The 1996 Competition
  1. Ilya Itin (Russian Federation)

  2. Roberto Cominati (Italy)

  3. Aleksandar Madzar (Yugoslavia)

  4. Sa Chen (China)

  5. Armen Babakhanian (Armenia)

  6. Ekaterina Apekisheva (Israel)

  • Chairman: Dame Fanny Waterman DBE

  • Marcello Abbado

  • Peter Adry

  • Paul Badura-Skoda

  • Michael Dalberto

  • Claude Frank

  • Valentin Gheorghiu

  • Zhou Guangren

  • Karl-Heinz Kämmerling

  • Vladimir Krainev

  • John Lill

  • Hiroko Nakamura

  • John O'Conor

  • Sergio Perticaroli

  • Oxana Yablonskaya

  • First Stage

    Competitors must choose one piece from the following list together with one or more pieces of their own choice to make a recital of no less than 25 minutes nor more than 30 minutes maximum:


    Toccata (with Fugue) in C min, BWV 911

    Toccata (with Fugue) in D, BWV 912

    Toccata (with Fugue) in D min, BWV 913

    Partita no. 2 in C min, BWV 826

    Partita No. 6 in E min, BWV 830

    English Suite No. 2 in A min, BWV 807

    Aria variata alla maniera italiana in A min, BWV989

    Concerto Fantasia and Fugue in D min, BWV 903


    A group of five contrasting sonatas


    Sonata in E min, H.XVI/34

    Sonata in A flat, H.XVI/46

    Sonata in C min, H.XVI/48

    Sonata in E flat, H.XVI/49

    Sonata in C, H.XVI/50

    Sonata in E flat, H.XVI/52


    Sonata in F, K. 332

    Sonata in C min, K. 457

    Fantasy in C min, K. 475

    Sonata in F, K. 533/494

    Sonata in B flat, K. 570

    Sonata in D, K. 576

    Rondo in A min, K. 511


    Sonata in F sharp min, Op. 26


    Sonata in A, Op. 2

    Sonata in C min (‘Pathétique), Op. 13

    Sonata in E flat, Op. 27 No. 1

    Sonata in C sharp min (‘Moonlight’), Op.27 No. 2

    Sonata in C (‘Waldstein’), Op. 53

    Sonata in F, Op. 54

    Sonata in E flat (‘Les Adieux’), Op. 81a

    Sonata in E min, Op. 90 Sonata in A, Op. 101

    Sonata in E, Op. 109

    Sonata in A flat, Op. 110 32

    Variations in C min, WoO80

    6 Bagatelles, Op. 126

  • Second Stage

    Competitors must choose one work from the following list together with one or more pieces of their own choice to make a recital of not less than 50 minutes nor more than 55 minutes maximum. No work performed by the competitor in the First Stage may be included:


    ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy in C, D760

    Sonata in A min, D845

    Sonata in G, D894

    Sonata in C min, D958

    Sonata in A, D959

    Sonata in B flat, D960

    4 Impromptus, D935


    12 Etudes, Op. 10

    12 Etudes, Op. 25

    24 Preludes, Op. 28

    Sonata in B flat min, Op. 35

    Sonata in B min, Op. 58

    A group of any 6 Waltzes


    Carnaval, Op. 9

    Kreisleriana, Op. 16

    Humoreske, Op. 20

    Fantasie in C, Op. 17


    Sonata in E, Op. 6


    ‘Transcendental’ Etudes Nos. 9, 10, 11 & 12


    Sonata No. 3 in F min

    4 Ballades, Op. 5

    Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel, Op.24

    Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35 (both Books)

    7 Fantasies, Op. 116


    Sonata No. 2 in B flat min, Op.

    36 Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42


    Gaspard de la nuit

    Valses nobles et sentimentales

    Le Tombeau de Couperin


    Goyescas (any 6 of the 6 pieces)




    2.El Puerto

    3.Fête-Dieu à Seville

    7.El Albaicin

    (All four pieces must be performed)

  • Semi Final

    The Competitor will perform a programme entirely of his or her own choice of no less than 70 minutes and no more than a maximum of 75 minutes. No work included in wither previous two stages may be performed in the Stage: [This round also included a £1000 prize for the best performance of a contemporary work]

  • Final Stage

    One concerto from the list will be performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle:


    B flat, K. 456

    D min, K. 466

    C, K. 467

    C min, K. 491

    C ,K. 503

    B flat, K. 595


    No.1 in C, Op. 15

    No. 2 in B flat, Op. 19

    No.3 in C min, Op. 37

    No.4 in G, Op. 58

    No.5 in E flat, Op. 73


    No.2 in F min, Op. 21


    A min, Op. 54


    No.1 in D min, Op. 15

    No.2 in B flat, Op. 83


    No.1 in B flat min, Op. 23


    No.2 in C min, Op. 18

    Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43


    No.1 in D flat, Op. 10

    No.3 in C, Op. 26


    No.2, Sz. 95

    No.3, Sz. 119


    in G

Career Highlights
  • Ilya Itin
    Ilya Itin (Russian Federation) - 1st Prize

    Mr. Itin’s recent concert seasons have been highlighted by sold-out recitals and masterclasses throughout Japan, and the United States. As artist in residence for five years at Chamber Music Classics of Naples from 2008-12, he performed piano trios, quartets and quintets with the critically acclaimed Jasper string quartet. This year’s touring schedule includes recitals in Kansas City, Ithaca, Princeton, Naples, Florida, Nara, Japan, multiple recitals in Tokyo, Japan and masterclasses and a recital at the summer festival of Gijon, Spain.

    He continues to be a guest artist, performing chamber music, with the Jupiter Chamber Players of New York City. Ilya Itin is on the teaching faculties of the Musashino Academy in Tokyo, and the Golandsky Institute at Princeton University.

  • Roberto Cominati
    Roberto Cominati (Italy) - 2nd Prize

    Cominati has been invited to perform in the most prestigious venues and festivals and has appeared with leading European orchestras as well as in Japan and Australia, under the baton of important conductors, among which sir Simon Rattle, Andrey Boreyko, Leon Fleisher and Daniel Harding. In January 2012 he released the complete solo piano music of Maurice Ravel.

  • Aleksandar Madzar
    Aleksandar Madzar (Yugoslavia) - 3rd Prize

    The Leeds competition propelled Madžar onto the UK scene where he also became a sought after soloist with the Royal and BBC Philharmonics, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as throughout Europe and Asia. Madžar has given solo recitals in Berlin (Philharmonie), London, Rome, Florence, Milan, Hamburg, Duisburg and on tour in Japan and in Columbia. He is a regular guest artist at the festivals of Bad Kissingen, Schleswig Holstein, the Ivo Pogorelich Festival at Bad Wörishofen, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Davos, Roque d'Antheron, Salzburg, Sintra and Aldeburgh.

  • Sa Chen
    Sa Chen (China) - 4th Prize

    Most recently she performed with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony (Suntory Hall), toured with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko in Spain, appeared in recital at the Louvre, Paris, and performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing NCPA, with Jan Pascal Tortelier.

  • Armen Babakhanian
    Armen Babakhanian (Armenia) - 5th Prize

    Babakhanian has given recitals in the USA, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain and appeared as a soloist with some of the greatest world orchestras. Festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Santander and Baalbec music festivals. Babakhanian has recorded for the ASV and Real Sound labels and his performances have been broadcast on BBC, PBS (USA), ORF(Austria) and RAI (Italy) television networks. His recent recording of the Tchaikovsky piano sonatas has received rave reviews in the European press.

    In addition to his performing career, Mr. Babakhanian has served as jury member for several international piano competitions and in 1999, he founded and served as Artistic Director for the Armenian Legacy International Piano Competition in Yerevan, Armenia.

  • Ekaterina Apekisheva
    Ekaterina Apekisheva (Israel) - 6th Prize

    Apekisheva has appeared as soloist with many of the world's leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic, The Philharmonia Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, The Moscow Philharmonic, The Jerusalem Symphony, The English Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Her solo CD release of Grieg solo piano works on Quartz label in 2008 has received over-whelming critical acclaim. It was chosen by Classic FM as CD of the week and selected by Gramophone Magazine as Editor's Choice. Equally at home as a chamber musician, Katya collaborates with Janine Jansen, Natalie Clein, Maxim Rysanov, Jack Liebeck, Boris Brovtsyn, Alexei Ogrinchouk, Nicholas Daniel among others. In this capacity she is a regular guest at major chamber music festivals around the world. Katya also has a highly successful piano duo partnership with Charles Owen performing regularly at festivals and major London venues.

    This season highlights include Bach Solo recital at Kings Place, performances with Belcea quartet at the Wigmore Hall and Aldeburgh, recitals and recording projects with Jack Liebeck and Maxim Rysanov.