George Enescu International Piano Competition

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The Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, Romania, serves as one of the main venues in the George Enescu International Piano Competition.

The George Enescu International Piano Competition is a music competition for young pianists that takes place in Bucharest, Romania. It has helped launch the careers of many musicians, and among its list of first-prize winners are legendary pianists such as Radu Lupu, the winner in the 1967 edition. Other winners include Russian pianists Elisabeth Leonskaja, in 1964, and Dmitri Alexeev, in 1970.[citation needed]


The competition started in 1958, as part of the George Enescu Festival, and celebrated its first five editions (1958, 1961, 1964, 1967, and 1970) in what was then the Socialist Republic of Romania. It was considered, by the countries of the Eastern Bloc, one of the most prestigious music competitions. Jury members included famous musicians such as Claudio Arrau, Nadia Boulanger, Arthur Rubinstein, Magda Tagliaferro, Guido Agosti, Florica Musicescu, Dmitri Bashkirov, Carlo Zecchi, and Lazar Berman. After the 1970 edition, there was a 21-year hiatus, after which the next competition was held in 1991, already in modern Romania. Only twice, in 1961 and in 2011, no first-prize was awarded.[citation needed]

The competition is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva. There have been twelve editions of the competition since its inaugural session in 1958, the next edition being in 2014.[citation needed]

The competition and prize-giving ceremony has historically taken place in the Romanian Athenaeum, with the mayor always traditionally attending.[citation needed]

The competition has, since 1958, discovered dozens of outstanding musicians for all over the world. Past piano laureates (not-including the first-prize winners) include Mikhail Voskresensky, Pascal Rogé, and Cristina Ortiz.[citation needed]

The prize has always included a generous cash award and numerous performing opportunities as a recitalist, soloist, and in chamber music settings, including concert appearances in many prestigious venues and festivals all over the world.[citation needed]


Top prize winners since the foundation of the competition in 1958
Year 1st 2nd 3rd
I: 1958 China Ming-Qiang Li France Michèle Boegner

Soviet Union Mikhail Voskresensky (tie)

Soviet Union Dmitry Paperno
II: 1961 Not awarded Israel Arie Vardi

Romania Constantin Iliescu (tie)

China Hong Teng
III: 1964 Soviet Union Elisabeth Leonskaja France André Gorog Romania Gabriel Amiras
IV: 1967 Romania Radu Lupu

Soviet Union Samvel Alumyan (tie)

Romania Dan Grigore Soviet Union Anatol Ugorski
V: 1970 Soviet Union Dmitri Alexeev United States Mack McCray Romania Radu Toescu
VI: 1991 Romania Daniel Goiți Romania Viniciu Moroianu Romania Luiza Borac
VII: 2001 Romania Diana Ionescu Romania Matei Varga Romania Maria-Magdalena Pitu-Jokisch
VIII: 2003 Russia Ilona Timchenko Not awarded Romania Razvan Dragnea

Russia Evgeny Starodubtsev (tie)

IX: 2005 Estonia Irina Zahharenkova Russia Evgeny Izotov France Aimo Pagin
X: 2007 Russia Eduard Kunz Russia Evgeny Cherepanov United States Christopher Falzone
XI: 2009 Russia Amir Tebenikhin Russia Violetta Kachikian South Korea Jongdo An
XII: 2011 Not awarded South Korea Jeung-Beum Sohn Romania Mihai Ritivoiu

Canada Ilya Poletaev (tie)

XIII: 2014 Spain Josu de Solaun Soto Russia Ilya Rashkovsky Greece Vassilis Varvaresos
XIV: 2016 Bulgaria Victoria Vassilenko Japan Takuma Ishii Chile Danor Quinteros
XV: 2018 Russia Daria Parkhomenko Latvia Daumants Liepins Russia Alexander Panfilov

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