Due to COVID-19, we are currently reviewing the delivery format of the 2020 Festival. 


Application deadlines for the Competition and the Masterclasses HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO 01 AUGUST 2020

Please subscribe to our email newsletter here for the latest information or revisit our webpage for further updates. 

Widely recognised as one of Australia’s most prestigious classical music festivals, the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival attracts young gifted musicians from around the world each year and features a stellar teaching faculty and competition jury.  Built on a vision to promote the pursuit of music among young people, the festival provides a rare chance for aspiring musicians to study with the best teachers and experience the joy and excitement of performing on a world-class stage.   

In 2020, the festival will again offer a series of masterclasses and competitions, where students will have the opportunity to work closely with our resident and guest artists and showcase their talent.  Top students from the competitions will also receive a special invitation to perform in the annual festival Gala Concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre, on the evening of 5 August, and a special winners' concert hosted by Yamaha Music Australia later in the year.   


For more information about both the masterclasses and competitions, please see below.


Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival

Kenji Fujimura (Piano)

International Academy of Musical Arts;

The University of Melbourne


Elizabeth Sellars (Violin)

International Academy of Musical Arts;

The University of Melbourne

Elizabeth Mitchell.png

Elizabeth Mitchell (Piano)

The University of Melbourne


Julia Lu (Piano)

International Academy of Musical Arts

MASTERCLASSES - **PLEASE NOTE: these dates are subject to change**

Saturday 1 August(TBC)

  • 9:30am-12:30pm: Piano Masterclass with Dr Kenji Fujimura

  • 1:00pm-4:00pm: Piano Masterclass with Dr Elizabeth Mitchell

Sunday 2 August (TBC)

  • 9:30am-11:30am: Strings Masterclass with Dr Elizabeth Sellars

  • 11:30am-4:00pm: Piano Masterclass with Dr Kenji Fujimura

Venue: Yamaha Premium Piano Centre, 17B Market St, South Melbourne VIC 3205

COMPETITION - **new deadline for entries: 01 AUGUST 2020**


Due to the high number of applications we received in 2019, the format of the competitions will change from live competitions to audition videos in 2020.  This will enable more students to participate in the competition, regardless of their geographical location and time commitments.  

The most outstanding performers from the competition may be invited to perform in a special winners‘ recital in Melbourne sponsored by our festival partner, Yamaha Music Australia.

  • Accepted Instruments: Piano, violin, viola, cello.

  • Age restrictions: Age calculated as of 1 August, 2020.


Click each age category below to show section details:

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Age Category Sphere 2.png
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Key Dates and Awards (**Please note that the information below has been modified due to COVID-19. 
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  • All applications must be submitted by 5pm, 01 AUGUST 2020, Australian Eastern Standard Time.

  • Applicants will be notified of the competition outcome via email by 01 OCTOBER 2020.

  • All prizewinners will be emailed a certificate issued by the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival.

  • Top selected candidates may be invited to perform in a special prize-winners' concert of the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival. The date for this event will be confirmed at a later date.

  • Due to current social isolation requirements, String players may submit works without an accompanist, or a performance accompanied by a pre-recorded backing track.

  • Any candidate chosen to perform in the prize-winners' concert will be responsible for arranging their own travel to and accommodation in Melbourne, at their own cost. 

Repertoire Regulations
  • The repertoire presented must adhere to the time limit specified in the Categories Information above. Entries will be penalised if the submission exceeds the total allocated time.

  • Applicants may submit a maximum of two videos for each section (i.e. two works in the Romantic section) as long as the works are different.

  • An applicant may enter a into an older age category, i.e. a 13-year-old competitor may also enter the 17 and 25 years and under categories with separate entries.

  • A candidate may replace a video already submitted as long as it is before the closing date.  However the new submission will incur a new application fee and no refund will be given for the earlier submission.  Candidates must also inform the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival of any replacement videos by email (office@iamusica.org), following the submission of the new application form.

  • Applicants are permitted to submit a single movement or select movements from a multi-movement work as long as it does not exceed the maximum total duration allowed for the section.

  • Applicants for the piano sections must only present solo works (i.e. no concerti or accompanied works).

  • Entries may be submitted on the same application form, or on different application forms, as long as they are received before the closing date.

  • All videos must be uploaded to an online platform (e.g. Youtube, Google Drive, Youku etc.) and the link included in the application form.  Videos need to remain available for viewing by the jury until after 31 December 2020.

  • If a candidate is selected to perform in a special prize-winners' concert, the work presented for the concert must be the same work as the one selected by the jury from the video audition.

General and Judging Rules
  • In these rules and regulations, the word “Committee” shall mean “The Management Committee of the International Academy of Musical Arts”.

  • The Committee reserves the right to determine the status of any competitor and the application and interpretation of these rules.

  • The Committee reserves the right to invite some or all of the first-prize winners and any other candidates from the competition to perform in the Gala Concert.

  • The Committee reserves the right to amend the program at any time, such as vary the competitive sections, or replace jury members due to unforeseen circumstances. 

  • The decision of the jury is final and cannot be disputed.

  • Jury members are not allowed to judge former or current students (excluding from masterclasses and festivals). In the event that a former or current student of a jury member has applied, the applicant will be judged by the remaining jury members.

  • The International Academy of Musical Arts respects diversity and the competition does not discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, or political association.

  • The competitor grants the International Academy of Musical Arts broadcast rights to film, photograph, record, broadcast, live stream, reproduce, transmit, and show via different media platforms and channels for the purpose of promoting the current and future programs in Australia and internationally.  

  • Performers and members of the audience may not film, photograph, record, or broadcast the performances in the Gala Concert without prior written consent from the Committee. 

For further information, please email office@iamusica.org

PRIZE-WINNERS' CONCERT - **PLEASE NOTE: this is subject to change**

Due to the current COVID-19 issues, the Gala Concert of the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival - one of the most anticipated events in Melbourne each year - will not be going ahead as planned. In its place a special Prize-winners' concert may be held after the competition results have been announced.  The date for this Concert will be announced in due course.


  • Competitions: $52.50 AUD per work submitted.  

  • Masterclasses: $100 AUD per participant per session.

  • An administrative fee of $90 AUD will be payable by the candidate performing at the Gala Concert.


Before you apply, please read carefully the full Terms & Conditions and Model Release.


© 2020 International Academy of Musical Arts, part of the Sapiente Group, ABN 37 615 343 103. All rights reserved.


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