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You can list as many as you want in some precise order if you think that's possible or in groups by their prestige or however you want. My guess is the Tchaikovsky, Cliburn, and Chopin Competitions but I really don't know.

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Chopin, Leeds, Queen Elizabeth, Tchaikovsky, Van Cliburn, Young Concert Artists off the top of my head.


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add Rubinstein, Busoni, Liszt


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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Chopin, Leeds, Queen Elizabeth, Tchaikovsky, Van Cliburn, Young Concert Artists off the top of my head.

Don't know much about the last one, but the others are definitely prestigious and have launched many careers, especially the Tchaikovsky.

You could do a quasi-objective analysis of this question by listing all the medalists (1st, 2nd, 3rd) from these competitions going back some representatively large number of years (30, 40?) and then picking out the pianists that have "made it" in the sense that most of us would understand that expression. Obviously there'd be some degree of subjectivity, and you'd probably have to exclude some of the most recent competitions, but it would be very easy to do. Just plug all the data into a spreadsheet, assign some kind of weighting system, and Bob's your uncle. I for one would be very interested to see the results of such an analysis.


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The most recognizable names (of those who went the competition route) have come from the Chopin (Argerich, Pollini, Ohlsson, Pogorelich, Yundi Li, etc.) and Tchaikovsky (Cliburn, Plentev, Ashkenazy, Berezovsky, Trifonov, etc) competitions.

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I think Tchaikovsky and Chopin are the most legendary. Cliburn is in that same category, but hasn’t been around as long.

Those have always seemed like a “Big Three” to me, but maybe I’m wrong. Leeds, Rubinstein, Busoni, Liszt, and Queen Elizabeth are also huge.

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Originally Posted by boo1234
The most recognizable names (of those who went the competition route) have come from the Chopin (Argerich, Pollini, Ohlsson, Pogorelich, Yundi Li, etc.) and Tchaikovsky (Cliburn, Plentev, Ashkenazy, Berezovsky, Trifonov, etc) competitions.

I agree, it's pretty much those two who have brought the most top-tier artists to light. However, it also just depends on the pianist and their personality/marketability/ability to work with conductors and promoters, etc. Some prize-winners haven't made the leap to an established career and ended up doing competitions again even after a win at one of the big ones, the most notable being Alexi Sultanov (very tragic case).

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Originally Posted by boo1234
The most recognizable names (of those who went the competition route) have come from the Chopin (Argerich, Pollini, Ohlsson, Pogorelich, Yundi Li, etc.) and Tchaikovsky (Cliburn, Plentev, Ashkenazy, Berezovsky, Trifonov, etc) competitions.

Ashkenazy won Tchaikovsky and was second in Chopin !

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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I think Tchaikovsky and Chopin are the most legendary. Cliburn is in that same category, but hasn’t been around as long.

Looking at the top 3 winners at Van Cliburn, there is a majority of pianists i never heard of....

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Here's a sincere question about the competitions: Why?

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As the question might seem weird...To clarify, it seems there are such competitions for other instruments as well, particularly the violin. Still, my question remains. What would be the motive for proving to others and yourself that you can play a piece faster or whatever?

Granted, the same question can be asked about mathematics competitions or sports. However, I tend to view arts as a completely different nature, one that is first and foremost concerned and connected with one's inner world which can result in manifestation of that world - the musical passion- on the stage for others to enjoy.

Reading my post again, it seems I was overthinking it? I'm not sure. I may need to ponder on this subject for a while to make sense out of it and reconcile with myself.

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Originally Posted by meghdad
Here's a sincere question about the competitions: Why?

I think one of the main reasons is that there are so few piano concerts in the world, so concert pianists need an alternative type of event in which they can make some money.


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Pianists enter competitions in the hopes of propelling a concert career.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by meghdad
Here's a sincere question about the competitions: Why?


Carreer boost. Whether that is actually the case and to which extent can be discussed.

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Originally Posted by meghdad
Here's a sincere question about the competitions: Why?

The forced deadline of a competition creates a kind of pressure to learn and perform a large amount of repertoire at a very high level that for most would otherwise not happen. I know several people who have made connections at competitions that helped their careers in spite of not winning.
It is an opportunity to play in front of people and if you win, you get money, concerts, possibly management etc


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I think the Tchaikovsky and Chopin are unrivalled. Any major competition opens doors, but it's the rave reviews that make the difference, and some pianists haven't been able to maintain the momentum after a competition win.

The biggest problem for musicians is that without a competition win it's difficult to get any reviews at all.

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
I think the Tchaikovsky and Chopin are unrivalled.
+1

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Yeah, my post earlier about Cliburn being in the same level wasn’t correct the more I looked into past prize winners. Chopin and Tchaikovsky are the top 2.

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Ok so it's about career... fair enough.

Let me ask this honest question now: Do the top performers REALLY enjoy playing the same piece over and over in a short period like every week, for years? I'm really curious if this question has been answered by one of them, in an interview.

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Originally Posted by meghdad
Here's a sincere question about the competitions: Why?
On the flip side, it could be the greatest advertisement opportunity for piano makers.

https://www.24-7pressrelease.com/pr...o-fazioli-piano-nets-7500000-first-prize


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