Regulations for the Competition Jury [pdf]

Rules 2017 [pdf]


The University of the Arts Helsinki, the Sibelius Academy, will organise the Fourth International Maj Lind Piano Competition on 17–31 August 2017. The competition is open to all pianists born in or after 1987, regardless of nationality.


Application is via the competition website at A link to this site will be activated on 16 January 2017. Applications should append a quality video of their performance for the pre-selection process. The deadline for applications is 24 April 2017. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. The non-refundable application fee is €50.


A team appointed by the Competition Committee will pre-select applicants on the basis of the application documents and videos. The names of the successful applicants will be announced by 26 May 2017 at the latest.

Video repertoire

1) A complete Viennese Classical work (by Dussek, Haydn, Clementi, Mozart, Beethoven, Hummel or Schubert)
2) A virtuosic etude

The video must clearly show the performance, the player’s hands and face. The video must not be edited. Individual works or movements may, however, be recorded as different takes. The application must state when and where the video was made.


Free accommodation in families will be provided for competitors for the duration of the competition. Competitors will pay their own travel expenses to and from Helsinki. The Competition Committee may, on application and at its own discretion, award a travel grant for participants from outside Europe. The Secretariat will book a hotel room for any competitors who wish to stay at a hotel at their own expense. Competitors needing a visa for Finland must obtain it themselves.


The order of performance in the competition will be decided in a draw to take place at 12 noon on 17 August 2017. Each competitor must attend the draw in person or authorise a personal deputy in writing. The order of performance will remain the same in the first and second rounds. The order may have to be changed in the finals for reasons of expediency.



There will be three rounds in the competition, all open to the public. The competition repertoire must be performed from memory, with the exception of the commissioned work to be performed in the second round, demanding contemporary works and the piano quintet in the chamber music finals. The works in the first and second rounds may be played in any order. The Chairman of the Jury will have the right to cut short a performance that exceeds the allotted time.


Not more than 40 participants will be accepted for the first round.

1) A prelude and fugue by J.S. Bach; the competitor may also add other music composed before 1750

2) An entire work by Dussek, Haydn, Clementi, Mozart, Beethoven, Hummel or Schubert, lasting at least 10 minutes

3) Three etudes, one from each of the following groups:

a. Chopin
b. Liszt, Alkan, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninov, Scriabin; alternatively, a toccata by Czerny or Schumann
c. An etude composed in the 20th or 21st century, excluding the composers mentioned in the group above; alternatively, a toccata by Debussy, Ravel or Prokofiev

4) A freely chosen programme of music composed in 1965 or later

The programme for the first round must not exceed 45 minutes.


Not more than 14 participants will be accepted for the second round.

1) Either:

a. The work commissioned for the competition by Kaija Saariaho (duration 5–10 minutes)
b. A work composed by the contestant (duration 5–10 minutes)
c. An improvisation lasting not more than 10 minutes on a theme given to the competitor 20 minutes before the performance

2) A Sibelius programme lasting at least 5 minutes (original piano compositions or Sibelius’s own transcriptions)

3) A programme of the competitor’s own choice

The programme for the second round must not exceed 60 minutes. The commissioned work will be mailed to the applicants selected for the competition by 29 May 2017 at the latest.


Six participants will be selected for the finals.

1) One of the following piano quintets:

Brahms Op. 34
Dvořák Op. 81
Schumann Op. 44
Shostakovich Op. 57
Elgar Op. 84

2) One of the following concertos:

Bartók No. 2 or 3
Beethoven No. 3, 4 or 5
Brahms No. 1 or 2
Chopin No. 1 or 2
Liszt No. 1 or 2
Prokofiev No. 2 or 3
Rachmaninov No. 2, 3 or Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Ravel G Major or Concerto for the Left Hand
Saint-Saëns No. 2 or 5
Tchaikovsky No. 1

Alterations to the competitor’s repertoire will be permitted up to 16 June 2017.


The Jury will consist of eight members: a Chairman, six non-Finnish members and one Finnish member.



I €30,000
II €25,000
III €20,000

The Jury will have the right to award the prizes in some other way.

The other three finalists will each receive a finalist prize of €8,000.

A special chamber music prize of €8,000.

A special prize of €1,500 for the best performance of the commissioned work in the second round.

The winner of the competition agrees to perform a piano recital at the PianoEspoo festival on 9 November 2017.

Other special prizes may be awarded.


The prizes will be awarded after the finals on 31 August 2017.


The competition organisers or a third party authorised by them will have unlimited regional and temporal right to broadcast and record, video, televise, film and make CDs of the competition performances and to post competition performances on their websites and other media without payment of compensation to the competitors.


The original language of these rules is Finnish. Any disputes will be settled on the basis of the Finnish text. The procedure in the event of a force majeure will be decided by the Competition Committee.