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Competition Rules:

“Kharkiv Meets Zurich” International Vladimir Krainev Competition for Young Pianists will be held in Zurich from February 5-8, 2024 in the Kantonsschule Uster and Final Round on February 9-10 at the Zurich University of the Arts.

The Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities, provided they agree with the values in the EMCY statement and were born on or after February 6, 2003.

I.   Category “Young Master”
Three-round competition. (Please refer to the repertoire requirements for each round of the competition in the respective section: Repertoire).
The first round will be selective based on the videos submitted.
Approximately 15 contestants in each age group will be invited to perform live in Switzerland.
The second round of the competition is a solo live performance in the Hall of the Kantonsschule Uster, Switzerland.
Dates: February 6-7, 2024.
Approximately 6 contestants in each age group will pass to the third round.
The third round of the competition is a performance with the Kyiv Camerata Orchestra in the Concert Hall 3 of the Zurich University of the Arts.
Dates: February 9-10, 2024

II. Category “Debut”
Two-round competition. (Please refer to the repertoire requirements for each round of the competition in the respective section: Repertoire).
The first round will be selective based on the videos submitted.
Approximately 15 contestants in each age group will be invited to perform live in Switzerland.
The second round of the competition is a solo live performance in the Hall of the Kantonsschule Uster, Switzerland.
Date: February 8, 2024.

Structure and age groups:

The competition will be held in two categories “Young Master” and “Debut”.

I.  Category “Young Master”
(three rounds competition, the final round with orchestral accompaniment).
The category “Young Master” competition is subdivided into 2 age groups:
Group A – competitors born on or after February 6, 2007
Group B – competitors born on or after February 6, 2003

II.  Category “Debut”
(two solo rounds competition)
The category “Debut” competition is subdivided into 3 age groups:
Group C – competitors born on or after February 6, 2013
Group D – competitors born on or after February 6, 2011
Group E – competitors born on or after February 6, 2009


Important Dates for the Competition:

Usual cycle of the Competition – every two years.
Currently, due to the ongoing devastating war, it’s impossible to host a piano competition in Kharkiv.
As a result, the competition will take place in Switzerland.

From the 5th to the 10th of February 2024, Zurich will transform into a hub of piano music with the “Kharkiv Meets Zurich”  International Vladimir Krainev Competition for Young Pianists.

Application Period:
Registration open on: October 15, 2023.
Application deadline: December 20, 2023
Public announcement of selected participants: January 5, 2024.

Visa Application for those selected for Round II and requiring a Swiss/Schengen visa: please contact the competition secretariat by January 10, 2024 the latest.
Arrival: Participants invited to take part in Round II of the competition must inform the competition secretariat of their exact date and time of arrival by 1 February 2024.

Young Master Category:
Competition opening and rehearsals: February 5, 2024.
On-stage performances (Young Master Round II): February 6 and 7, 2024.
Orchestra rehearsals (Young Master Round III): February 8, 2024.
Final Round with Orchestra (Young Master Round III): February 9 and 10, 2024.

Debut Category:
Debut category participants perform on stage: February 8, 2024.
Results announcement (Debut Category): Evening of February 8, 2024.
Performances at educational institutions and cultural venues in the Canton of Zurich: February 8 and 9, 2024.

Note: Please be advised that the schedule provided is accurate as of the page programming. However, the specific timing of contestants’ appearances on stage in Switzerland will only be determined after the results of the online Round 1 are disclosed.


Applications to be submitted by December 20, 2023 at ArtistDB

The language of registration for the competition will be English.

The application must include a video recording for the I round (qualifying round), as described in the repertoire section. Participants are allowed to record individual tracks separately; however, each piece must be recorded in its entirety without any editing or cutting.

The online Application Form must be accompanied by:
a) A scanned copy of the applicant’s personal ID document.
b) Short biography of the applicant.
c) Proposed competition repertoire.
d) High-quality, recent portrait picture for publication.
e) Link(s) to the video recording.
f) Acknowledgment of endorsement of the values outlined in the EMCY statement.

Entrance fee for participants is CHF 100.- (Eur 105.-) 
Applicants who hold Ukrainian nationality are granted exemption from the application fee.


  • Justas Dvarionas (Lithuania)
  • Akiko Ebi (Japan)
  • Irena Gulzarova  (Switzerland / Uzbekistan)
  • Yuri Kot (Ukraine)
  • Douglas Humpherys (United States)
  • Ewa Kupiec (Germany / Poland)
  • Piers Lane (Australia / United Kingdom)

Jury Evaluation:

The performances will be evaluated by an international jury of 7 renowned musicians.
The names of the jury members will be announced no later than 1 November 2023.
Jury decisions are final and may not be challenged or amended.
The solo performances of the participants on stage are assessed separately by a student jury, which also independently handles the awarding of their prizes.
Jury members shall not rank / vote for competitors who are related to them or who have been studying with them regularly in the 36 months preceding the competition, or have had more than one lesson at master-classes in the 12 months preceding the competition.
The Jury is authorized to interrupt the performances exceeding the time limit.


Category “Young Master”

Age group A
First prize        CHF 5000.-
Second prize     CHF 3000.-
Third prize      CHF 2000.-
Final Round Participant’s Diploma CHF 700.-

Age group B
First prize        CHF 8000.-
Second prize     CHF 5000.-
Third prize      CHF 4000.-
Final Round Participant’s Diploma  CHF 1000.-

Prize for the best interpretation of a work by a Ukrainian composer in both age groups: CHF 1000.-  in each age group.

Category “Debut”

Age group C
First prize        CHF 600.-
Second prize     CHF 300.-
Third prize      CHF 200.-
Final Round Participant’s Diploma

Age group D
First prize        CHF 800.-
Second prize     CHF 400.-
Third prize      CHF 300.-
Final Round Participant’s Diploma

Age group E
First prize        CHF 1000.-
Second prize     CHF 600.-
Third prize      CHF 500.-
Final Round Participant’s Diploma

Prizes of CHF 500.- each will be awarded for the best interpretation of a work by a Ukrainian composer in age groups C, D, and E.

Based on the participants’ achieved results and within the confines of the predetermined prize fund, the jury holds the discretion to:
– To withhold prizes;
– To have performers share prizes;
– Award special prizes.

Furthermore, exceptional performances may merit special prizes.

The organisers of the competition will endeavour to offer the outstanding pianists the opportunity to give concerts during the 2024-2025 season.

Overview of Competition Guidelines:

All stage performances are open to the public.

The sequence in which the participants perform during the solo round of the competition is established based on the ages of the performers, arranged from the youngest to the oldest.

The order of the performers of the final round with the orchestra of the YOUNG MASTER category is determined by the organizers together with the conductor and artistic director of the orchestra.

Upon request by the competition organizer, the competition laureates as well as diploma holders are obligated to participate in the closing concerts of the event without financial remuneration or coverage of their expenses.

The competition organizers bear no responsibility for property damage, accidents, or loss. Competitors and their accompanying individuals are solely responsible for securing their own insurance, which should include medical coverage.

By registering, the candidates and their legal guardians confirm that they have read and accept the terms and conditions of participation.

The Competition organisers, the association “Jugend beflügelt”,  retain the authority to record and commercially distribute performances from the competition, as well as the final concerts, using any current or future format, including but not restricted to audio, video, digital, or other recording methods. This also encompasses potential broadcasts on radio and/or television, as well as the commercial release of such recordings and broadcasts. No compensation will be provided to the competitors for this.

Furthermore, the Competition Organisers also have the right to publish images of participants, as well as photographs taken during the competition in any media associated with the competition.

The Competition extends beyond mere rivalry and underscores a broader objective. Concerts are arranged for those who do not reach the orchestral finals, fostering cultural connections through music and lasting bonds. Participants should depart with cherished memories, uplifted spirits, and invaluable musical experiences. 



Swiss association “Jugend beflügelt”
Kantonsschule Uster
Kharkiv State Music Lyceum
Supported by EMCY


Member of