The Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition began as the BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY SUMMER PIANO FESTIVAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION hosted by Brigham Young University as part of the Summer Piano Festival for a five-year period (1976-1980). The name of Gina Bachauer was given to the competition in honor of the great Greek pianist who was a celebrated favorite of Utah audiences and appeared with Maurice Abravanel and the Utah Symphony in concert during eight subscription concerts. In 1980, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition relocated to Salt Lake City under the patronage of the Utah Symphony. The competition was held on a biennial schedule, every other year, during the month of June. During this period, the Gold Medalist received a Steinway Grand Piano and a New York recital debut.
In 1983, the Foundation was admitted as a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions based in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1987, the Foundation instituted international auditions in 17 cities worldwide for the purpose of identifying qualified applicants. That same year the first Junior International Competition for pianists ages 8-18 was inaugurated, which was modeled after the original competition. In 1990, two junior international piano competitions were held during different weeks, addressing the talents of two different age levels. The years continued with alternating competitions, those of the junior levels and the original competition featuring candidates ranging from 19-32 years in age. In 1995, the four-year cycle of various international competitions was set into the Foundation’s schedule. They included the two Junior Competitions, the original Artists Competitions of ages 19-32, and the newly created Amateur Piano Competition for non-professional musicians ages 33-100. The four-year schedule was fully operational in 1999. 2003 marked the first Amateur Artists Piano Competition. In 2004, the Foundation sponsored the GINA BACHAUER INTERNATIONAL PIANO TEAMS and JUNIOR PIANO COMPETITIONS. Groups of 5 pianists performing at 5 pianos were held and music was written especially for this combination. In 2005, the Young Artists Piano Competition for competitors ages 14-18. Candidates from every continent and more than 40 countries have participated as contestants in these international competitions.
In total, the Foundation has sponsored the following competitions since its beginnings in 1976.
- 14 Artists International Competitions (ages 19-32)
- 8 Young Artists International Competitions (ages 14-18) (previous years ages 8-11)
- 3 Junior International Piano Competitions (ages 11-13)
- 1 Amateur International Piano Competition (ages 33-100)
- 2 International Piano Ensemble Competitions (all ages)
- 22 International Piano Festivals
11 Steinway Grand Pianos have been presented to Gold Medalists and 4 Studio pianos have been presented to Gold Medalists of Junior Competitions.
Cash prizes totaling more than $300,000 have been awarded to 150 laureates. More than 1,000 pianists have participated as competitors in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions
Over 3,500 pianists have auditioned in more than 25 cities worldwide for acceptance to the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions.
In 2002, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation inaugurated several new procedures for the direction and management of the competitions. It was decided that all candidates for the Artists Competition would be accepted by a “live” audition at a selected worldwide site of choice. For the recital programs of the competition, a new procedure allows each competitor to perform three rounds without elimination, thereby giving each candidate an opportunity to be heard by the international jury members in a total of almost 100 minutes of solo literature prior to any judgment being rendered. Also, each candidate became totally responsible for selection of their own repertory, as no required or specific works were suggested or required as part of the competition recitals.
The Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation is proud to celebrate its 32nd year of operation and takes pride in the success of the large number of successful candidates who have won prizes for many years and continue to perform throughout the world.
Official Mission Statement
The mission of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation is to further the pianistic art, foster excellence in performance and teaching, develop opportunities for pianists beyond the scope of the organization and offer leadership in developing a musically-educated citizenry. By holding international piano competitions, solo recitals, and educational sessions, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation aims to: Enrich the community by providing significant musical experiences for audiences and performers. Build an artistic/educational environment that will educate musicians and non-musicians to a higher caliber of performance and appreciation. Recognize and encourage superb artistry and assist career development of deserving young pianists. Promote and perpetuate the pianistic art.