Competition Rules

65th Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition 2024/2025


Who: Pianists born between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 2008. Past winners of the Busoni Prize are excluded.

Where: Online registration at

When: Registration deadline is 15 May 2024.

How: Applicants need to complete the appropriate form, together with the following: personal data, copy of passport/identity card, a recent photograph, biography/CV (including qualifications) and video recording [see section 2.a)].

Application and participation fees: there are two types of fees:
A. an application fee of € 30.00 per candidate, to be paid when submitting the online application form. Instructions for payment can be found directly on the online form.
B. Candidates admitted to the Glocal Piano Project are required to pay a participation fee of € 120.00 (excluding bank charges).
The Busoni-Mahler Foundation will send the terms of payment of the participation fee following the selection of the candidates participating in the Glocal Piano Project. Both the application fee and the participation fee are non-refundable in the event of withdrawal by the candidate.

Registration for the competition finals – for WFIMC Winners only:
Pianists who have won first or second prize in music competitions affiliated to the World Federation of International Music Competitions (between 1 January 2021 and 30 October 2024) may apply to directly enter the F. Busoni competition finals.
The appropriate entry form (available on the website as from 1 July 2024) must be completed and received not later than 31 October 2024. Up to three candidates can be selected out of all the correct applications received for the final phases. They will be selected by the Glocal Piano Project Jury.
Please note: Dual registration (i.e. in the Glocal Piano Project, as well as direct entry in the final phases) is prohibited. Candidates who have already registered for the Glocal Piano Project and win a first or second prize in a WFIMC member competition in the period 15 May – 30 October 2024 can withdraw from the Glocal Piano Project and opt to apply directly for the final rounds. The relevant documents must be submitted by 31 October 2024.


a) Video Selection (100 entrants)
A total of 100 candidates with applications received within the specified deadline will be able to participate in the competition. The date on which their names will be announced depends upon the total number of submissions and, in any case, not later than 2 months before the start of the Glocal Piano Project competition.

Video recording criteria: the video needs to last between 10 and 15 minutes. File size: up to 5 Gb. File format: MP4. Only one video can be uploaded, but it can feature more than one piece recorded at different times. Each piece must be recorded using one fixed camera. No editing or cutting during the piece is allowed. The video recording must be under two years (24 months) old.
≫ For the music programme, see section 4.2.

b) Glocal Piano Project – TOP 100 (solo piano):
20 – 30 November 2024

The 100 candidates passing the initial video-recording examination will perform at the Glocal Piano Project – a hybrid music festival to be broadcast in front of live audiences. All performances shall be professionally recorded, and distributed via an online platform. The jury will follow the Glocal Piano Project online and, at the end of this competition phase select 26 pianists – who shall take part in the competition finals in Bolzano/Bozen.
Thanks to an exclusive agreement with Steinway & Sons a network of international concert locations is guaranteed under the same conditions, and the recordings will be streamed on an online platform for up to 10 months.
The public – both those on site and those following online – also have the opportunity to cast their votes on the specially set up online platform; a maximum of 4 candidates from those ranked first will be admitted to the final phase 2025.
≫ For the music programme, see section 4.3.

c) Final Rounds:
27 August – 7 September 2025

The last rounds will be played live in Bolzano, as follows:

TOP 33 – solo piano performance: 27 – 29 August 2025

TOP 12 – solo piano performance: 30 and 31 August 2025

TOP 6 – chamber music performance: 2 – 4 September 2025

TOP 3 – Grand Finale: 7 September 2025

≫ For the music programme, see section 4.4.


a) Convocation
Before every round of the competition, participants will be notified as to where and when they need to present themselves, with each participant required to carry valid personal identification.

b) Accommodation
All Glocal Piano Project candidates requiring accommodation will receive a one-off payment of up to € 150 after submitting an invoice made out to their name.
Participants in the Final Phases in Bolzano will enjoy free board and lodging from the day of their convocation, for as long as they remain in competition. A number of upright pianos are available for practicing.

c) Travel arrangements
Each participant taking part in the finals will be offered a € 800 lump-sum as reimbursement for travel expenses, payable by bank transfer during the course of the finals. Banking details shown on the form must be complete and accurate, to enable successful transfer of the funds.


4.1. General remarks concerning the musical repertoire

All pieces performed must be published works, and only complete works are acceptable. This includes single etudes, intermezzos, or pieces performed in concert outside of the composition cycle. Single tempos from sonatas and suites are, however, inadmissible. The sequence of the music programme indicated on the online application form is compiled at the candidate’s discretion. Candidates should note the length of each work as accurately as possible, in order to fit into the total allotted duration of the exam performance (intervals included). Aside from contemporary and chamber music pieces, the programme will be performed from memory. Music scores of the works to be performed (in the correct edition) must be submitted to the administration in electronic format within the due deadline, for use by the panel of judges on the voting platform.

4.2. Video Selection:
Videos to last between 10 – 15 minutes.
One (or more) works selected by the candidate shall be performed, and the same repertoire may be repeated in subsequent rounds of the competition.

4.3. Glocal Piano Project – TOP 100 – Solo piano:
Candidates shall perform a programme lasting 15 – 20 minutes.
The programme must include:

→ one Etude by F. Chopin (Op. 10 or Op. 25), or by F. Liszt;
→ one Etude by any of the following: C. Debussy, B. Bartok (Op. 18), S. Rachmaninoff, S. Prokofiev, I. Stravinsky, A. Scriabin or G. Ligeti;
→ one or more works chosen by the candidate.

Any changes to a candidate’s repertoire must be made using the appropriate form, and submitted no later than 15 September 2024.

4.4. 2025 Finals Repertoire:
The final stages programme must be sent by 31 March 2025 by filling out the relevant form sent to candidates.
The music programme for the final rounds must differ from that presented in the Glocal Piano Project. The same piece may not be performed more than once in the different rounds of the finals.

a) TOP 33 – Solo piano
Performances by 33 candidates lasting 25 – 30 minutes.
The programme must include:

→ One of the following compositions by F. Busoni:
– one Elegy from BV 249
– Elegy No. 7 Berceuse BV 252
– Sonatina No. 1 BV 257
– Sonatina Seconda BV 259
– Sonatina “In diem nativitatis Christi MCMXVII” BV 274
– Toccata (Prelude – Fantasy – Ciaccona) BV 287
– Indianisches Tagebuch (I), either No’s 1, 2, 3 or 4 BV 267
– Preludes Op. 37 BV 181: a choice of 3 preludes
– Fantasie nach Johann Sebastian Bach BV 253
– 10 variations of Chopin Präludium (Klavierübungen Teil 5) BV 213a

→ other published works selected by the candidate.

b) TOP 12 – Solo piano
Performances by 12 candidates, lasting between 50 – 55 minutes.
The programme must include:

→ a transcription by J.S. Bach/F. Busoni;
→ a Sonata by L.v. Beethoven, M. Clementi, J. Haydn or W.A. Mozart – differing from those presented in previous rounds (excluded music performed in the video submission);
→ one or more contemporary piano pieces selected with the Concours international de piano d’Orlèans. The list of contemporary works will be made known to candidates as from 1 February 2025;
→ other works chosen by the candidate, differing from those presented in previous rounds (excluded music performed in the video submission).

c) TOP 6 – Chamber music
Performances by 6 candidates.
The programme must include:

Chamber Music Section – one of the following quintets:
– R. Schumann: Quintet for piano and strings Op. 44
– J. Brahms: Quintet for piano and strings Op. 34
– C. Franck: Quintet for piano and strings
– A. Dvořak: Piano Quintet No. 1 Op. 5
– A. Dvořak: Piano Quintet No. 2 Op. 81
– D. Shostakovich: Quintet for piano and strings Op. 57

Solo Programme:
A work of the candidate’s own choice lasting not more than 30 minutes.

d) TOP 3 – Grand Finale
For the TOP 3 – Grand Finale, the three chosen candidates should present two of the following piano concertos. The final choice of which concerto from the two indicated is to be performed in the competition round will be made in agreement between the members of the jury and the Artistic Director at the end of the chamber music final round (on 4 September 2025).

– W.A. Mozart: Piano Concertos K 466, K 456, K 467, K 491, K 595, K 488
– L.v. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3, No. 4, No. 5
– B. Bartok: Piano Concerto No. 2
– F. Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 and No. 2
– M. Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major
– S. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 1 and No. 4
– S. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43
– P.I. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
– S. Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 and No. 5
– F. Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 and No. 2
– C. Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2 and No. 5
– R. Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54
– A. Scriabin: Concerto for piano and orchestra Op. 20

Possible changes to the programme must be made using the appropriate form, and submitted to the administration no later than 15 June 2025.


The panel of judges is made up of music professionals of different nationalities. In the event of any tutorial or family relationship between a member of the panel and a candidate, the member of the judicial panel concerned will abstain from voting. At each stage of the competition (i.e. Video Selection, Glocal Piano Project and Final Rounds), the composition of the panel of judges will vary. For the duration of the competition, there are strict rules barring contenders from contacting members of the jury. Only as from 1 October 2025, will the votes of the finals of each jury member be made public.


On registering for the competition, a candidate implicitly authorises the Busoni – Mahler Foundation administration to utilise, at their discretion, personal data and photographic images provided as well as the audio-visual recordings. This extends to internet distribution of the competition rounds, to which the competitor will have been admitted (see privacy form accompanying to the application form).
The Busoni – Mahler Foundation assumes full ownership of all audio-visual recordings it has produced, while claiming exclusive commercial and non-commercial rights thereof.


The Busoni Prize winner is obliged to comply with all contractual obligations entered into between the Foundation and music organisations – both Italian and foreign, aimed at promoting the artist’s career. Fourteen days after the awarding of the prize (i.e. between 8 and 22 September 2025), the Busoni Prize winner must formally accept performance engagements to which the Foundation management has already committed.
After being declared winner, the victorious entrant will be asked to prioritize concert bookings fixed by the Busoni – Mahler Foundation management above all other engagements for the consecutive 24 months (i.e. September 2025 – August 2027).


Busoni Prize: € 30.000,00
The Busoni Prize may not be shared.

The winner of the Busoni Prize will also receive a prize in the amount of € 5,000 named in memory of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli – provided that the Busoni Prize is unanimously awarded.
Negotiations are underway for major concert engagements in Italy and abroad.

2nd Prize: € 10.000,00
3rd Prize: € 5.000,00
4th Prize: € 4.000,00
5th Prize: € 3.000,00
6th Prize: € 2.500,00

Other special prizes will also be announced.
Taxes will be withheld from the awards as required.
Participants who are not admitted to the final chamber music round can send a request for a certificate of participation.

Ferruccio Busoni – Gustav Mahler Foundation
Via Portici 19/A
39100 Bolzano – Italy