International Competition ‘Young Virtuosos – LIDIYA KOUTEVA’

All competitions
03/06/2023 - 08/06/2023
Sofia, Bulgaria

After the hugely successful special edition of the International Competition “Young Virtuosos” in 2020, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of the composer Pancho Vladigerov, the Organizing Committee of International Competition “Young Virtuosos”, in collaboration with Sofia Philharmonic, has the honor to announce the International Competition for Pianists which will be held in the year of 2023.

This edition of the competition is named after Lidiya Kouteva and dedicated to the 100th anniversary of her birth. The International Competition “Young Virtuosos” has been open to young performers, music theorists and composers from all over the world. The competition provides for the participants new opportunities to compete and communicate with their peers, to explore and exchange original ideas, to interpret classical and contemporary music and to introduce their talent in front of masters in the musical field, who have proven themselves at most prestigious world stages. The competition also includes a number of artistic meetings, workshops, “Academy of Mastery”, as well as concert performances by renowned musicians. Since 2013 the competition become an EMCY member.

The first edition of the International Competition “Young Virtuosos“ took place in 2004, when Milka Miteva suggested it as a way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National School of Music „Lyubomir Pipkov”. The competition is organized annually with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Sofia Municipality, American Foundation for Bulgaria, St.Cyril and St.Methodius International Foundation, Sofia Philharmonic, and many private sponsors.

In honor of the Bulgarian musical heritage, each edition of the International Competition “Young Virtuosos” has borne the name of a prominent Bulgarian musician and educator such as Lyuba Encheva, Georgi Badev, Sava Dimitrov, Cyril Karel Stary, Dobri Paliev, Marin Goleminov, Pancho Vladigerov.



Young Virtuosos Foundation


The participants should be up to 21 years old.
The competition has two rounds for the first age category and three rounds for the second age category.



Every year

Next deadline



The application form is available on the website of the competition and needs to be submitted electronically at young_virtuosos@abv.bg

The application form must be accompanied by the following documents:
– a document certifying the age of the participant;
– two publicity photos (.jpg, .png 800×500);
– a short artistic biography of the participant;
– a receipt of paid registration fee of 100 EURO
– the materials for the Video Preselection must be submitted as a “private” video, posted in the online audio and video sharing platform YouTube.

Applicants may submit one video containing all works, or separate videos for each work. All videos must be filmed with both the pianist’s face and hands in the frame at all times. If submitting all works in one video, recordings may be paused between each repertoire selection. Each work on the video must be a continuous and unedited performance.

The registration fee deposited by an applicant who chooses to withdraw from the competition is not refundable. Delayed registration and/or a missing document for paid registration fee makes the participation of the candidate invalid.

All applicants will receive notification of acceptance or non acceptance to the competition by March 31, 2023, and those who are accepted will receive a schedule of the live rounds of each category.

Applicant can pay the registration fee as a bank transfer to the following bank account:
Foundation “Young Virtuosos”
UniCredit Bulbank
Pametnik Levski branch Sofia, boulevard “Yanko Sakuzov”

Curиency: BGN
IBAN: BG23 UNCR 7000 1522 4504 49
Bank code: UNCRBGSF
Curиency: USD
IBAN: BG45UNCR70001524679113
Bank code: UNCRBGSF


Age groups:
Group I – up to 16 years of age – born after 1.01.2007
Group II – up to 21 years of age – born after 1.01.2002

General Conditions:

1. The work of the jury is organized and based on formally written regulations made by the Organizing committee
2. The order of performers is decided by draw of lots. Competitors who miss their order of performance will be disqualified.
3.1. The members of the jury make their decisions independently without interfering in one another’s assessment.
3.2. The international jury is formed by prominent musicians, who are recognized experts in the piano field
3.3. Jury members shall not vote for competitors who are related to them or who have been studying with them in the last 12 months preceding the competition.
3.4. Jury members should not discuss performances before the end of the voting process.
3.5. The voting must be in a written and signed form.
4. The competitors will be assessed in all rounds by the point system from 1 to 25.
5.1. Only 12 of the initial participants from Group I will continue from the Video Preselection to the Live Round of the competition.
5.2. Only 12 of the initial participants from Group II will continue from the Video Preselection to the First Round of the competition. Only 8 of the participants in the First Round will continue to the Semi-final Round and only 3 of the participants in the Second Round will continue to the Final Round.
6. The decisions of the Competition jury are final and no contestation will be accepted.
7. Three prizes and a laureate diploma will be awarded in both age groups. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to give special prizes.
8. All recording rights to the performances from the Final Round of the Competition are sole property of the International Competition “Young Virtuosos 2023-Lidiya Kouteva“.


Group I – up to 16 years of age

Video Preselection
1. Virtuoso etude
2. A work of the candidate’s choice
Duration must be no longer than 15 minutes. Works from the Video Preselection can be presented at the Live Round as well.

Live Round
1. Classical sonata
2. Romantic work, selected by the participant
3. Virtuoso etude
4. A contemporary work, written after 1970
Duration must be no longer than 45 minutes.

Group II – up to 21 years of age

Video Preselection
1. A movement from a classical sonata
2. Virtuoso etude
3. A work of the candidate’s choice
Duration must be no longer than 25 minutes. Works from the Video Preselection can be presented in the Live Rounds as well.

First Round
1. Bach – Prelude and Fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier
2. Virtuoso etude
3. A work of the candidate’s choice
Duration must be no longer than 25 minutes.

Semi-final Round
1. Classical sonata
2. A contemporary work written after 1970
3. A work/works of the candidate’s choice
Duration must be no longer than 50 minutes.

Final Round
A Concerto with orchestra selected from the following list:
Beethoven – Concerto No.1 in C major, op.15
Beethoven- Concerto No.2 in B-flat major,оp.19
Beethoven – Concerto No.3 in C minor, оp.37
Beethoven – Concerto No.4 in G major, оp.58
Beethoven – Concerto No.5 in E-flat major, оp.73
Chopin – Concerto No.1 in E minor, оp.11
Chopin – Concerto No.2 in F minor, оp.21
Grieg – Concerto in A minor, оp.16
Liszt – Concerto No.1 in E-flat major, S.124
Liszt – Concerto No.2 in A major, S.125
Mozart – Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466
Mozart – Concerto No.21 in C major, K.467
Mozart – Concerto No.23 in A major, K.488
Mozart – Concerto No.25 in C major, K.503
Mozart – Concerto No.26 in D major, K.537
Rachmaninoff – Concerto No.1 in F sharp minor, op.1
Rachmaninoff – Concerto No.2 in C minor, op.18
Rachmaninoff – Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, op.43
Schumann – Concerto in A minor, оp.54
Tchaikovsky – Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor, оp.23


Group I

1st prize – 4 000 BGN;
2nd prize – 3 000 BGN;
3rd prize – 2 000 BGN

Group II

1st prize – 10 000 BGN;
2nd prize – 8 000 BGN;
3rd prize – 6 000 BGN



Secretary of the competition
Visit original competition page www.yvcompetition.org

Prize winners

EMCY newsletter subscription

EMCY will use the information you provide on this form to update you on the EMCY’s news through our newsletters and to contact you if necessary. We will treat your information with respect. If you have questions you can contact us at any time. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy.

Successfully subscribed!