John O'Conor - Artistic Director and Co-Founder

John O’Conor – Artistic Director and Co-Founder

Some words from John O’Conor.


The Dublin International Piano Competition started as an idea over 25 years ago between two friends with a passion for the piano and a belief in Ireland.

Ann and I could never have conceived of the success and international status the Competition would reach that fateful evening. I am immensely proud of what has been achieved, but I am not surprised – as our success is due to the dedication, belief and support we have received from everyone involved – our DIPC family!

Our DIPC family has been pivotal in maintaining our renowned high standards and excellent reputation. During each Competition I receive messages of praise and gratitude from fellow jury members, competitors, their families and teachers, and everyone who attends. It is all thanks to the voluntary contributions of host families, drivers, volunteers for the day-to-day running of the competition, and the people who open up their homes to invite the competitors in to practise, or host the jury for supper. Every last one of them proving that the legendary Irish hospitality is alive and well! I believe this is what sets our Competition apart. The welcome and the warmth of Dublin and the Irish people – and the craic of course!

The Competition has put Dublin on the classical music world map as far as every piano student in the world is concerned. To have been accepted as a competitor is a fantastic accomplishment for any young pianist. To actually win the Dublin International Piano Competition now heralds the beginning of a successful international career.

As a teacher as well as a performer, I have seen a huge improvement in the standard of Irish pianists since we brought the elite of the world’s young pianists to Dublin. The bar has been raised at each competition, and this drives our young musicians to strive to be amongst the greatest internationally, not just at home. The future of classical piano on the world stage will certainly include some outstanding Irish ambassadors.

During the past 25 years we have continued to grow not only as a Competition, but also as a supporter of young Irish pianists by developing educational programmes. We have recently begun to mentor young Irish pianists as young as 13 to prepare them for what is involved in becoming a world-class pianist if they wish to pursue that dream. These opportunities were not available to me when I was starting out on my path towards a professional career. I believe it will give an immense advantage to our young Irish artists on such a competitive international stage.

A driving force behind the Competition has been our partnership with RTE, who has been with us from the very beginning. Through radio and television programmes and now Internet streaming, the competition can be brought not only to every corner of Ireland, but all around the world too. And nothing can diminish the pride I feel in the RTE National Symphony Orchestra’s support for every finalist. They truly believe in and care for every young artist, and it shows in their every performance.

Lastly, but most importantly, I want to take this opportunity to state my heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors and supporters who keep us alive. Due to their generosity, we have reached our goal for 2015. Thank you for making this possible.

As reaching our fundraising goal for each Competition is proving more and more difficult each year, the 2018 Competition is in jeopardy. If there is a fairy god-mother or -father out there that could help us secure funding for the 2018 competition, I would LOVE to hear from you!

You can also make a donation through this website or become a valued monthly donor by clicking here. We are grateful for any and all donations.

I hope to see you at the next Competition, and at Competitions for years to come!

John O’Conor

Artistic Director.

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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.