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Nashville International Chopin Piano Competition & Festival

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The Nashville International Chopin Piano Competition

The Competition’s purpose is to discover young talent capable of representing the Competition’s values: musicality, sensitivity, humility, constant re-evaluation, ceaseless striving for excellence, attention to detail, technical excellence, and respect for Frédéric Chopin’s musical text. These values are inspired by the competition and career experiences of the competition’s co-founders, Dr. Graciella Kowalczyk, a Polish-American star pianist and instructor, and Joshua Izzard, a leading American former concert pianist and current finance executive and investor. 

The Competition offers young pianists an extraordinary opportunity to showcase their talent in a transparent and unbiased competition and to win significant cash and other potential awards for a one-round live competition performance. 

The inaugural edition will be held in Nashville, TN, USA October 14 - 15 at Vanderbilt University. 

Additional information and content can be found on the competition website at


  1. The Competition is open to professional pianists of all nationalities who were born before the 14th of October 2017 and after the 14th of October 2001.
  2. Competitors may apply to only one age category, and the category may be that in which their age falls or any higher (older) age category (a 15-year-old may compete in the Artist Division if they so choose, for example). 
  3. Application online only at:
  4. Application deadline: 11:59:59 pm Pacific Time, Thursday, August 31st, 2023. Pianists requiring pre-departure travel visas to the United States should submit as early as possible in the "International: Requires USA Travel Visa" category in his/her age group, as these applications will be screened and applicants notified of status on a rolling basis beginning the week of August 7th, 2023. All other applicants will be notified on Friday, September 15th, 2023 at the latest.
  5. Students and family of Jury members are not eligible to compete.
  6. Editing and AI (Artificial Intelligence) manipulation of screening recordings are not allowed and may result in immediate disqualification and denial of admission to the live competition.
  7. All applicants admitted to the live competition must submit proof of age (passport, driver's license, or birth certificate) with their confirmation of intent to participate.  Failure to do so may result in disqualification. 
  8. The application fee is $285 ($250 application fee + $35 processing fee) and is non-refundable. 


Graciella Kowalczyk, Chairman

Nathan Aspinall

Kenneth Broberg

Kemal Gekić

Kevin Kenner

Pavel Nersessian

Charles Olivieri-Munroe

Antonio Pompa-Baldi

Tamás  Ungár


Ingmar Lazar 

Anton Mordasov 

Andrey Ponochevny

Zbigniew Raubo


Michael Gurt

Konstantin Soukhovetski

Sergey Sultanov

Nino Ushikishvili

Congyu Wang

Alexei Sultanov Memorial Discovery Prize

The Nashville International Chopin Piano Competition only awards one Alexei Sultanov Memorial Discovery Prize, which cannot be shared and which will be awarded in lieu of the 1st prize in the division of the recipient, which can be any age category; the jury may, however, decide not to award the prize. The winner will receive $20,000. The other age category and special prize winners shall receive prizes as listed on the competition website's Prizes page:

Artist - Ages 16 - 22: 1st Prize: $5,000; 2nd Prize: $3,000; 3rd Prize: $2,000

Youn Musician II - Ages 11 - 15: 1st Prize: $3,000; 2nd Prize: $2,000; 3rd Prize: $1,000

Young Musician I - Ages 6 - 10: 1st Prize: $2,000; 2nd Prize: $1,000; 3rd Prize: $500


The Competition will strive to establish partnerships with various concert organizers and orchestras in the USA and abroad in order to propose concerts to the winner of the Alexei Sultanov Memorial Discovery Prize. The Competition is furthermore prepared to help the winner to find a concert agency with which he or she can collaborate.

Audience Choice Prize

During the live round of the competition, the public will have the opportunity to vote for the winner of the Audience Choice Prize. The performance of the optional work commissioned for the Competition, "Nashville Nocturne" by composer Ashot Ariyan, will serve as the basis for awarding this prize. The score of the work will be emailed to all admitted competitors in the Young Musician II and Artist age categories (ages 11 - 15 and 16 - 22) after admission to the live round of the Competition, and competitors can make the decision at that time whether they wish to perform the work and be eligible for the Audience Choice Prize. The prize will be shared in the event of a tie, and amounts to $2,000.

Special Genre Prizes

The Jury will vote on the best performance of each of four genres: Nocturne, Etude, Polonaise, and Mazurka. Each of these prizes amounts to $500.


The pianists are responsible for their own traveling expenses. 


The pianists are responsible for their own accommodations. There are, however, a limited number of host families available on a first-come, first-served basis to admitted competitors. The Competition will also provide a list of partner hotels (accommodation at the pianist’s expense) including those potentially offering a discount to competitors. 

Pianists will be provided with a list of available practice facilities secured by the Competition in Nashville, sign-up sheets for the times, and instructions to the locations.