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Competition Rules

The Eleventh edition of the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition - Mario Zanfi Prize will take place in Parma from October 2nd to October 8th 2019.
The competition is open to pianists not older than thirty-five years of age by
October 1st, 2019.
The Competition will take place in three rounds:
1) the first, preliminary round, which will be held at the Arrigo Boito Conservatoire;
2) the semifinal round, shortlisted to a maximum of 12 candidates, same venue;
3) the third – final – a public concert with the Orchestra dell'Emilia Romagna Arturo Toscanini at the Teatro Regio as part of the Verdi Festival 2019.


By the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition - Mario Zanfi Prize only original, transcribed or arranged music by Franz Liszt is requested.

First Stage (max 30 min)

1. An Étude of free choice (with the exception of the Études en douze exercices S.136)
2. A transcription of a Lied by Mendelssohn, Schubert or Schumann
3. One or more works of the contestant’s free choice, including transcriptions or arrangements.

Second Stage (max 70 min)

1. Sonata in b min S. 178
2. An original work composed in or later than 1875
3. One or more works of the contestant’s free choice, including transcriptions or arrangements.

Final Stage

1. A transcription from the works by Giuseppe Verdi (piano solo)
2. One of the following Concertos
  Concerto n° 1 S. 124
  Concerto n° 2 S. 125
  Totentanz S. 126

No work may be performed twice in any stage of the competition.
For the first two rounds performing by memory is not compulsory. To this aim contestants are encouraged to use their own digital devices. However, if requested in advance, the organization will provide a page-turner.
For the preliminary round the jury may interrupt a performance anytime after the first 15 minutes.
The voting in the first two Rounds will be made anonymously by a yes/no declaration by Jury Members. At the end of the Final Round, the Jury will decide whether and how to award the corresponding Prizes. The jury reserves the right not to award any of the prizes. The contestants’ marks will be available on the website soon after the competition.


The applications for the Competition will be made by means of the online form available on the website enclosing the required documents by July 31, 2019 (deadline extended to 20th August)
The application fee of 200 Euros (two hundred Euros) must be paid to the following bank account by July 31, 2019 (deadline extended to 20th August)
Conservatorio di Musica “Arrigo Boito”
Codici IBAN: IT44 O062 3012 7000 0007 4997 550
The application fee will not be refunded.
The candidates are required to be present for registration at the Arrigo Boito Conservatoire on October 1st from 11 am to 6 pm with valid ID The order in which candidates will perform will be drawn at the end of the registration and maintained throughout the competition.


The Board of examiners will consist of seven members:

Riccardo Ceni, Chairman, Head of The Arrigo Boito Conservatoire
Azio Corghi
Pietro De Maria
Jin Ju
Karoly Mocsary
Jerome Rose
Muza Rubackyte

If any of the designated members is unable to participate, the President of the Jury will appoint a substitute.
Current pupils or relatives of any Member of the Jury are excluded from any participation in the Competition. Participants who have been pupils of any Member of the Jury within the two years prior to January 2019 are also excluded from any participation. This rule does not apply to the case of occasional masterclasses.
The decisions of the Jury are final and irrevocable.


Three prizes will be awarded: a first prize of 10.000,00 Euros (Ten thousand Euros), a second prize of 5.000,00 Euros (Five thousand Euros), and a third prize of 2.500,00 Euros (Two thousand and five hundred Euros). All amounts are net.

Special Prizes - The Jury may award three Special Prizes for the best performance of the b minor Sonata, the Lied transcription and a number from Années de Pèlerinage. The Prizes amount to Euro 1000 (One thousand), 750 (Seven hundred and fifty) e 500 (Five hundred), respectively.

The winner will be awarded contracts for the concert seasons from 2020 to 2022 at the Teatro Regio in Parma, the Arturo Toscanini Foundation and other institutions and festivals currently being defined.


The contestants will waive any rights regarding any video or audio recording made by the organization during the competition.

Rules Acceptance

By applying for the competition the candidates declare to accept all the aforementioned conditions.
These rules are drawn up in two languages (Italian and English). In case of discrepancies, the Italian version shall prevail.

Applicants authorize the processing of personal data in accordance with Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and subsequent amendments

Further information may be obtained from:
Segreteria del Concorso Pianistico Franz Liszt
Premio Mario Zanfi
Conservatorio di Musica “A. Boito”
via del Conservatorio 27/a
43100 Parma - Italia
fax (+39) 0521-200398


Via del Conservatorio 27/b 
43121, Parma, Italia


Telefono +39 0521 381911