Competition History

During the last decade Aarhus International Piano Competition has established itself as one of the most important piano competitions for young pianists in the world. With its excellent facilities at The Music House in Aarhus, with its great prizes and awards, with its state-of-the-art live streaming service, with its transparent rules and internationally recognized jurors, with its numerous concert opportunities for all participants and prize winners, Aarhus International Piano Competition has continuously attracted great pianists from all over the world. Former prize winners and participants include some of the most succesful younger pianists on today´s international stage. Beatrice Rana, Alberto Ferro, Philipp Scheucher, and George Harliono, to name just a few, all won prizes in Aarhus in the beginning of their great careers. 


Aarhus International Piano Competition was established by Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, and Juhl-Sørensen A/S in 2009. The first competition took place in 2011 and the competition has been a biannual event since then. Former piano professor at The Royal Academy in Aarhus, Anne Øland originally had the idea of creating the competition. From the beginning she involved her piano students deeply in the process of creating the competition in order to make a competition from pianists to pianists with all the features that any pianist could dream of in a competition – ranging from scheduled and substantial practice possibilities, to a lounge where participants can meet and have a snack, to concert opportunities in Denmark for all competitors. The first competition was run by pianist and manager Dominik Falenski, but in 2012 pianists Rune Maahn Christensen and Christian Skovgaard Flarup took over the management of the competition, and they have been running it since.


During its history the competition has been a central part of Danish music life since it is the only international piano competition in Denmark. In 2015 the competition took part in the celebration of the 150th birthday of Danish composer Carl Nielsen. The competition has been linked to Carl Nielsen since its beginning, as his piano works have always been mandatory for all competitors in the first round, thus making the competition one of the greatest ambassadors in the world for Carl Nielsen´s piano music. In 2017 the competition was part of the many interesting things happening in Aarhus that year, when the city was the European Capital of Culture. Now we are looking forward to celebrating the 10 years jubilee of the competition in 2021.