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 Musikhuset Aarhus (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 in 2009 by Prof. Anne Øland and her piano students, pianist Dominik Falenski, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus and Juhl-Sørensen A/S. The first competition took place in March 2011 under the name ‘Bang & Olufsen pianoRAMA-competition’ with Bang & Olufsen as the main sponsor of the competition. After changing the main sponsor the competition was renamed to Aarhus International Piano Competition. In the same time pianists Rune Maahn Christensen and Christian Skovgaard Flarup took over the management of the competition from Dominik Falenski and successfully held the competition in its new format in 2013. Rune Maahn Christensen and Christian Skovgaard Flarup have been running and developping the competition since that.
Prof. Anne Øland involved her piano students 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.
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. We were looking forward to our 10 years jubilee of the competition in 2021, but unfirtunately the competition was cancelled that year due to the covid-19 situation in the world.