24 young pianists from 10 nations qualified for the final rounds of the 1st International Schimmel Piano Competition from 17 to 19 September 2021 in Braunschweig after intensive pre-selection. 

The 5-member jury with Prof. Wolfgang Zill (jury chairman), Prof. Markus Becker, Prof. Yuka Imamine, Prof. Tim Ovens and Prof. Milana Chernyavska did not have an easy time deciding who would enter the final round after the impressive competition performances of the participants. In addition to the pianistic-artistic performance, the submitted concept of the presented program had to be evaluated, which had to follow a theme freely chosen by the participants. 

7 pianists convinced the jury and entered the final. They performed again on the final day, with a concert that was now just under 50 minutes long. In the end, the winners were determined: 

The 1st prize, (a CD production incl. release and digital distribution or production of a music video) was won by Raimu Satoh (Japan)

⇒ To the video

The 2nd prize (2,000, -€) went to Nicole Rudi (Germany)

⇒ To the video

The 3rd prize (1,000, -€) as well as the audience prize (500, -€) in the final prize winners' concert was won by Daria Parkhomenko (Russia). 

⇒ To the video


Thanks to the great popularity of the competition and the new competition concept, Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH plans to hold this competition on a regular basis. Information on this will be published before the next competition starts via the universities, social media and on this website.


International Schimmel Piano Competition

The International Schimmel Piano Competition, organized by Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH will take place for the first time in 2021 in Braunschweig | Germany. The competition is open to professionally trained pianists aged 18 to 32 years. Besides the artistic and pianistic performance, the competition focuses on the concept of the presented concert program, curated by the participant him or herself. The concert program should follow a theme of the participant's choice. 

When and Where

Public Audition

17.-18. September 2021

Schimmel concert hall, Braunschweig | Germany


Award - Winner's Concert:

19. September 2021

Lessingtheater, Wolfenbüttel | Germany


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The application deadline for the International Schimmel Piano Competition 2020/2021 is over.




1st Round in the Schimmel Concert Hall, Braunschweig:
Admitted participants will present a 20 to 30 minute long concert program, curated by themselves to the jury and the audience. The participants have the opportunity to explain the idea underlying their program concept at the beginning of their performance in an oral presentation of maximum 2 minutes (in German or English).

Six participants with the highest scores will be admitted to the final round.


Final round in the Schimmel Concert Hall, Braunschweig:
The selected participants will present another concert program curated by themselves of 35 to 50 minutes in length. Once again, the participants have the opportunity to present the idea underlying their program's concept at the beginning of their performance in maximum 2 minutes (in German or English).




Award-winner's concert in the Lessingtheater, Wolfenbüttel:
The three participants with the highest scores will present their program from the final round during a public award-winner's concert.




Participants are responsible for organizing their journey to Braunschweig as well as the travel and accommodation costs. Schimmel Pianos has set aside a number of rooms in a hotel in Braunschweig, so participants can reserve a room at their own cost in the hotel or organize an accommodation in Braunschweig on their own accord. Schimmel Pianos will organize a shuttle service between the hotel and the competition's locations.


Please note: During the event, photos and films will be taken for promotional purposes.



1st Prize Either the production and publishing of a CD, including digital distribution under a label or the production of a music video for self publishing.

2nd Prize 2,000 Euro

3rd Prize 1,000 Euro 

Audience Award 500 Euro


The piano pieces can be chosen freely, but should predominantly meet high artistic and pianistic standards. The presented piano works should follow a topic of the participant's choice. There are no restrictions in the choice of a topic. Thematic connections can be established for example by programmatic terms such as musical motifs and themes (e.g. "water", "night", "dream", "time"), characters and people (e.g. "Scheherazade", "Undine"), selected composition genres (e.g. "Préludes", "Capriccio") or technical elements (e.g. "staccato", "Octaves"). Your program's topic can extend far beyond the given examples. Your own creativity and imagination is required!



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The concept of your concert program can deal with thematic connections, as well as contrasts and discontinuities and can show up relationships crossing established boundaries of musical genres and epochs. Improvisations and changes in a composition are allowed, insofar as your concept convincingly demands them. Essential to the conceptualization of your concert program are artistic independence, individuality, creativity and originality as well as comprehensibility and appeal (entertainment, pedagogical effects) for the audience. Participants have the possibility to present the idea underlying their program concept in a maximum 2-minute long introduction in German or in English before their piano performance. This introduction is desirable, but not mandatory.


Two programs with different topics must be curated for the first and final round .


Concert program 1st round: 20 - 30 minutes


Concert program final round: 30 - 50 minutes
Pieces from the first round can only be repeated in the final round, if it is necessary for the realization of your program's concept. 


A change of your concepts is not possible after entering the competition!

If you have any questions concerning the conceptualization of your program you can reach out directly to us.



How can I enter the competition?

Who can join?

Professionally trained pianists, aged between 18 and 32 years at the time of the competition can take part.


How can I apply?

The application deadline for the International Schimmel Piano Competition 2020/2021 is over.

We will inform you on this page as soon as an application for the International Schimmel Piano Competition 2023 is possible.


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Which information and files are required?

  • Information on your repertoire for both rounds (work, composer, duration)
  • Short biography (max. 300 words)
As well as the following files, named: surname_firstname_file (e.g. smith_susan_video.mp4):
  • A description of both program concepts for the first and the second round, including the repertoire (one DIN A4 page per concept idea max.) // file format: .pdf // size: max. 500 KB
  • Video* // file format: .mp4 // size: max. 8 GB
  • Portrait picture// file format: .jpg, .png, .gif // 300 dpi // size: max. 5MB
  • Copy of your passport or your identity card // file format: .jpg, .pdf, .gif) // size: max. 2 MB


* What do I need to know before recording my video?
  • Present a free repertoire for piano-solo of minimum 10, maximum 15 minutes
  • Your face and hands should be clearly visible
  • The video should be uncut and unedited (e.g. without effects, zoom, titles or transitions)
  • The audio recording should be in a good quality (no dynamic compression)
  • The video shouldn't be older than 6 months at the time of your registration.