The Competition


1988 – The first ever jury

The Dublin International Piano Competition was established in 1988. A triennial event, it was sponsored for the first three competitions by GPA Group. In 1994, the sponsorship was taken over by Guardian Insurance and when AXA acquired the company in 1999 they also took over title sponsorship which they sustained for 10 years. The Competition is now supported by donations and private benefactors.

Since its foundation the Dublin Competition has grown in stature, and now ranks among the most important piano competitions in the world. It offers a generous prize fund, but perhaps the most important prize is the prestigious list of engagements secured for the winner. These include début concerts in London and New York as well as appearances at international festivals and concertos with leading orchestras. Previous winners have launched highly successful international careers from this springboard.


RDS Concert Hall from Stage

RDS auditorium

Chaired by John O’Conor, who is also the Artistic Director, and adjudicated by distinguished members of the music profession from around the world, the Competition attracts an enormous international entry.

The Dublin International Piano Competition is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions and the Alink-Argerich Foundation.

Previous winners currently engaged in successful careers  include Philippe Cassard, France (1988); Pavel Nersessian, Russia (1991); Davide Franceschetti, Italy (1994); Max Levinson, USA (1997); Alexei Nabioulin, Russia (2000); Antti Siirala, Finland (2003); Romain Descharmes, France (2006) and Alexej Gorlatch, Ukraine (2009). Nikolay Khoyzainov (Russia) 2012 and Nathalia Milstein (France) 2015 – our first female winner!

Mission Statement

The Dublin International Piano Competition was established in 1987 with the following aims.

1) To provide an opportunity for young Irish pianists to participate in our international competition of the highest standard;

2) To bring to Dublin the world’s best young professional pianists;

3) To offer the contestants the opportunity of being heard by international agents and press under concert conditions which will help launch them on a successful professional performing career;

4) To present prizewinners recitals in major concert halls abroad e.g. Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall to broaden their career opportunities. To negotiate with and obtain agents to assist the progress of their careers and to sponsor the making of recordings and the maintenance of their website profile to help them with the publicity essential to the progress of their careers;

5) To promote the cultural identity of Ireland abroad;

6) To generate a more widespread interest and awareness of the work of Irish composers by commissioning works which will be played in the     semi-finals of the Competition;

7) To promote the performance of music through concerts which are not mainstream events, such as the Piano Spectacular, the Mozart Concerto Gala and Philippe Cassard’s Debussy Day to name but a few.

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Dublin International Piano Competition

Dublin International Piano Competition is an approved body under the terms of Section 848A of the 1997 Taxes Consolidation Act, whereby donations in between €250 and €1,000,000 per annum are eligible for tax relief. Such relief accruing to the Competition.