The Montreal International Musical Competition presents: Richard Lupien Improvisation Prize


Tanna Schulich Hall, 555 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC, CA
Free Admission

The Prize is open to classically trained pianists of all nationalities, aged 35 years old or less on January 1, 2014.  By creating a classical improvisation prize, the Montreal International Musical Competition (MIMC) wishes to promote classical improvisation on the piano, a traditional discipline still taught in some higher music education institutions. The MIMC is the first competition in the World Federation of International Music Competitions to create such a prize.

The round consists of a recital of no more than 25 minutes of music, during which the candidates must meet the following four improvisational challenges:


CHALLENGE NO. 1: THEME AND VARIATIONS (DURATION – 7 MINUTES) Five minutes before the start of the round, the candidate is given a well-known theme from the great concert music repertoire (e.g. Theme from Bach’s Goldberg Variations BWV 988). The candidate must interpret the selected theme and add . The jury will evaluate the harmonic structure, the continuity between variations, and the unity of the improvisation as a whole.

CHALLENGE NO. 2: PASTICHE (DURATION – 6 MINUTES) Five minutes before the start of the round, the candidate is given a well-known theme from the cinema, selected by the jury. The candidate will have to meet the challenge of using a style dictated by the jury: the Baroque style, the Mozartian style or that of impressionist composers, for example. The candidate can play the improvisations in the order of his or her choice.

CHALLENGE NO. 3: SEGUE (DURATION – 4 MINUTES) The candidate will hear the end of a particular theme and the beginning of another. The challenge consists of beginning the improvisation in the key and spirit of the first theme while respecting its “atmosphere” before having the improvisation music evolve in such as way that its conclusion coincides with the start of the second theme.

CHALLENGE NO.4: FREEDOM (DURATION – 8 MINUTES) This challenge consists of a spontaneous composition. The selected theme or themes are at the candidate’s discretion, as are the language (tonal or atonal) and the style used. Here, the candidate’s abi - lities will be judged in terms of the quality of the improvisation’s development, the level of performance, and consistency of form.