The 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition

I. Introduction


1. Purpose

The Suzhou Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition. Under the guidance of Artistic Director XU Zhong, the orchestra is committed to making this international event the most dynamic event in the world, and to inspiring the love and appreciation of the piano, through a series of premier events and competition activities, and to giving the most promising pianists from all over the world the opportunity to flourish and develop their talents. The Competition invites the most gifted young pianists of all nationalities to Suzhou to compete for the highest recognition of their mastery, adjudicated by an internationally renowned panel of judges. Suzhou, an alluring city with a 2500-year-old history and hailed as “Venice of the Orient”, and the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, a dynamic new orchestra composed of musicians from all corners of the world, will jointly compose a new chapter in the art of the piano for its local communities and global friends.  


2. Venue

The Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition will be hosted at the Jinji Lake Concert Hall, home of the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra.


3. Calendar of the Competition

December 3, 2021 Fri Opening Ceremony Concert

December 4-6, 2021 Sat/Mon First Stage

December 7-8, 2021 Tue/Wed Second Stage

December 9, 2021 Thurs Chamber Music Rehearsal

December 10, 2021 Fri Final Stage (1) 

                                      Chamber Music 

December 11-12, 2021 Sat/Sun Concerto Rehearsal

December 13-14, 2021 Mon/Tue Final Stage (2) 


December 15, 2021 Wed Award Ceremony and Winners Concert


II. Prizes

1st Place  $   30,000 USD

2nd Place $   20,000 USD

3rd Place $   15,000 USD

4th Place $   10,000 USD

5th Place $     8,000 USD

6th Place $     5,000 USD


Best Commissioned Work Award $     2,000 USD

Best Ensemble Award $     1,000 USD


The first prize winner will have the opportunity to perform with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra in new season.



III. Competition Jury


Guanxian CHEN

Chairman of China Symphony Development Foundation

General manager of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra.


Honorary Chairman:

Laurent Bayle 


Members of the Jury:

Jean-Bernard Pommier


Jean-Marie Cottet


Nikolai Demidenko


Helena Gaunt


Emmanuel Hondré


Jiang Chen 


Soo-Jung Shin 


Wolfgang Wagenhäuser


Ying Wu 


IV. Rules and Procedure for the Application


1. Eligibility: 

The Jinji Lake International Piano Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities between the ages of 16 and 28.  Applicants must have been born after December 3, 1993, and on or before December 3, 2005.


2. Application Deadline and Important Dates


September 15th Application submission deadline

October 15th Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance to participate in the Competition

October 25th Participation fee submission deadline; last day to make repertoire change

November 1st Confirmation of participation

December 2nd Competition registration

December 3rd Opening Ceremony Concert

December 4th Competition begins

December 15th Awards Ceremony and Winners Concert


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


Only in special circumstances will application by post be accepted. Please mail the application materials by the application deadline to:

Mrs. Shi

Suzhou Culture and Art Centre

NO.1 Guanfeng Street, SIP

Suzhou, Jiangsu Province

People’s Republic of China

+86 0512 62899504


Mrs. 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:

1) Completed application form: both in English and Chinese. (Please download the application form from the official website of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra)

2) Video recording of the performance of the repertoire for the preliminary screening; technical specifications for the video recording and repertoire requirement listed below;

3) Scanned copy of ID card or passport;

4) Two pieces of high resolution photographs (300 dpi or higher with the file size of no less than 1M), including one headshot, suitable for publicity purposes;

5) Curriculum Vitae (in Chinese and English if possible and scanning copies of relevant documents should be attached);

6) Applicants must include recommendation letters from two established musicians in Chinese or in English.


5. Video recording requirements:

1) The video recording must be made no less than six months from the date of the submission. The date, location and equipment of the recording studio must be specified.

2) The video recording must be specifically made for the Competition. 

3) The video must contain the face and hands of the applicant at ALL TIMES. And the angle of the camera must remain unchanged throughout the recording. The video cannot be edited.

4) The video recording must be uploaded onto the internet, such as YouTube or Youku, with links to download the videos provided to the Competition Committee.

5) If it is not possible to upload the video on the Internet, the applicant may send the video recording as a DVD and courier to the postal address provided above.


6. The Repertoire for the preliminary screening:

1) Two etudes, including one etude by Chopin

2) One set of Prelude and Fugue by J.S. Bach from The Well-Tempered Clavier

3) One movement from a classical period sonata

4) 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 Application Form and enclosures. Applicants will not be allowed to submit unless all information is complete. 


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


9. All applications will be treated as confidential. The Competition reserves the right to request additional information from or about an applicant.


V. Rules and Procedure for the Competition


1. All applications will be reviewed by a Preliminary Selection Committee. Notification of participation in the Competition will be sent by e-mail on or before October 15, 2021. 

2. Participation Fee

1) Applications who pass the Preliminary Selection and receive the notification of participation must submit a participation fee of 710 RMB (for Mainland China) or 100 USD (for all other countries/territories) before October 25, 2021. 

The remittance method will be communicated along with the notification of participation.

2) Upon the receipt of the participation fee, the Competition Committee will notify each contestant to confirm the participation by no later than November 4, 2021.


3. Registration

Contestants must arrive in Suzhou on the dates specified by the Competition and register with the General Secretary Office.


4. Travel

The Competition Committee will provide all participants with a round-trip of economy class air ticket to Shanghai, China. Contestants 

from Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces will be provided with a round-trip ticket of second-class high-speed railway.


5. Accommodation

1) The Competition will provide hotel accommodation for contestants according to the following schedule which starts from December 2, 2021:

· First Stage Contestants – shared double room until the morning of December 7

· Second Stage Contestants – shared double room until the morning of December 9

· Final Stage Contestants – single room until the morning of December 16

2) The Competition shall not be responsible for the accommodation of accompanying guests.


6. Visa/Insurance

1) Contestants who require visas to enter China should apply at the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate.

2) Contestants shall cooperate with the Competition General Secretary Office to furnish required documentation to start the visa approval process.

3) The Competition General Secretary Office will provide the necessary documents for the visa application. 

4) Contestants shall obtain necessary insurance for travel and duration of their entire stay in China.


VI. Conditions for participation


1. The Competition will consist of three separate rounds: First Stage, Second Stage, and Final Stage.


2. The jury will not advance more than 40 candidates to the First Stage, more than 12 to the Second Stage, and more than 6 to the Final Stage.


3. The order of contestants’ appearance in the First Stage will be determined by a draw and this order will be observed except for reasons of accident, illness, or other unusual circumstances determined at the discretion of the Competition Jury Committee. The order of appearance in the Second Stage and Final Stage rounds will depend on rehearsal scheduling, program content, and administrative requirements, and may vary from that of the First Stage. All phases of the Competition will be open to the public.


4. By registering for the Competition, contestants must free themselves of all professional and artistic obligations and ensure complete availability during the Competition period.


5. Practice facilities will be made available for each contestant according to the specified period.


6. All rounds of the Competition may be broadcast live or recorded for subsequent broadcast, video, or audio recording use. The copyright of the audio-visual materials belongs to the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has the right to broadcast the materials for the purpose of promotion, including but not limited to TV stations, publicity channels and cooperation publicity channels related to the orchestra.


7. Contestants may not contact or speak with any member of the jury as long as they continue to compete in the Competition. Any violation of this rule may disqualify the contestant.




VII. Repertoire


1. First Stage – program of 30 minutes in maximum length but no less than 25 minutes

1) One etude from Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin or Stravinsky

2) One prelude and fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach

3) One movement from a sonata by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven

4) One work of free choice


2. Second Stage – a recital program totalling 60 minutes and no less than 55 minutes.

1) The total duration of the optional works is 50 minutes. No repetition of repertoire from the First Stage is allowed.

2) A piano solo (about 5 minutes) appointed by the organizing Commission will be created and published on the website of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra on November 1, 2021.


3. Final Stage (1) – one piece of chamber music from the following list:



Piano Quintet No.1 in F minor, Op. 34



Piano Quintet No. 1 in A major, Op. 81



Piano Quintet No.1 in F minor, FWV7



Piano Quintet No. 1 in E flat-major, Op. 44


4. Final Stage (2) – one concerto from the following list:



Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491



Piano Concerto No.3 in E major, Sz. 119



Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73


Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21



Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op. 18

Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op. 30

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43


Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 23



Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26  



VIII. General Stipulations


1. All prize money, support and allowances are subject to tax under Chinese taxation laws.


2. Any disputes that arise in connection with this Prospectus will be resolved according to the original Chinese version and will be governed under Chinese law.


3. Whereas the uncertainty of the global coronavirus, the organizing Committee has the right to adjust the competition schedule according to the situation of epidemic prevention and control. The coronavirus is regarded as the consequence of force majeure, and thus the organizing Committee shall not bear any relevant economic and legal responsibilities.


Application Form 2021 Suzhou Jinji Lake Piano Competition.docx

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