Among the cultural and art measures that promote Ukraine’s integration with the world community the International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz figures prominently.
Since 2002, the Competition has became a member of the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY) and since 2004 it is the only one Competition in Ukraine that has become a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC), which in its status equals to organizations such as the Olympic Committee, FIFA, UNESCO, WHO.
The Competition was founded in 1995 commemorates a memory of our eminent compatriot, legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, who was born and educated in Kyiv.
The Competition was greeted by: His Holiness Pope John Paul II, President of the United States Bill Clinton and First Lady of the USA Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma and First Lady of Ukraine Liudmyla Kuchma, President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko andFirst Lady of Ukraine Kateryna Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine Maryna Poroshenko, Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine Filaret.
More than 1300 young musicians from 35 countries have taken part in the Competition so far.
The Horowitz Competition is divided into three stages and held during three years.
– 1st – groups “Horowitz-Debut” Group (age limit under 14 years) and Junior Group (age range from 9 to 15 years);
– 2nd – Intermediate Group (age range from 14 to 19 years);
– 3rd – Senior Group (age range from 16 to 33 years).
Victory in the Competition is honourable and high recommendation for a performer. It’s confirmed by the further success of the Competition’s prize winners who became winners of the prestigious world musical competitions such as Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Japan) – Alexej Gorlatch; Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Japan) and Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition (Israel) – Alexander Gavrylyuk; Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (the USA) – Alexey Koltakov, Vadym Kholodenko, Rachel Cheung Wai Ching; ARD International Music Competition (Germany) – Denys Proshayev; Maria Callas Grand Prix (Greece) – Vadym Kholodenko, Maria Kim; Sydney International Piano Competition (Australia) – Evgeny Ukhanov, Dmytro Onishchenko; Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists (Germany) – Kostiantyn Tovstukha, Oleksiy Kanke; International Tchaikovsky Competition (Russian Federation) – Dmytro Onishchenko; Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition (the USA) – Rachel Cheung Wai Ching; International Piano Competition Ettore Pozzoli (Italy) – Alexandre Pirojenko; Competition in Shanghai – Alexei Grynyuk; “George Enescu” International Festival and Competition (Romania) – Eduard Kunz; Gian Battista Viotti International Piano Competition (Italy) – Illya Zuyko; “Ferruccio Busoni” International Piano Competition (Italy), Marocco Philarmony International Piano Competition – Antonii Baryshevskyi; Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Japan), Géza Anda International Piano Competition in Zurich (Switzerland) – Elmar Gasanov; 6th Prix Du Piano Interlaken Classics (Switzerland) – Alexander Sinchuk.
One of the most significant achievements of prize winners of the Competition were the victories of Ukrainian pianists: Vadym Kholodenko at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the USA (for the first time in the history of the Competition, the Ukrainian won the First prize and received the Gold Medal); Antonii Baryshevskyi at the 14th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Israel (First prize, Gold Medal); Roman Lopatinskyi at the 60th Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, Italy, 2015 (Third prize, Bronze medal and Audience Choice Award), 9th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, Japan 2015 (Second prize, Silver medal) and Dmytro Choni at the 19th Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition, Spain (First prize, Gold Medal).
The Сompetition has become a center of musical and cultural – educational life of Ukraine.
It’s the only Competition in Ukraine in the framework of which since 1998 there’s been a “School of Performing Art” (since 2000 – International Summer Music Academy). During these years more than 700 young musicians from 18 countries attended master-classes of famous musicians-pedagogues from Australia, Belarus, the Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, the USA, Turkey, France and Ukraine.
In 1998 the Competition initiated the renaissance of the traditions of holding the enlightening concerts for public on the open stage of the Central Park of culture and resort. During 14 International festivals “Kyiv Summer Music Evenings” there were 364 concerts, in which 836 participants and 171 groups took part from 31 countries of the world such as Austria, Armenia, Belarus, China, Croatia, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mexico, Macedonia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the USA. Nowadays the Festival concerts are held on the basis of the Big Concert Studio of Ukrainian Radio and the famous concert venues in Kyiv.
In order to encourage further development of young prize winners the International Charitable Fund of Vladimir Horowitz Competition initiated in 2006 the first in the world music festival The International festival “Virtuosos of the Planet”. It is a unique project because representatives of the planet’s performing elite, first prize winners and Grand Prix holders of the most prestigious world competitions – members of the World Federation of International Music Competitions – perform in the Festival.
On the occasion of the first Festival the President of the WFIMC Marianne Granvig said “When the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC) accepted the International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz as a member in 2004, it was knowing that this competition has great potential for pursuing the Mission and Objectives of the WFIMC. The administration of the Competition has already carried out a number of very good initiatives for promoting young and talented musicians in Ukraine and abroad.
Part of the active cooperation between world competitions is the exchange of prize winners, who thanks to this have the opportunity to perform in different countries of the world.
The prize winners’ concert exchange is done between the International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz and world competitions (Carl Nielsen International Music Competition (Denmark); Tbilisi International Piano Competition (Georgia); International Franz Liszt Piano Competition (the Netherlands) and the EMCY and offices of JM in such countries as Norway, Spain, Estonia and Italy.
Seven compact discs with the recordings of prize winners’ performance as well as two discs of multimedia encyclopedia of the Competition, which include unique documents about the life of Vladimir Horowitz in Kyiv, history of the Competition’s establishment, information about the prize winners and diploma holders, Jury, recordings of Horowitz’s performance and Competition’s prize winners, have been produced. Activities of the International Charitable Fund of Vladimir Horowitz Competition are widely covered in the mass media, social media, during the online broadcasts of the Competition auditions and on the website of the Competition.