The 56th competition


Opening on Monday 3 December 2018 at 10:00 am
Only on

Conditions of registration

  • Age restriction: the Competition is open to candidates of any nationality, born between 1982 and 2001.
  • Registration fees: €250.


Friday 18 January 2019 at noon (UTC+1)
Subject to availability (maximum 270 places)

Preliminaries – April and May 2019

Preliminaries take place in front of two jury members.
Each candidate has to conduct two pianists playing two pianos.
David Berdery, Thomas Palmer, pianists.

Dates and places

Germany, Berlin
Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler”
From 15th to 18th April 2019
Maximum 115 candidates

China, Beijing
Central Conservatory of Music
23rd and 24th April 2019
Maximum 35 candidates

Canada, Montréal
Faculté de musique de l’Université de Montréal
27th and 28th April 2019
Maximum 30 candidates

France, Besançon
Conservatoire à rayonnement régional du Grand Besançon
From 30th April to 4th May 2019 (except 1st May)
Maximum 90 candidates

Presented works

Serguei Rachmaninoff, Symphonic Dances, opus 45
Transcription for two pianos
Edition Boosey et Hawkes

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphony no. 35 « Haffner » K.385
Orchestra score. Piano 1 = harmony. Piano 2 = strings.
Edition Breitkopf & Härtel

Final rounds – September 2019

All of the rounds with orchestra will be open to the public. The Competition will decide which works are to be presented.
The candidates will either be asked to conduct entire pieces or excerpts, or to rehearse the artists under their musical direction, according to their interpretation or at the jury’s request.


Welcome meeting
Sunday 15th September, 4:30 pm

First round : Symphony
Monday 16th September, 2:30 and 8:00 pm
Maximum 20 candidates

Second round: Concerto and Symphony
Tuesday 17th September, 2:30 and 8:00 pm
Maximum 12 candidates

Semi-final: Oratorio
Wednesday 18th September, 2:30 pm
Maximum 6 candidates

Semi-final: Oper
Wednesday 18th September, 8:00 pm
Maximum 6 candidates

Final: Symphony and World Premiere
Saturday 21st September, 4:00 pm
Maximum 3 candidates

« Grand Prix »

The jury reserves the right to not award the Grand Prix. It cannot be shared.

  • € 12,000
  • three-month period of artistic guidance (advice and coaching)
  • possible engagements with the Competition’s partner orchestras

The 2017 Competition in videos

Four minutes to discover the Besançon Competition

26 minutes TV Report by France 3 Bourgogne-Franche-Comté