Madness: Almost 1,000 enter 2019 Tchaikovsky Competition

The deadine for application passed this week and they’ve just finished counting the number of submissions.

It is 954 from 58 countries.

They will now be whittled down by judges on the strength of their videos.

The final number of admissions will be 24 pianists, 24 violinists, 24 cellists, 60 vocalists (30 men/women) and 96 wind instrument players.



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  • I’m not worried about these numbers because I’ve got the best coach out there; I’ll be in one, maybe two of the comps. She says to enter all five and leave the rest to her!

  • We can already see from the general demographic mentioned in this announcement that this will be an Asian-heavy competition. The largest no. of applicants, they say, is from Russia, South Korea, USA, China and Japan.

  • This beauty contest is getting out of hand.

    Seriously, when is the last time *ANY* music competition does not provide winners who are not magazine-front-page level photogenic?????

    • It depends what you mean by front page level photogenic? The last two Tchaikovsky winners (piano) were Dmitri Matsleev and Daniil Trifinov. I wouldn’t say they were cover star material………Trifinov is a wonderful pianist though, I don’t think I’ve heard Matsleev. I’ve heard George Li though, and if Matsleev is good enough to place ahead of him in competition, I doubt he’s being picked for his looks.

      • Trifonov is a nice-looking guy now that he’s had a total style make-over. Masleev is decent-looking, but hardly cover model material; I didn’t think he was as good as George Li, who is, if it needs to be said, Not Russian.

        As a counterexample, look no further than Rafal Blechasz, a magnificent pianist who swept the field at the Chopin Competition but is hardly a matinee idol.

        Of course, there was Argerich, who really won the Genetic Lottery.

  • Is this a substantial difference from previous (more recent) Tchaikovsky competitions? From watching the youth competition scene it would seem there are more and more young musicians reaching superlative technical levels at younger and younger ages, so it seems only natural that one of the most prestigious competitions in the world would see an increase in applications.

  • 1. My ears hurt just thinking about this.
    2. Is Putin under more stress lately? It appears his receding hairline has gotten much worse.
    3. This sounds like a lot of entries, but I wonder how this compares to prior competitions.

    • Regarding your #2, Putin missed his deadline for taking over the world. Gergiev and Trump let him down. Also, he has tons of competition from his big neighbor to the east.

  • This article would be more helpful if it included some context. How many people entered last year and the year before? Is this a trend? Some basic research and analysis would be really helpful.

  • And how many are from the Chicago Symphony?

    (They say they’re the best, right? Here’s their chance to prove it.)

  • Money scams, for the older traditional competitions you now have to pay loads of money to enter and they’re full of old pro’s ego politics. The new ones made it a complete industry of money scams, ego’s, marketing machines etc. I hope the whole systems collapses within a few years. Competitions only deliver what screams for a few years, and then these young people are burn out. See what happens in 5-10 years.

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