Calgary-based Honens has announced details of its 2018 Piano Competition

04 November 2016
Screen-Shot-2016-11-04-at-11.02.55-88456.png Finals
Semifinals and Finals take place in Calgary from August 30 to September 8, 2018

Calgary-based Honens has announced details of its 2018 Piano Competition. Pianists of all nationalities, aged 20 to 30 on August 30, 2018, with the exception of past Honens Laureates and professionally managed artists, may apply starting February 1, 2017. The application deadline is October 31, 2017. The Competition’s Quarterfinals take place in Berlin and New York in March 2018. Semifinals and Finals take place in Calgary from August 30 to September 8, 2018.


‘Once again, we’re looking forward to welcoming the world to Calgary in 2018 as we discover the next Complete Artist,’ said Neil Edwards, Honens’ President. ‘This is an exciting time to be leading one the world’s foremost music competitions.’


The announcement includes details on the Competition juries, collaborating musicians and mentor. ‘Honens’ reputation for discovering and nurturing today’s most engaging concert pianists is due in large part to the quality of the Competition’s jurors, collaborators and mentors. Once again, for 2018, we have invited some of the world’s top music professionals and musicians active on the concert stage,’ commented Stephen McHolm, Honens’ Artistic Director.



The Honens juries include concert pianists and other individuals from the music world who play a meaningful role in a concert artist’s career. These include artist managers, collaborative musicians, conductors and concert and festival presenters. All jurors have extensive knowledge of the piano literature and represent and/or are aware of the qualities an artist must possess in order to build and sustain a career today.  


Applicant Screening Jury

The Applicant Screening Jury, made up of four members including a representative from Honens, evaluates candidate applications based on proposed Competition programming, experience relative to age, and reference letters. The jury selects 50 pianists to advance to the Quarterfinals: International Audition Round.


The Applicant Screening Jury includes:

Michael Kim Canada / United States

Noriko Ogawa Japan / United Kingdom

Gilles Vonsattel Switzerland-United States / United States

(indicates nationality / country of residence)


First Jury: Quarterfinals 

The First Jury, made up of four members, meets at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for a week to evaluate 50 40-minute Quarterfinals recitals and interviews with an arts journalist that have been video-recorded in Berlin and New York. The Jury selects ten pianists to advance to the Semifinals in Calgary.


The First Jury is:

Catherine d’Argoubet France / France

Winston Choi Canada / United States

Eduardo Monteiro Brazil / Brazil

Pedja Muzijevic United States / United States

(indicates nationality / country of residence)


Second Jury: Semifinals and Finals

Content continues after advertisements

The Second Jury, made up of seven members, evaluates ten Semifinalist pianists who each perform a 65-minute solo recital and a 65-minute collaborative recital. They choose three pianists to advance to the Finals for a performance with a quintet, a concerto with orchestra and a second interview with an arts journalist. The Second Jury ultimately chooses the Honens Prize Laureate.


The Second Jury is:

Inon Barnatan Israel / United States 

Ingrid Fliter Argentina-Italy / Italy

Annette Josef Germany / Germany

Wu Han Taiwan-United States / United States

André Laplante Canada / Canada

Asadour Santourian United States / United States

Minsoo Sohn South Korea / South Korea

(indicates nationality / country of residence)



Solo performance, chamber music and collaboration with orchestra are all essential for a 21st century concert pianist. These elements are therefore integral to Honens’ search for the Complete Artist. For 2018, Honens intensifies its collaborative performance requirements. Semifinalists collaborate with a violinist and with a singer in a selection of art song/lieder.  Finalists perform once with a wind quintet and once with orchestra. The choice of collaborating musicians allows for both a meaningful musical partnership and a mentorship opportunity for all Competition pianists.  

Benjamin Appl baritone 

Jonathan Crow violin

Azahar Ensemble 

Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Alondra de la Parra conductor



Honens Mentor-in-Residence offers coaching sessions to each of the seven Semifinalists who do not advance to the Finals. The Mentor also hears each of the Finalists perform with the Azahar Ensemble and with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Alondra de la Parra, and meets with each Finalist to share insights. The Mentor-in-Residence shares her own experiences as a professional pianist and provides wisdom on the challenges of building a career. 

Janina Fialkowska piano 



Honens discovers, nurtures and presents Complete Artists—21st century pianists for 21st century audiences. The Honens Piano Competition takes place every three years and is considered one of the world’s most prestigious events of its kind. Honens prepares its Laureates for the rigours and realities of professional careers in music and creates opportunities for growth and exposure. The annual Honens Festival is one of Canada’s premier piano events.  


Esther Honens created a legacy of musical excellence to be enjoyed for generations. In 1991, knowing she was near the end of her life, Mrs Honens gave $5 million to endow an international piano competition in her hometown of Calgary, Canada. Her generosity, vision and love of music continue to touch the lives of Calgarians, Canadians and musicians and music-lovers around the world. Honens Legacy Partners follow in Esther Honens’ footsteps by securing Honens’ future. They support achievements in realizing Esther Honens’ vision, which includes wide reaching programming through the annual Festival and enriching community outreach projects.


Photo: Last Honens winner Luca Burrato playing his concerto at the finals

Content continues after advertisement