The first, in 1958, included two disciplines - piano and violin. Beginning with the second competition, in 1962, a cello category was added, and the vocal division was introduced during the third competition in 1966. In 1990, a fifth discipline was announced for the IX International Tchaikovsky Competition - a contest for violin makers which was held before the main competition.
In 2011, the competition was first held in two cities – Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
The jubilee XV International Tchaikovsky Competition was timed to coincide with 175th anniversary of the Great Russian composer.
In 2018, the International Tchaikovsky Competition will celebrate 60th anniversary. Through all these years, the competition has been opening extraordinary talents in the field of the Modern Performing Arts.
An artistic competition is a traditional starting point for gifted young musicians as it gives them a chance to encounter the admiration of an audience, be initiated into the worldwide professional community, and start a brilliant international career.
In Russia the Competition is considered a landmark of national musical culture. Each of its editions is one of the key events in the social and cultural life of the country.