International Piano Chamber Music Competition

International Piano Chamber Music Competition
Date and time
20 - 23 Nov 2018 (11:00am - 10:00pm)

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Map and Directions


Application fees as follows:

£35 (UK pounds) per person.

£70 for duo

£105 for trio

£140 for quartet

Booking Information

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The first Birmingham International Piano Chamber Music Competition takes place as part as part of the Piano Chamber Music Festival at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Eight young ensembles will be selected to be part of the festival programme, where each will give a public recital and take part in masterclasses with leading artists. Three ensembles will progress to the final concert in what promises to be an exciting finish to the festival.

First prize

  • £4000
  • A commercial recording with Resonus Classics, for CD and download.
  • Mentorship from an experienced chamber music artist.
  • Professional engagements, including: Wigmore Hall, London, Winchester Chamber Music festival, Ulverston Music Festival, London and Chamber Circle, Brussels

The two remaining finalists will receive second prizes of:

  • £1500
  • DVD recording of their final performance

Download the  Competition Regulations   

Chamber music is a multi-layered medium, in the wealth and depth of its repertoire as well as the skills and characteristics required to realise it.

It is music for sharing, both with one’s performing colleagues and the audience, and is therefore somewhat confessional. It is open to wide-ranging interpretation, despite often being put together by composers with great intellectual rigour.

A competition in this discipline may therefore seem like a paradox, which is why our festival is as collegiate and inclusive as possible. We will make music together. Each competing ensemble will give a recital and take part in masterclasses. All jury members will also perform as part of the festival programme.

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has put chamber music at its heart with inspiring results.

Daniel Tong

Head of Piano Chamber Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Pianist, London Bridge Trio
Founder, Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival and Winchester Chamber Music Festival

Our Venues

500 seat Concert HallConcerts, including the grand final of the competition, will take place each evening during the festival in the magnificent new Concert Hall (pictured, right) at the conservatoire.

Daytime events, including preliminary competition recitals take place in the more intimate Recital Hall.

Competition Jury

Adam Binks, record producer; founder, Resonus Classics 
Katya Apekisheva, piano professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Esther Hoppe, violinist, Tecchler Trio; Salzburg Mozarteum (pictured, right)  
Robin Ireland, violist, Domus, Lindsay Quartet; Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Alice Neary, cellist, Gould Trio; Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Christoph Richter, cellist; Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen; , Royal Academy of Music, London
John Thwaites, pianist, Primrose Piano Quartet; Head of Keyboard, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Daniel Tong, pianist, London Bridge Trio; Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Joining the jury members for festival concerts will be the London Bridge Trio, Gould Trio, students of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and more.

Closing date for entries: Wednesday 18 April 2018

Daniel Tong, our director, has written in more detail about the event:
To read about why we believe a festival devoted to the piano in chamber music is overdue, click here.
To read more about the background to our competition and its ethos, click here.

The festival is extremely grateful to the Carne Trust, Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust and Fidelio Trust for their support.