Kawai Australia's role at The Sydney International Piano Competition
Kawai Australia has been collaborating with The Sydney International Piano Competition for many years, as early as the 3rd competition in 1985, helping to ensure that the very best Shigeru Kawai concert grand pianos are provided for use in the competition. The piano used in competition performance is specially selected from an exclusive reserve of competition-level Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand pianos, which are safely kept at Ryuyo, our “workshop in the woods” in Hamamatsu, Japan. These competition-level pianos have been selected as some of the best pianos in the world, chosen for their incredible sound and character. It is rare to hear any of these prestigious pianos played, as they are reserved for use in only the most distinguished international piano competitions and performances. The Shigeru Kawai grand piano takes it’s name from the Kawai’s past president, and honours all that Shigeru Kawai has done to make Kawai the sound heard around the world.
First, Kawai Australia’s Managing Director and General Manager visit Ryuyo to hand-pick the Shigeru Kawai concert grand piano for this year’s competition. This piano is then prepared over several months, flown to Australia, and delivered to our Australian headquarters in Sydney. Upon its arrival, the piano is carefully inspected and serviced by one of Australia’s most accomplished piano technicians.
The piano is then allowed to acclimatise in a dedicated, environment-controlled space, before a specialist team of Master Piano Artisans (MPAs) from our head office in Hamamatsu makes the journey from to Sydney. These expert technicians are among the most skilled in the world, with decades of experience specific to Shigeru Kawai concert pianos between them. They arrive a week prior to the competition’s start, in order to make final preparations on the concert piano, ensuring that it is prepared to the highest competition standards.
Once ready, the piano is then transported to The Sydney’s performance space, where it is again serviced by our MPAs and prepared for competition play. Throughout the competition, the piano will be maintained by these technicians many times, their unique skillset dedicated to perfect the regulation, voicing, and tuning so that competitors can achieve the peak of their art, with dynamic range, timbral subtlety, speed and power unmatched by lesser instruments.
Words alone cannot capture the tone and expressive energy of this incredible instrument, under the care of the world’s most skilled technicians and in the hands of some immensely talented pianists – this year’s Sydney International Piano Competition truly is a rare opportunity to experience music at its most sublime
The Rex Hobcroft People's Choice prize, sponsored by Kawai Australia
Voting for the 2023 People’s Choices prize has now closed.
About The Sydney International Piano Competition
The Sydney is considered one of the most elite piano competitions in the world, and unsurprisingly, it draws exceptionally talented pianists from across the globe. The Sydney has been running for almost 50 years, and has very recently refashioned itself into a larger organisation called Piano+, incorporating the competition and its associated performance showcases under one banner.
Piers Lane is the Artistic Director of The Sydney, a competition juror, and winner of ‘Best Australian Pianist’ in the first Sydney competition back in 2004. Piers sat down with us to discuss this year’s competition and give his insights on what it takes to be a finalist. Read Piers’ full interview here.
This year’s competition schedule starts with the preliminary round on July 6th, with semi-finals beginning July 12th, and the final rounds commencing July 18th. Winners will be crowned on Saturday, July 22nd.
Watch The Sydney International Piano Competition FREE live streamed online through our partners at Australian Digital Concert Hall.
The Sydney International Piano Competition 2023 winners
Congratulations to Jeonghwan Kim, the winner of this year’s Sydney International Piano Competition!
We also extend our congratulations to all prizewinners, including:
1st Prize: Jeonghwan Kim
2nd Prize: Uladzislau Khandohi
3rd Prize: Yungyung Guo
Well done to all who participated in this year’s Sydney International Piano Competition. It was a pleasure to see 32 of the most talented pianists in the world perform on Sydney stages.
We would like to thank everyone at Piano+ for their extensive hard work behind the scenes to organise and bring all of these competitors together, and congratulate them on a magnificent 2023 competition.
Kawai Australia was honoured to have had our renowned Shigeru Kawai concert grand piano, specially hand-picked and transported from Japan, consistently selected and played on stage throughout this prestigious competition.
What do the winners have to say about the Shigeru Kawai?
Jeonghwan Kim winner of The Sydney 2023, 1st Prize
“Winning the first prize means a lot to me, it indeed is a great honor to win a prize at such a prestigious competition. But also it is a big responsibility for me to give the best I can, to really able to connect with people and share wonderful moments in the music. So it is a great motivation for me to seek after a deeper meaning of music and performing.
On performing on Shigeru Kawai, I was feeling really free especially in Mozart. This instrument let me do all I wanted and it is one of the most beautiful sound you can get from a grand piano.”
– Jeonghwan Kim
Yungyung Guo prizewinner at The Sydney 2023, 3rd Prize
“It was my huge honor to be one of the prize winners of the Sydney International Piano Competition. This is an amazing and unique journey because Sydney Competition is one of the most prestigious in the world and I followed in my teacher’s footsteps to win the George Frederick Boyle Prize. I look forward to coming to and performing in Sydney again!”
– Yungyung Guo
“In the 2023 Sydney International Piano Competition, the SK-EX concert grand was fully capable of producing impressive sound. Whatever the form is – solo, chamber music or concerto, this instrument can accurately convey the sound which I was pursuing and looking for on the stage.”
– Yungyung Guo
The Sydney International Piano Competition’s 2023 First Prize Winner Debut National Tour is on now. This First Prize Winner Debut National Tour, will see this year’s winner, Jeonghwan Kim, tour around Australia. Visit Piano+ for show dates and tickets.