In order that they can express their individuality in their approach to music, competitors in the Dublin International Piano Competition may perform programmes of their own choice. These programmes should demonstrate an understanding of programme building, an ability to play in a variety of musical styles and most importantly to show the depth of their own musicianship, rather than mere technical brilliance. The repertoire must have been written for solo piano, and no alteration to the piano may take place.
Time limits must be strictly adhered to, and no piece may be performed more than once.
In the semi-finals all competitors must select one of three specially commissioned pieces by RTÉ lyric FM (duration of 5 minutes) by Irish composers: Ann Cleare, Deirdre Gribbin, Brian Irvine and Conor Linehan.
This piece may be performed with a score and the music will be sent to accepted candidates in February 2018.