The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition

For 45 years the Sydney International Piano Competition (The Sydney) has provided a career launchpad for elite international young pianists. In 2020 “The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition” was inaugurated for a completely different group of players: amateur Australian pianists over the age of 30. After many enthusiastic calls for a second edition of the competition, The Sydney is excited to announce The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition 2022. We shall invite applications online, not only from Australian mature amateur pianists, but also from our neighbours across the ditch in New Zealand.  So, calling all Australian and New Zealand amateur pianists!  We want to connect with the everyday pianists in our communities who have a passion for piano playing, at any musical level or ability, are aged 30+ and are not in any way professional pianists.  

If this sounds like you, we encourage you to enter, or if you’re a teacher and have students who would benefit from working towards  a  serious goal, we encourage you to spread the word.  All Piano Lovers’ competitors will receive emailed feedback about their video performances. The winners musicianship and technical mastery will be rewarded with an invitation to play live at the 2023 Sydney International Piano Competition held in the Verbruggen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.  He, she, or they (we had co-winners in 2020) would perform to a capacity audience and the  esteemed international jury, who would afterwards provide some feedback on the performance.  

The jury for The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition itself will be chaired by the Artistic Director of The Sydney, Piers Lane AO in addition to Kathron Sturrock and Nikos Stavlas.

Key Dates

  • Entries have now closed
  • Winners’ Announcement: Thursday 28 July 2022 AEST 


The winner of The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition will be invited to perform at the Sydney International Piano Competition, July 2023, and receive professional feedback from the international jury. Should The Sydney 2023 be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prize will automatically carry over to the rescheduled competition. 

All entrants will receive reports from the three members of the jury, including Piers Lane AO, Kathron Sturrock and Nikos Stavlas, as well as a Certificate of Participation from The Sydney. 



A panel of three international jury, consisting of Piers Lane AO, acclaimed British pianist Kathron Sturrock and Greek pianist Nikos Stavlas, will assess and provide feedback on each submission. 

Piers Lane AO
Artistic Director
Kathron Sturrock
Nikos Stavlas

Eligibility, Rules and Process

1. Eligibility

    1. The competition is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens or permanent residents aged 30 years or over on 20 June 2022. 0.
    2. Entrants should not derive income from playing or teaching classical piano or other keyboard instruments.
    3. Etrants may have studied piano/keyboard at a tertiary level.
    4. The winner must cover their own travel, accommodation and ancillary expenses to perform in Sydney in July 2023.  

2. Jury

    1. All applicants will receive a report on their playing from the jury.
    2. The jury’s decision is final and binding.
    3. There will be no appeal process and no correspondence will be entered into.

3. Repertoire

    1. Entrants may choose their own classical repertoire.
    2. The entry may include single movements from sonatas or suites.
    3. It may consist of one work or several.
    4. Only solo piano works will be accepted. No ensemble or vocal works.
    5. Performances may be from memory or from the score.
    6. Repertoire at all levels of difficulty is welcomed. The jury will take into consideration the entrant’s musicianship and technical mastery of their chosen repertoire.
    7. Entrants may play the piece(s) they would play during the 2023 competition or may submit different repertoire.

4. Online Entries

    1. Entries open Wednesday 26 January 2022, 1pm AEDT
    2. Entries close Monday 20 June 2022, 12pm AEST
    3. Results will be announced Thursday 28 July 2022 AEST
    4. A non-refundable entry fee of AUD $220 including GST (if applicable) is payable
    5. Entry must be accompanied by the entry fee.
    6. Late entries will not be accepted.
    7. Applicants and winners of The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition 2020 are permitted to apply but must submit different repertoire in 2022. 

5. Supporting Documents

    1. All documents must be submitted online at the time of application.
    2. Audition video(s) must meet the criteria listed below.
    3. Copy of current passport or proof of permanent residence in Australia or New Zealand
    4. A brief account of musical background and aspirations.
    5. A brief account of non-musical studies and professional life.
    6. Repertoire details of submitted video/s.

6. Video Recording Requirements

    1. Total time of recording(s) must not be less than 5 minutes nor more than 15 minutes.
    2. The video must show the face and hands of the entrant at all times  and be recorded in landscape. 
    3. The video may be a single, unedited recording of the entrant, or may consist of separate unedited recordings.
    4. Multiple cameras are allowed as long as the performance itself is unedited, but one camera angle is acceptable.
    5. Different pieces may be recorded on different occasions, but all recordings must be made after 26 January 2022
    6. The recording should be of excellent technical quality.
    7. Post-production affecting the sound quality is permitted but must be stated.
    8. Videos may be made available online and used for publicity (with each entrant’s permission). Therefore sound, video quality and background should be carefully considered.
    9. It is highly recommended that the video is recorded on a piano. Where that is not possible a digital piano with pedals attached (eg. Yamaha YPD144R, Kawai CN35, Roland HP702DR) is acceptable. An electric keyboard or other keyboard instrument is not permitted. Click here to view available recording venues. 
    10. To ensure best quality sound, the piano lid should be opened during the performance
    11. A list of suggested recording venues by our piano partners has been compiled. Click here. It is not a requirement to use these venues for your recording.


  1. Any interpretation or disputes in any part will be read as the rules and conditions contained in English on the official website. These rules may be updated from time to time and in relation to the COIV-19 pandemic.
  2. The Sydney does not take any responsibility for any inconvenience or loss incurred
  3. The law applicable to the Sydney International Piano Competition and contractual and other rights shall be the law of the State of New South Wales, Australia.

Videos should be uploaded via Youtube.

  1. Sign into Youtube with a Google Account (See video tutorial below)
  2. Click the upload button in the top right corner
  3. If you do not have a Youtube Channel, follow the prompts to set one up.
  4. Select the file you wish to upload
  5. Fill in any details you wish to include such as video title etc.
  6. Choose the privacy settings for your video. We recommend you make your video application ‘Unlisted’. Only people with the URL can view this video.
  7. Copy the URL link for your video and include it in your application

Video Tutorials

How to Sign In to Youtube/Create an Account

How to upload an unlisted video to your Youtube Account

How to Copy your Video’s URL

Do I need to have reached a certain grade in piano tosubmit an application?
No, repertoire at all levels of difficulty is welcomed. However, mature musicianship and technical mastery of the chosen repertoire will be important considerations when choosing the winner(s).


May I create a video application by recording and editing together multiple takes of each performance?
No. Your performances must be one single take, although multiple camera angles are accepted.


I am interested in applying but not ready to submit my application. What should I do?
Please submit your email address above to register your interest and we’ll contact you with any new or updated information about the competition. If you would like to speak with a member of staff to discuss your entry further, please email us here. 


Does my video application need to be professionally recorded?
No, videos can be recorded at home. As the video may be made available to the public,we would recommend ensuring the best quality recording you can. Give yourself the best chance of capturing your musicianship and skill! Our piano brands will provide a list of available venues and stores where you can record, which we will list on our website.


I do not want my video to be made public. What should I do?
Please indicate this preference in your application.


I teach piano for a living.May I apply?
No, entrants should not be professional keyboard players and should not derive their main income from playing or teaching piano or any keyboard instrument.


I work in the music industry,but not as a professional pianist or keyboardist or as a keyboard instrument teacher.May I apply?


I do not have access to a quality piano to record my video application. What should I do?
Please email us here , indicating your location and we’ll share some recommendations of music studios. Alternatively, some of our piano brands will provide a list of available venues and stores where you can record on a quality piano. These will be listed on this webpage.  The Sydney will not cover any expenses associated with your entry, such as piano hire, studio expenses or travel.However, as long as your instrument is in tune, the jury will be very understanding of your particular piano situation.  


I am an Australian or New Zealand citizen/permanent resident but no longer live in Australia or New Zealand. Can I apply?
Yes. Please note that the winner of The Sydney Piano Lovers’Competition will be invited to participate in Sydney in July 2023 at their own expense.  


What repertoire should I choose?
Repertoire is the entrant’s own choice, of any level of difficulty. It must be for solo piano, may consist of one work or several and may include single movements from sonatas or suites. It should be between 5 and 15 minutes long. We encourage you to choose repertoire that best displays your musicianship and technical skills. 


I’m playing a number of pieces. May I upload each performance separately? Do I need to record them one after another?
Preferably, the entry should be one single video but multiple videos will be accepted as long as they follow the application guidelines. Please note, the time limit of between 5 and 15 minutes is for the entire application. Different pieces may be recorded on different occasions. 


May I choose to perform the same piece if I am selected to perform during the2023 Sydney International Piano Competition ?
Yes, winner(s)may play the piece(s) included in their video entry at  the 2023 Sydney International Piano Competition or may offer  different repertoire.  

 I’ve submitted my application but no longer wish to compete. Can I get a refund?
No, entry fees are non-refundable.


Why do I need to pay GST?
Applicants within Australia are required to pay GST under Australian Tax Law. Applicants from outside Australia are not required to pay GST as they are not resident in Australia. 


I need help recording my video. What should I do?
Please read carefully the guidelines for  recording your video. We recommend asking someone for assistance, finding the best quality recording device available to you and placing it on a sturdy platform or tripod, angled and tested for the best range and quality of tone. The entrant’s face and hands must be seen at all times during the recording.  


May I refer to sheet music during my performance?


Donate Now

Family, friends and supporters – you can assist The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition with a tax-deductible donation. Your gift ensures The Sydney’s newest competition will flourish into 2022. Email Marcus Barker, for more details.