Competitions done right

Me in Taipei for the Maestro Taiwan International Piano Competition having a great time

How do we make music competitions a positive and nurturing experience? How do we navigate through the competitive, win-lose, and often tortuous nature of these contests? On top of that, how can jury members, organisers, and the administration ensure that competitors will WANT to come back because they’re able to get so much value out of the competition?

That is the challenge I want to tackle. I’ve been asked by a really good friend to collaborate on a competition. My first thought was: how can we distinguish ourselves from all the other thousands of competitions? Prize money? Concert opportunities? Prestigious jury members?

Or shall we go down a route where we try to offer each and every qualifying competitor the best and most valuable lessons in music, art, and life? So that even if you do not attain the first couple of prizes, you don’t feel like you lost. You would feel like you have the tools to get better. I want the competitors to feel like they’ve gained something either in technique, career advice, musical and artistic experience, or even something as simple as encouragement from the competition.

This is so we can build a world where artists feel like they are a part of something larger. That they can incorporate art and the lessons learnt from honing a craft, into their own lives.

For me, this is a prize that I can offer everyone and it will be something invaluable that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

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