2023 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival thumbnail

2023 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival

Start an Application

Narrow your Search

The Cliburn invites talented pianists age 13 to 17 to apply for the Third Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, taking place June 8–17, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. The Preliminary through Semifinal Rounds and festival events will take place on the campus of SMU, where participants will also reside. The Final Round will be held at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, where the three finalists will each perform a full concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

The Cliburn will invite 24 pianists to compete, and 14 additional pianists will be accepted as non-competing festival participants (collectively "participants"), who will have the opportunity to take part in master classes, private lessons, workshops, and other elective activities. All pianists interested in applying as either a competitor or festival participant should use this form. Please read all rules and guidelines carefully before you apply.

Janina Fialkowska, Canadian virtuoso pianist, educator, and Artistic Director, will serve as Jury Chairman.

For technical questions, please visit the Acceptd Help Desk.

For questions about the application process or requirements, please contact Michael Bellinson at mbellinson@cliburn.org or by phone at +1.817.738.6536. 



  1. The Third Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival (hereinafter “Competition”) will be held on the campus of SMU in Dallas, Texas from June 8–17, 2023.
  2. The Cliburn will invite 24 pianists to compete and 14 additional pianists to attend as non-competing festival participants. All pianists will apply through the same application form.
  3. Competitors and non-competing participants will be required to be present for the opening events on June 6, 2023.
  4. All participants invited to the Competition will be provided one complimentary, economy-class, round-trip plane ticket to Dallas from their place of residence.
  5. All participants will be given complimentary housing on the campus of SMU between June 5 and June 18, 2023. Meals, practice facilities, and ground transportation to all Cliburn events will be provided. Participants will be responsible for their own accommodations on any days falling outside of this time period. Competitors who do not pass onto the Quarterfinal, Semifinal, and Final Rounds are strongly encouraged to stay until the end of the event. Any cost incurred by changing dates of travel will be at the competitor’s expense.
  6. In some cases, foreign participants will need visas and will be responsible for securing them. The Cliburn will assist as needed after competitors and festival participants have been notified.
  7. In addition to Competition rounds, the Cliburn will organize several performance, learning, and social opportunities for all participants, including public recitals, chamber music readings, panels, and symposia. All participants are required to attend and participate in these events.


January 27, 2022 Online applications open

January 10, 2023 Applications due

March 14, 2023 Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance

March 28, 2023 Competitors announced

April 5, 2023 Last day to make repertoire changes

June 7, 2023 Opening Dinner & Draw Party

June 8, 2023 Competition begins

June 17, 2023 Awards Ceremony


The Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival is open to pianists of all nationalities. Previous first-prize winners of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival are not eligible to apply. Applicants must have been born on or after June 17, 2005, and before June 8, 2010. This age requirement is firm, and applies to those applying to compete as well as those applying to come as non-competing participants.



  1. All applications must be completed and submitted through the online system via Cliburn.org.
  2. All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST / GMT-6 on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. No late applications will be accepted.
  3. All applicants must submit a nonrefundable application fee of $125 US, payable through the online application system.
  4. An acknowledgment will be sent to each applicant upon receipt of the completed online application. You will not be allowed to submit unless all information is complete.
  5. All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and treated as confidential. The Cliburn reserves the right to request additional information from or about an applicant.
  6. All applicants should retain copies of their submitted applications. The Cliburn will accept no responsibility for applications not received.


  1. Competitors may not have any other commitments during the time of the Competition. All competitors must remain in Dallas as long as they are still participating in the Competition.
  2. The Competition will consist of four separate elimination rounds: Preliminary, Quarterfinal, Semifinal, and Final. All rounds will be open to the public and will be webcast live. 
  3. Twenty-four (24) applicants will be invited to compete. The jury will advance 12 pianists to the Quarterfinal Round, 6 to the Semifinal Round, and 3 to the Final Round.
  4. The order of appearance of pianists in the Preliminary Round will be determined by drawing. The Competition will follow this order except for reasons of accident, illness, or other unusual circumstances, at the discretion of the president and CEO of the Cliburn. The order of appearance in the Final Round will depend on program content and administrative requirements, as determined by the Cliburn.
  5. Pianists may not contact or speak privately with any member of the jury for as long as they continue to participate in the Competition. Any violation of this rule may disqualify the pianist.


  1. The prizes and awards specified on the Cliburn website will constitute the only prizes and awards of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival. No other prizes, awards, or remunerations will be permitted, except by express decision of the Cliburn.
  2. Taxes will be deducted from prizes according to United States tax laws in effect at the time of the Competition.
  3. A portion of the prize is related to furthering musical advancement. If one or any of the top three prizewinners does not make a suitable proposal for the use of the scholarship money within one year of the Competition, that winner forfeits this portion of the prize, at the discretion of the president and CEO of the Cliburn.


  1. Applicant shall not commit any act or do anything which might tend to bring Applicant into public disrepute, contempt, scandal, or ridicule, or which might tend to reflect unfavorably on the Cliburn, or any sponsor, donor, or partner of the Cliburn. If at any time, Applicant is involved in any such situation or occurrence during the application process, the period between the selection of competitors and the Competition, and/or during the Competition, the Cliburn has the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to disqualification from the Competition or revocation of any awards.
  2. All rounds of the Competition may be broadcast live or may be recorded and videotaped for subsequent broadcast, video, or audio recording use. All Competition events may be photographed and/or recorded and videotaped. The Cliburn reserves the right to duplicate, distribute, broadcast, display, and otherwise use all recordings, and the names and/or likenesses of all competitors, for any purposes on any platform, whether now known or yet devised. Neither the Cliburn, nor its assignees or licensees may be held liable for any payments to pianists arising out of materials derived from any Competition performances and/or events. Applicants are required to sign a release form yielding all rights on such materials to the Cliburn, its assignees, or licenses.
  3. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of publication. However, the Cliburn reserves the right to make any changes if circumstances dictate.


NOTE: Festival participant applicants will be required to submit a video for application purposes. Repertoire requirements for the screening video (below) are identical for both competitor and participant applicants.

Video Submissions

Video submissions must be 15 to 20 minutes in length and include one virtuosic etude, one movement of a Classical sonata, and one slow, lyrical work, following the requirements for the Competition Preliminary and Quarterfinal Rounds. Works performed in the screening videos can be repeated during the Competition rounds. The video must be filmed with both the pianist’s face and hands in the frame at all times. Recordings may be paused between each repertoire selection. Each work on the video must be a continuous and unedited performance. Videos must be filmed within six months of submission.

Preliminary Round (24 competitors)

Each pianist will perform a recital not to exceed 20 minutes in length. The recital must include:

  1. One three- or four-voice Bach Prelude and Fugue
  2. One fast, virtuosic etude (choice is subject to approval by the Cliburn)

The remainder of the program may be chosen by the pianist.

Quarterfinal Round (14 competitors)

Each pianist will perform a recital not to exceed 30 minutes in length. The recital must include:

  1. One slow, lyrical work, similar to a nocturne, intermezzo, or song without words (choice is subject to approval by the Cliburn)
  2. The first or last movement of one of the following Classical sonatas (sonatas may be played in their entirety):
    • Any Haydn sonata
    • Any Mozart sonata
    • One of the following Beethoven sonatas:
      • Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, op. 2, no. 1
      • Sonata No. 2 in A Major, op. 2, no. 2
      • Sonata No. 3 in C Major, op. 2, no. 3
      • Sonata No. 4 in E-flat Major, op. 7
      • Sonata No. 5 in C Minor, op. 10, no. 1
      • Sonata No. 6 in F Major, op. 10, no. 2
      • Sonata No. 7 in D Major, op. 10, no. 3
      • Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, op. 13 ("Pathetique")
      • Sonata No. 9 in E Major, op. 14, no. 1
      • Sonata No. 10 in G Major, op. 14, no. 2
      • Sonata No. 11 in B-flat Major, op. 22
      • Sonata No. 12 in A-flat Major, op. 26

The remainder of the program may be chosen by the pianist. Repertoire from the Preliminary Round may not be repeated.

Semifinal Round (6 competitors)

The Semifinal Round will be held in two phases:

PHASE I: Each pianist must perform a 40-minute recital program, including:

  1. One work written by a living composer.
  2. A substantial work of at least 16 minutes.
The remainder of the program may be chosen by the pianist. Repertoire from the Preliminary and Quarterfinal Rounds may not be repeated.

PHASE II: Each pianist will perform one movement, as determined by the Cliburn in consultation with the jury, of the concerto submitted for the Final Round with piano accompaniment. The Cliburn will provide an accompanist.

Final Round (3 competitors)

Each pianist will perform one concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, selected from the following list:

  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, op. 15
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, op. 19
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37
  • CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, op. 11
  • CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, op. 21
  • GRIEG Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 16
  • LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, s. 124
  • LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, s. 125
  • MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, op. 25
  • MOZART Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-Flat Major, K. 271
  • MOZART Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453
  • MOZART Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467
  • MOZART Piano Concerto No. 26 in D Major, K. 537
  • MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Major, K. 595
  • RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 43
  • RAVEL Piano Concerto in G Major
  • PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-Flat Major, op. 10
  • SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 22
  • CLARA SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 7
  • SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 54


  1. Total performance times include applause and pauses and will be strictly enforced. The jury retains the right to stop a performance if the pianist exceeds the allotted time.
  2. All works must be performed from memory in their entirety. Separate movements of larger works will be accepted but must be performed in their entirety. Repeats are at the discretion of the pianist.
  3. If requested, the pianist must supply a copy of the edition of the score used in preparation of each work performed to the jury.
  4. Changes in submitted repertoire or running order may be made only with permission of the Cliburn. No changes will be accepted after April 5, 2023. Any proposed changes must include timings.