The terms of participation


of the Piano Bridges International Competition for Amateur Pianists

named after Natalia Dobrovolskaya


1. The Competition will be held from 1st until 22nd November 2020. 

2. The Competition format: video recordings, online. 

3. Participants’ age: 17 and above.

4. Application submission deadline: 15th October 2020. 

5. The first 70 applications will be accepted (from the date of receiving the full set of documents including the application fee). 

6. The Competition is held in two solo categories:

1st Сategory — amateur pianists who received a diploma of secondary or higher musical education with a major in disciplines other than piano performance, and those who received a diploma of secondary or higher musical education majoring in piano performance but have not been involved in music activities as professional pianists for at least 3 years.

2nd Сategory — amateur pianists with no professional piano education.

7. There will be one round.

8. The following prizes will be awarded (for both categories):

1st Prize – 30,000 RUB and a solo performance at a festival in Italy

2nd and 3rd Prize – a solo performance at a Russian-Italian festival in

St. Petersburg

4th and 5th Prize – gifts from the Competition partners

Natalia Dobrovolskaya Award (Audience Award) — 10,000 RUB

All participants receive electronic diplomas or certificates signed by the Jury members.

The first-prize winner who received the most points (from the two categories) will be given an opportunity to perform with an orchestra during the year following the year of the Competition.

All competitors have the right to participate in the Piano Bridges concert series throughout the year.

9. Programme requirements: Contestants are free to choose their own programme which must consist of at least two music pieces. The total length of the video recording must not exceed 20 minutes. It must include a classical piano repertoire only. Pieces of popular or jazz music as well as competitors’ own works are not allowed.

In case of doubt, please consult with the Organizing Committee.

For the closing concert and to decide the Audience Award winner, the jury will select the piece(s) with a total length of not more than 10 minutes. Please consider this while compiling your programme.

10. The whole programme must be recorded in one take specially for the Competition and it must represent a single file. No editing or cropping of the video including cutting out of pauses at the beginning, or at the end, or between pieces is allowed. All videos will be checked for any modifications. If any modifications are found, the application will be declined without the right of its resubmission. Signing the application form, the competitor guarantees that they have not altered the recording.

11. Recordings of concert performances or their fragments are not accepted.

12. We strongly recommend using proper recording equipment or turning to a professional for help. The quality of the video recording should be as high as possible (especially the audio track). The sound quality holds more importance than the image quality (which is important mainly for the competitor’s identification). You must use manual fine-tuning and cannot apply automatic volume control. It must be remembered that the technical quality of the recording and the level (condition) of the musical instrument is an important factor that will help to get a true apprehension of the performer’s creative potential.

13. Upright pianos or electronic keyboards are not allowed.

14. All videos must be filmed with both the pianist’s face and hands in the frame. There is no dress code, but your attire should demonstrate respect for music and the audience. Remember that the audition video will also be shown during the closing concert.

15. Video requirements:

– max. resolution 1920 x 1080

– file types:

MPEG-4 and MOV (video codecs H.264 and MPEG-4, audio codec AAC)

MPEG-2 PS (video codec MPEG-2, audio codec MP2)

16. Videos must be stored in the Google Drive cloud storage only, and have free access. Other cloud storage services (e.g. iCloud, Dropbox, etc.), as well as YouTube and other similar video hosting services are not allowed. Contestants from the countries with no access to Google Drive can send their videos to the Organizing Committee in any suitable way, and the latter will publish them directly.

17. Competition participants must email the following documents:

– filled-in application forms in two copies: as a word document, and a signed and scanned/photographed copy.

– digital photograph

– confirmation of payment (€55, or $65)

link with free access to the video on Google Drive.

18. The application fee is to be sent via PayPal (see our website for details)

19. The official Competition opening date is 1st November 2020. During the opening concert video performances of prizewinners of previous years will be shown.

20. Every day from 2nd November until 15th November, performance video recordings of 5 contestants together with their photographs and short music biographies will be published in the public domain (in alphabetic order starting from the letter “М”).

21. On 16th November, the names of not more than 10 prizewinners (not more than 5 in each category) will be announced without mentioning their place (will be announced at/during the closing concert).

22. From 17th to 22nd November public voting will take place to decide the winner of the Audience Award (from the 10 prizewinners). The procedure for selecting the audience jury members will be announced on the day of the opening. The voting results will be declared on the Competition closing day, 22nd November, together with the Jury’s decision about the winners’ places.

23. The Juror does not assign scores to the contestant if he/she is their student. Close relatives of a juror are not allowed to take part in the Competition.

24. The places are assigned strictly according to the arithmetic mean of the scores (on a 100-point scale). The prizes are non-divisible. The decision about the special prizes is made based on the Jury’s vote. In case of the equal number of votes, the Jury President’s vote is decisive.

25. Each jury member writes a review about the performance (with comments on each piece). The reviews will be sent to all contestants within two months after the Competition.

26. The Organizing Committee strongly urge the participants to respect the Jury’s privacy and not to contact them via social media in order to get further comments or consultations. Acceptance of this item is essential for the application admission.

27. The Organizing Committee is responsible for compliance with these terms. Contestants’ appeals will be considered by the Organizing Committee. The Jury’s decisions are final and non-negotiable.

28. These terms are prepared in Russian and English. In case of any discrepancy, the Russian version shall prevail.