The 2nd Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition

Due to the COVID-19, the 2nd competition was postponed to 2021, yet in the current complex situation, it is still impossible to have international contestants to travel to China. Out of our wishes to keep this year’s competition, it is decided the 2nd Suzhou Jinji Lake Piano Competition will take place in face of all difficulties, from December 4 to 10, 2021, in the form of remote and online competition and judging. The application submission deadline for the First Stage has been extended to 30th October, 2021. 



The 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition

(Revised on 25th September 2021 )


I. Introduction

1. Purpose

The 2nd Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition will be held by the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra in 2021. Maestro Xu Zhong, the orchestra's chief conductor and pianist, will serve as the artistic director of the competition. The orchestra is committed to making this competition the most dynamic event in the world, gathering the world's most talented young pianists, and creating a professional and international stage for promising pianists. The tough competitions and exciting performances will pique the interest and love of music fans all around the world in the art of piano art. 

Due to the epidemic, videos will be recorded using the same video and audio recording method for the Second and Final Stages of the 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition in China, the UK, France respectively, and the world's leading piano competition judges will participate in the online judgment. Winners of the competition will give performances in the upcoming performance season of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, creating for Suzhou, an attractive city hailed as the Venice of the East with a 2500-year long history, a new chapter in the history of piano art.


2. Calendar

December 4, 2021 Saturday     Opening Ceremony Concert (Suzhou)

December 5-7, 2021 Sunday/Monday/Tuesday Second Stage (Online)

December 8-9, 2021 Wednesday/Thursday Final Stage (Online)

December 10, 2021 Friday Online Awards Ceremony and Closing Ceremony Concert (Suzhou)



II. Prizes

1st Prize 1 Place 30,000 USD

2nd Prize 2 Place 15,000 USD

3rd Prize 3 Place 8,000 USD


Winners will perform with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra in the upcoming music season and China tour. 


III. Chairman and Judges



Guangxian CHEN: Chairman of the China Symphony Development Foundation, General Manager of the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra.


Honorary Chairman

Laurent Bayle: President and General Director of Cité de la musique-Philharmonie de Paris, General Manager of Orchestre de Paris


Judges (alphabetical by last name):

Ying WU: Chairman of the competition jury. Professor of Central Conservatory of Music, President of Piano Society of China Music Association.

Hyoung-Joon Chang: Professor of the Piano Department at Seoul National University

Helena Gaunt: Principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Jean-Francois Heisser: French Pianist,Professor of the Piano Department at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris

Jean-Marie Cottet: Professor at the Paris CRR

Chen JIANG: Director & Professor of Piano at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music

Sebastian Knauer: German pianist

Pavel Nersessian: Professor of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Boston University School of music

Danwen WEI: Vice Chair of the Piano Department at Central Conservatory of Music


IV. Rules and Procedure for the Application

1. Eligibility

The competition is open to pianists of all nationalities between the ages of 16 and 28 (born after December 4, 1993, and not later than December 4, 2005).

2. Schedule

October 30, 2021 Application submission deadline for the First Stage

November 5, 2021 Notification of results of the First Stage

November 8, 2021 Participation fee submission deadline; last day to make repertoire changes

November 15, 2021  Notification and confirmation of places and dates of video recording for the Second Stage and the Final Stage

November 22-30, 2021 Video recording*

December 4, 2021 Opening Ceremony Concert

December 5-7, 2021 Online judgment for the Second Stage

December 8-9, 2021 Online judgment for the Final Stage

December 10, 2021 Online Awards Ceremony and Closing Ceremony Concert (Suzhou)



*The competition committee will individually notify second stage contestants who are unable to reach the assigned recording place of the participating method.


3. Applications should be submitted by email to the following email

Application by post will only be considered under special circumstances. Please mail the application materials before the application deadline to:

Ms. Shi

Suzhou Culture and Art Centre, No.1, Guanfeng Street, Suzhou Industrial Park,

Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China

+86 0512 62899504


Ms. Cao

Suzhou Culture and Art Centre NO.1 Guanfeng Street, SIP

Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China

+86 0512 62899728


4. Application requirements:

l Completed application form: in English or Chinese. Please download the application form from the official website of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra (

l A video of recent performances signed by the applicant and a musician

l Scanned copy of ID card or passport;

l Two high-resolution photographs (file size should not be smaller than 1 MB for publicity and printing purposes)

l Curriculum Vitae: including education, awards, and relevant music reviews (scanning copies of relevant documents should be attached)

l Recommendation letters from two established musicians in English or Chinese.


5. Video recording requirements for the First Stage

l The video recording must be made no longer than six months before the date of the submission. The location, date, and equipment of the recording must be specified.

l The video recording must be specifically made for the competition.

l The video must show the face and hands of the applicant at ALL TIMES. The angle of the camera must remain unchanged throughout the recording.

l A complete work cannot be edited, while different repertoires can be recorded separately.

l The video must be uploaded onto the internet, with a download URL provided to the Competition Committee.

l If the video cannot be uploaded, the applicant may send the video as a DVD and courier it to the postal address provided above.


6. Preliminary repertoire requirements

l Two etudes, including one etude by Chopin

l One prelude and fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach

l One movement from a sonata

l A work of free choice of no more than 10 minutes in duration


7. An acknowledgment will be sent to each applicant upon receipt of the completed registration information. Applicants will only be accepted for submission if all details are completed fully and clearly. 


8. Applicants should retain copies of all materials sent with their applications. The Competition Committee assumes no responsibility for applications not received.


9. All applications will be treated confidentially. The Competition Committee reserves the right to request additional information from applicants.



V. Rules and Procedure for the Competition

1. The Competition Committee will begin reviewing applications for the First Stage from November 1. On November 5, notification of the result of the First Stage and participant list for the Second Stage will be posted on the competition website. The finalists will be notified by email.


2. Participation Fee

l After receiving confirmation of the qualification from the Competition Committee, the participants who pass the First Stage and receive the notification of participation must submit a participation fee of RMB710 (for participants from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) or USD100 (for participants from all the other countries/territories) before November 8, 2021 (subject to remittance date).

l The account information will be included in the notification of participation.

l Upon the receipt of the participation fee, the Competition Committee will notify each participant of the place and date of video recording for the Second Stage and the Final Stage no later than November 15, 2021.


3. Registration and video recording for the Second Stage and the Final Stage

l Participants should register at the time and place designated by the Competition Committee.

l Participants should rehearse and record the repertoire for the Second Stage and the Final Stage at the time and place designated for video recording.

l Videos should be recorded for the Second Stage and the Final Stage on different dates.

l Each participant has only one chance to record the videos for the Second Stage and the Final Stage. The video recording process will be supervised by local staff on-site and Suzhou Symphony Orchestra staff online.

l Participants who are unable to reach the designated recording location for the Second Stage can choose to record videos by themselves. Video specifications and technical requirements shall meet the requirements of the organizer


4. Transportation, accommodation, visa, and insurance

Due to the epidemic, the Competition Committee will not bear any transportation, accommodation, visa, or insurance expenses of the participants and their companions. Besides, the Competition Committee will not be responsible for sudden illness, traffic accidents, or other situations during the competition.



VI. Notes for Participants

1. The Competition will consist of the First Stage, Second Stage, and Final Stage.

2. The jury will select no more than 24 participants for the Second Stage, no more than 12 for the Final Stage, and no more than 6 for the final winners.

3. In the Second Stage, judges from all over the world will review the videos sorted by the first letter of last names of the participants.

4. All the Competition schedules will be available to the public.

5. The copyrights of the audio and visual materials belong to the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has the right to broadcast the materials for the purpose of promotion.

6. Suzhou Symphony Orchestra reserves the right of final interpretation of the Competition.


VII. Repertoire

1. Second Stage: The total duration is 40 minutes, not less than 35 minutes. The repertoire can be repeated with the preliminary stage.

·Several works of free choice


2. Final Stage: The total duration is 70 minutes, not less than 65 minutes

·Several works of free choice, which should not be repeated with those in the First Stage and the Second Stage



VIII. Others

1. All prizes and allowances are subject to tax under Chinese taxation laws.

2. In case of any discrepancy between the Chinese and English editions of these rules and requirements, the Chinese edition prevails. These rules and requirements are governed by Chinese laws.

3. Due to the uncertainty of the global epidemic, the Competition Committee has the right to adjust the competition schedule according to the situation of epidemic prevention and control. The epidemic is regarded as a consequence of force majeure, and thus the Competition Committee bears no economic and legal responsibilities caused by the epidemic.


Application Form 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake Piano Competition.docx

  • Finalists of 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition
    Click here to find the final stage live and more in…
  • Finalists of 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition
    Finalists of The 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake Internation…
  • The 2nd Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition
    Application Form_2021Suzhou Jinji Lake Piano Compet…
  • Finalists of the 2nd Suzhou Jinji Lake Composition Competition
    Suzhou Symphony Orchestra2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake Com…
  • 2018 Suzhou Jinji Lake Composition Competition
    2018 Suzhou Jinji Lake Composition Competition The …
  • 2017 Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition
    2017 Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competit…