Too many piano competitions? An Italian wins Honens

Too many piano competitions? An Italian wins Honens


norman lebrecht

September 13, 2015

Just as Leeds was making its mind up over the £20,000 first prize, Honens announced Luca Buratto, 22, Laureate of the 2015 Honens Piano Competition. A former Cliburn competitor, Luca takes the world’s largest piano prize of C$100,000 (CAN) and a career development program worth half a million dollars.

Henry Kramer (US, 28) and Artem Yasynskyy (Ukraine, 27) each went home with C$10,000.

Having both Leeds and Honens declare on the same weekend was plain crazy, a symptom of a competition circuit gone mad.


luca buratto
The young Jeremy Corbyn?


  • Wang Bang-Bang says:

    Nicely observed. Most piano competitions now take place principally for the benefit of the organizers. The “winners” are with very few exceptions pianistically indistinguishable, interchangeable, a dime a dozen, and will end up on the scrap heap in 5 years having spent their $100000 or whatever- unless they then start to organize their own piano competitions like Olga Kern (check her out on your favourite search engine.)The Alink-Argerich web site lists nicely the dozens of competitions taking place yearly by location – devaluation by oversupply.

  • Selberg says:

    Yea, but $100,000 Canadian? And $500,000 towards his career?
    That is a very handsome reward, to say the least. Most competitions, even the biggest ones, don’t pay out anything comparable to that!
    Maybe there are too many of those international competitions that pay a $10-20,000 first prize and people fly halfway across the world to attend.
    Another issue of doing too many competitions is that it gets expensive. With many of them, winning 3rd prize or less results in financial loss anyway, after taking into account the flight expense, the lodging expense, cost of lessons in prep for the contest, and other expenses.
    For most people, the end result is that it is good preparation for their career, and it looks good on their bio. Learning 5-10 pieces, preparing them to performance level, will be invaluable experience later on. And for a college professor, small time soloist, chamber music, or orchestral player, it looks good to say that you got 4th prize at a big contest when you were younger.

  • Vittorio Parisi says:

    Luca is my conducting class in Milano . Proud of him!

  • Jonathan M. Dunsby says:

    Well this Aung San Suu Kyi prize should make the Leeds more high profile :