Scottish International Piano Competition returns to Glasgow

Scottish International Piano Competition returns to Glasgow

Published: 04/08/2023

Pianists from across the globe will descend on Glasgow next month in a bid to clinch a prestigious international title, a £15,000 prize, and the chance to perform with one of the nation’s leading orchestrasThirty musicians have been invited to participate in the Scottish International Piano Competition (SIPC), which returns for the first time since 2017. With four stages, all open to the public, classical music lovers have the chance to enjoy performances from some of the world’s finest young talent.

Scottish International Piano Competition returns to Glasgow in September 2023. Image shows 2017 winner SIPC 2017 winner - Can Cakmur - © Robin Mitchell

2017 winner Can Çakmur with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra © Robin Mitchell

This year’s competitors include Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student Minkyu Kim, 28, from South Korea, who is currently studying for a Doctor of Performance degree.

Minkyu Kim

Established in 1986, it is open to pianists of any nationality, aged between 18 and 30. Recent prize winners, including Pavel Kolesnikov and Tom Poster, have gone on to enjoy major international careers following their success in the competition.

Celebrated for his imaginative, thought-provoking programming, Pavel has performed at venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo and was Artist in Residence at Wigmore Hall in 2020/21. Tom has premiered solo, chamber and concertante works by many leading composers, made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms, and his compositions and arrangements have been commissioned, performed and recorded by artists including Yo-Yo Ma.

Three solo recital stages, including the semi-final, take place at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, from 1-7 September. Three finalists will perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) on the afternoon of 10 September at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s New Auditorium, conducted by David Niemann, who is establishing himself as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation.

Second prize winner of the 2015 Malko Conducting Competition, he was appointed Assistant Conductor at the Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, where he worked alongside chief conductor Michael Schønwandt for the following three seasons.

Meet the competitors

Hopefuls will be looking to impress a distinguished and internationally acclaimed panel of judges who will oversee all stages of the competition, chaired by Professor Aaron Shorr, the competition’s Artistic Director who is also Head of Keyboard at RCS. As well as the cash prize, the winner will be offered a performance in the RSNO’s 2024-25 Concert Season.

The jury also includes renowned concert pianists Ingo Dannhorn, Visiting Professor of Piano at the Yonsei University in Seoul; Clare Hammond, the 2016 winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s ‘Young Artist Award’; Carole Presland, Senior Tutor in Keyboard Chamber Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Dr Marc Silverman, Chairman of the piano department at the Manhattan School of Music; Professor Boris Slutsky, Professor of Piano at the Yale School of Music and Professor Albert Tiu, Head of Piano Studies at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore.

Composer David Önaç will adjudicate the Best Performance of the Compulsory Work prize, for which pianists must choose any two of his Five Études as part of their semi-final programme.

Tanya Gabrielian

The competition kicks off with a guest recital at RCS on 31 August with soloist US-born Tanya Gabrielian, newly appointed Head of Keyboard at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and SIPC 2004 winner.

Tanya’s wide-ranging programme will feature works by Bach, Schubert/Liszt, Ravel and Bizet, amongst others.


Aaron Shorr

Professor Aaron Shorr, SIPC Artistic Director, said: “Since 1986, the Scottish International Piano Competition has introduced audiences to some of the world’s most talented young pianists.

“It’s a prestigious, global showcase with Glasgow, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra providing a wonderful platform to support these exceptional early career musicians. It also inspires a new generation of pianists living and studying in Scotland.

“We’re also thrilled that internationally acclaimed pianist and 2004 winner Tanya Gabrielian is opening this year’s event. Tanya has gone on grace some of the finest stages across the globe and her afternoon recital will start the competition off on the perfect note.”



Tickets for the Scottish International Piano Competition are available from


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