We are delighted to announce the 4th Montecatini International Piano Competition. Montecatini International Piano Competition is committed to supporting the most outstanding young musicians by recognising their full potential. Our international jury is searching for not only exceptional talent, but most importantly, for artistic individuality as a performer. The preliminary round of the Senior Category will be held online, and the 6 Finalists will be invited to give a 30 minute recital at the beautiful Teatro Niccolini, Florence’s oldest theatre right in the heart of the city, on 20th October 2023.
With the kind support of our international partners, Steinway & Sons, La Filharmonie, KNS Classical, Karma Sound Studio, Schott Music, Piano Forte Firenze, as well as Tokyo International Piano Association (TIPA), the 2023 winners prizes will offer some exceptional opportunities for young talents, including concert engagements at the prestigious Steinway Halls in London and Milan, and the Piano Forte Firenze Festival in the 2024 season, as well as a professional recording release with KNS Classical and also media promotion which is a crucial stepping stone towards a concert artists’ career.
Please explore the details about the competition below and submit the online application form, together with the link to your performance video uploaded on one of the following channels: YouTube, Vimeo or Google Drive before the deadline.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to the competition and wishing all the best with your entries!


Aisa Ijiri

Concert Pianist | Steinway Artist

Founder & Artistic Director of the Tokyo International Piano Association and Montecatini International Piano Competition

Carles Lama
Pianist | Steinway Artist | Founder & Director of KNS Classical
Sofya Gulyak

Pianist | Professor of Piano at Royal College of Music

Nicolas Bringuier

Pianist | Director of Samson Francois International Competition

Chris Craker

Founder & Creative Director of the Karma Sound Studios

Executive Producer | Former Senior Vice President at Sony Music Entertainment

Nima Keshavarzi

Conductor, Founder and Music Director of La Filharmonie

Paolo Cognetti

Composer, Founder and member of artistic direction of La Filharmonie


Open to all the pianists of all nationalities between the age 18-35 years.

* Age limits as 8th May 2023


• A complete application form consists of:

1)    Application Form

2)    Full Name

3)    Link to the 30 minutes Performance Video

4)    Programme 

5)    Proof of ID

6)    Publicity Photo

7)    Short Biography 

8)    Application Fee

9)    Contact Details 

The entry video of 30 minutes performance should demonstrate the range and scope of your artistry through a variety of repertoire from J S Bach to 21st Century. (YouTube, Vimeo or Google Drive).

• The video must be unedited, but it does not have to be from a concert performance.

• The entry video is allowed to be made by multiple performance videos.

• The video(s) must have been filmed no earlier than 10th August 2022.

• A movement from a sonata or suite is allowed.

• Concerti and Chamber Music are not accepted.

• The works must be published.

• Incomplete or late entries will not be accepted.

• The application fee is non-refundable. 


6 Finalists will be chosen by the jury after the Preliminary Video Selection and invited to give a Recital (30 minutes programme of free choice) at the beautiful and historical auditorium of Teatro Niccolini in Florence in Italy on 20th October 2023. Steinway&Sons Model D will be provided at the Final. Finalists are also invited to attend all the 12 Masterclasses as Observer during the Piano Forte Firenze (18th – 24th October 2023).


Aisa Ijiri 

Pianist | Steinway Artist | Founder & Artistic Director of Montecatini International Piano Competition, Piano Forte Firenze and Tokyo International Piano Association 

Chris Craker

CEO of Karma Sound Studios | Former Vice President of Sony Entertainment Music

Sofya Gulyak

Pianist | Professor of Piano at Royal College of Music

Carles Lama

Pianist | Steinway Artist | Director of KNS Classical 

Nicolas Bringuier 

Pianist | Director of Samson Francois International Competition

Nima Keshavarzi

Conductor, Founder and Music Director of La Filharmonie

Paolo Cognetti

Composer, Founder and member of artistic direction of La Filharmonie


• Gold Medal– Steinway Hall Recital in London (U.K) and Grand Prix £1,000 

• Silver Medal – Prize Winners Gala at Steinway Hall, Milan (Italy) 

• Bronze Medal– Prize Winners Gala at Steinway Hall, Milan (Italy) 

• KNS Classical Prize – Recording and publishing a debut album with KNS Classical

La Filharmonie Prize – Piano Solo Recital at the La Filharmonie Series during the 2024 Concert Season

• Piano Forte Firenze Prize – Piano Solo Recital at the Festival and Artist Promotion

• 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 will receive a £50 voucher to spend online at Schott Music Schott Music

Additional Information for Schott Music Prize

For the Schott Music Prize, please pick two pieces from No Words Necessary (Intermediate Level) or one work from Simply Driven (Advance Level) composed by Melanie Spanswick and include your performance of your selected works in your complete 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:

You can purchase the score in hard copy or digital download from Schott Music:

Or from Amazon:

Simply Driven (Amazon.co.uk)

Simply Driven (Amazon.com)

Simply Driven (Amazon.co.jp)

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. You can find out more about No Words Necessary, and purchase them here: No Words Necessary (Amazon.co.uk)


10th August 2023


The result will be announced and the Award Ceremony will take place at Teatro Niccolini in Florence, Italy on 20th October 2023 as well as Online.

Application fee


If you would prefer to send your application fee by the international bank transfer:

Montecatini Piano Festival 

Bank: NatWest 

Account number: 58744789 

Sort code: 601437

IBAN: GB67NWBK60143758744789



Official Website: www.tipamusic.com

Email: competition@tipamusic.com

Apply here