK and Japan will, with generous support from Steinway & Sons, have the opportunity to perform on the finest Steinway Model D Piano at Steinway Recital Hall (in London and Tokyo) in order to record and film the competition entry performance. Both venues will be available to book from early November 2021. To apply, please e-mail with the e-mail title ‘Steinway’. The Montecatini International Piano Competition (Online Edition) is run by the Tokyo International Piano Association; if you have any questions regarding recording/filming at Steinway Hall, please send your email to TIPA MUSIC (, as opposed to Steinway & Sons.

Steinway Hall, London

Steinway Hall, Tokyo


  • The performances of semi-finalists and finalists will be available to watch on the TIPA MUSIC YouTube channel after the announcement dates.


  • Deadline: 27th November 2021
  • Winners Announcement: 20th December 2021 live-streaming from Steinway Hall


£20,000 worth in prizes

The Recital Prize

The winner of each junior category and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize Winner from the senior category will receive a performance engagement at the Montecatini Piano Festival (ITALY 2022), MUSIC FESTIVAL SERBIA ‘Belgrade Classics’ at Kolarac Hall (SERBIA 2022) and at Steinway Hall, Tokyo in 2022-2023 Season.

The Schott Music Prize

All competitors are invited to participate in this special prize which has been generously funded by Schott Music. To take part, competitors will need to perform one work from the publication Simply Driven, a set of 5 virtuoso pieces composed by Melanie Spanswick (published by Schott Music), or two works from No Words Necessary, a set of 12 intermediate level pieces (published by Schott Music), also composed by Melanie Spanswick. The winner of this prize will receive a £50.00 voucher to spend online at Schott Music 

 The Best Recording Prize

The winner of the Best Recording Prize will receive the opportunity to make a 20 minute EP recording (one complete work or a selection of shorter pieces) with internationally renowned Grammy Awards nominated producer Chris Craker. Chris is the former Senior Vice President of Sony Masterworks and has famously produced over 600 classical records with the likes of Lang Lang, Maxim Vengerov, Hans Zimmer, Victoria Mullova, Barbara Bonney etc. and dozens of Hollywood soundtracks inclduing Interstellar, Mulan and The Little Prince. The recording will be made at Karma Studios in Thailand and released on the Karma Classics label and distributed globally by Chris Craker.

The TIPA Festival Prize

The winner will receive a scholarship to join the masterclasses, workshops and concerts at the festivals held in Italy, Serbia or Japan during the 2022-2023 season.

The Mimas Music Prize

The winner will receive an invitation by the Mimas Music Festival held in the new capital of Italian culture, the island of Procida, to give a recital at the final stage of the Mimas Music Competition in Spring 2022.

The Artist Promotion Prize

All the finalists will receive high-quality publicity materials produced by DC Multimedia as well as a Certificate from the Montecatini International Piano Festival.

The Audience Prize

Once all finalists have performed, in both the junior and senior categories, the audience is warmly invited to enjoy each performance on the TIPA MUSIC YouTube channel. They will be able to ‘like’ their favourite artist, and the performer with the highest voting number will be awarded the Audience Prize. The winner of the Audience Prize will have the opportunity to give an Online Concert for the ‘Montecatini Concert Series’, which will be professionally produced by D.C Multimedia.

*Information for the competitors applying for the Schott Music Prize

Please pick two pieces from No Words Necessary (Intermediate Level) or one work from Simply Driven (Advanced Level) composed by Melanie Spanswick and include your performance of your selected works in your competition video entry. You can purchase these books, No Words Necessary and Simply Driven as either hardcopies or digital downloads at the Schott Music Shop or via the link below.

Simply Driven

Simply Driven, published in 2020 by Schott Music in the renowned Edition Schott Series, is a collection of five piano pieces intended for advanced to virtuoso level pianists: Frenzy, Aisa: Sand, Silk and Love, Enigma, Chasm, and Time.

Each piece proffers a completely different character, featuring various piano textures, colours and sound worlds, whilst still reflecting minimalist influences. All five pieces are distinctly tonal yet they offer a contemporary twist.

Composed over a period of a year during 2018/2019, four of the five pieces were written for the composer’s friends who are all wonderful pianists; Aisa Ijiri, Yuki Negishi, Maiko Mori and Madalina Rusu, and each pianist has performed and recorded their respective piece. The title for the volume was inspired by comments from the composer’s family and friends, who remarked that the music often felt ‘driven’ or forward moving.

To find out more about each piece and to hear them, click here

To purchase the score in hard copy or digital download from Schott Music, click here or from Amazon click here

No Words Necessary 

 No Words Necessary is a collection of twelve piano pieces for the intermediate player, or for students of approximately Grade 3 – 7 level (of ABRSM, Trinity College London or London College of Music exams). This volume was written in Hong Kong during a visit in 2018, where the composer was working as an adjudicator for the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival.

The pieces are characteristically tonal, but with a minimalistic influence. The title, No Words Necessary, was inspired by German poet and writer Heinrich Heine (1797 – 1856):

‘Where words leave off, music speaks’ 

Each work is intended to evoke thoughts, emotions or images in the mind. Many are reflective in character, with melodious tunes and poignant harmonies, but there are also more energetic, lively pieces too.

To purchase No Words Necessary from Schott Music, click here or from Amazon click here


Aisa Ijiri: Founder & Artistic Director of Tokyo International Piano Association | Concert Pianist | Steinway Artist

Chris Craker:  Founder & Creative Director of Karma Sound Studios | Executive Producer | Former Senior Vice President at the Sony Music Entertainment

Sofya Gulyak:  Concert Pianist | Professor of Piano at Royal College of Music, London

Melanie Spanswick: Composer & Author at Schott Music | Professor of Piano at Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

Luciano Ruotolo: Founder & CEO at Nomea Ltd

Application Fee: £45

To enter the competition, fill out the form below:

Official Website: