Cleveland calls in former winner to head its piano competition

Cleveland calls in former winner to head its piano competition


norman lebrecht

June 19, 2018

Message from Yaron Kohlberg:


I am thrilled to announce that I have been appointed the new President/CEO of the Cleveland International Piano Competition! This is a great moment in my professional life, and I feel extremely honored and grateful.

Since being founded in 1975, the CIPC has established itself as one of the leading international piano organizations, supporting thousands of young pianists from different parts of the globe. The competition takes place once every few years, but the organization maintains constant activity through a concert series, education and outreach programs, music related activities and other community events. The competition has always aimed for musical excellence, while giving contestants a unique opportunity to perform with the outstanding Cleveland Orchestra in the finals, awarding one of the top money prizes in any piano competition, and providing further performance, exposure and career opportunities to its participants.

As a former winner of the competition, it is a privilege to serve as the organization’s new leader. I hope to be able to contribute to the CIPC through the experience I gained over the years, to help maintain its tradition and bring it to new heights through innovative ideas and exciting collaborations.

The opportunity to influence and contribute on a large scale to the piano world to which I am attached both emotionally and professionally, exceeds my fondest dreams. This could not have been achieved without the support of many people.

The board of directors of CIPC, who selected me for this prestigious position, has shown their trust in me from the very beginning. Their understanding of my situation, coupled with their commitment and devotion to the organization and the piano, made it a very easy decision.

I would never have reached this moment without my family and close friends, who have been there for me through better and worse moments, and have given me all their love and support over the years. As I can’t mention everyone on this post, you will be hearing from me in private.

I will soon be leaving China which has been my home for over three years. Though I will no longer be based there, I will in my new position do my best to continue to help the development of piano playing in China. I plan to visit it often, so this is certainly not a final goodbye.

Sending much love to all friends around the globe, and hoping to see you soon in Cleveland!



  • Been Here Before says:

    Those who can, play. Those who can’t, judge.

    There have been much better and interesting pianists who won the CIPC in recent years.