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International Tchaikovsky Competition was launched 60 years ago

Cello, Jury, Organizing Committee, Piano, Violin, Voice
International Tchaikovsky Competition was launched 60 years agoThe history of the most prominent international competition is a part of the Russian history

60 years ago, the I International Tchaikovsky Competition was held in Moscow. The preparation for this event required much time and responsible attitude, but back then, it was hardly to predict what significance this Competition would gain and what status it would acquire with years.

The prototype of the Competition was the creative competition held in Russia in 1890 on the initiative of Anton Rubinstein, thanks to whose efforts a competition of composers and pianists was organized.

One of the winners of the Competition was the legendary Ferruccio Busoni.

By the 1930s, the idea of an international music competition gave rise to Eugène Ysaÿe Competition in Brussels, the International Chopin Piano Competition and Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition both held in Warsaw, and a number of other prestigious contests. The International Tchaikovsky Competition was established in 1956. The first Competition was opened on 18 March 1958 and was held in only two specialties: Piano and Violin. Starting from the second Competition, the program included a competition for cello players, and from the third Competition (1966), vocalists.

For nearly twenty years the Organizing Committee of the Competition was headed by composer and magnificent pianist  Dmitri  Shostakovich.  The   first   music   competition   was   attended by   67 performers from 21 countries. The First Prizes were won by American pianist Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn and Soviet violinist Valery Klimov. The name of a young American pianist, Van Cliburn instantly spread throughout the globe and became the personification of the highest class of music and performing arts. The name of Klimov has long been a common noun for graduates of the Russian music schools.

It was resolved to hold the Competition once every 4 years. This regularity was broken only in 2006 because of the need to renovate the Great Hall of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

The Competition gave a powerful start to many performers: Denis Matsuev, Mikhail Pletnev, Gidon Kremer, Vladimir Spivakov, young Daniil Trifonov and many others.

The next XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition is going to be held in June 2019. Its program will include Woodwinds and Brass Instruments. And the very first Competition will remain a musical legend forever.