semi-finalists and dates announced for the 2024 Alexis gregory vendome prize in partnership with the mannes school of music

Prestigious international piano competition takes place in NYC from January 17-20, 2024

NEW YORK, December 18, 2023 – Mannes School of Music at The New School’s College of Performing Arts is thrilled to announce the schedule of events for the new partnership with the Alexis Gregory Foundation - the Alexis Gregory Vendome Prize in Partnership with the Mannes School of Music. Following a grant made by the foundation, the Mannes School of Music will manage, host and present this prestigious international piano competition. The semi-final performances will take place on January 17 and 18, while the finalists will perform on the last day, January 20. The winner of the Vendome Prize will be announced in the evening on January 20. All sessions take place at the Alvin Johnson / J.M. Kaplan Hall at 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY. Admission is free and open to the public with registration.

“Piano has been vital to Mannes since its founding in 1916, particularly considering that Clara Mannes Damrosch was a pianist. We are very pleased to partner with the Alexis Gregory Foundation, a long-term patron of Mannes, to host the Vendome Prize and look forward to an even brighter future for the competition and its impact on the field,” said Richard Kessler, Dean of Mannes.

Created by the late art historian and collector Alexis Gregory, the first Vendome Prize took place at the UNESCO Palace in Paris in November 2000. Over the next 23 years, Vendome established successful partnerships with the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon (2003 - 2009) and The Verbier Festival in Switzerland (2014 - 2019). The most recent competition (2022) took place in New York City at the Morgan Library & Museum. 

The purpose of the Vendome Prize is to seek out, reward, support, and guide future professional artists who are technically perfect, magnetic, original, ambitious, in possession of a large repertoire and ready to undertake the challenges of a performing career. Throughout the years the prize has built an enviable reputation of discovering extraordinary talent and bringing it to the attention of the music world.

“We are delighted that we have been able to conclude a collaboration between the foundation and The Mannes School of Music to jointly produce The Vendome Prize for at least the next five years. The Vendome Prize, first conceived by Alexis Gregory of New York and Paris, is a unique and very well respected showcase for young pianists all over the globe. The prize, started over 25 years ago, has featured some of the world’s finest young pianists. After Alexis’ death in 2020 we have searched both here and abroad for the ideal partner to continue this bi-annual event into the future. We were truly delighted to be able to enter into collaboration with one of the world’s great schools of music. It is our fondest hope that this collaboration, under the direction of Matei Varga, will take this renowned competition to new heights," said Peter Gregory, President of the Alexis Gregory Foundation.

Many of the pianists who first triumphed at the Vendome have gone on to win major awards and now have resonant international careers: Boris Giltburg and Denis Kozhukhin (1st prize winners at the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in Brussels), Mannes alumnus Yekwon Sunwoo (Gold Medal at The Cliburn), Stephen Beus (Gold Medal at Gina Bachauer), George Li (Silver Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow), Dmytro Choni (current Bronze Medal at The Cliburn) and most recently the 2022 Vendome co-winner Maxim Lando (Gilmore Young Artist Award). The Vendome jury has included leading musicians such as Byron Janis, Philippe Entremont, Marin Alsop, Stephen Kovacevich, Joan Sutherland, Elisabeth Leonskaja, and Joaquin Achucarro. Jeffrey Tate was Chairman of the competition from its inauguration until his death in 2017, after which the position went to British pianist Gordon Back. It has been described by Le Figaro as “the world’s most prestigious competition."

Pianist Matei Varga, who has been associated with Vendome for 14 years, will serve as Artistic Director of the prize for the five-year period. Mr. Varga, himself an alumnus of Mannes, is a celebrated performer and recording artist who has been described by the international press as “the greatest young Romanian pianist before the public today." He has won two special awards at earlier Vendome editions (2003 and 2006), alongside top honors at the “George Enescu” and “Maria Canals” piano competitions in Europe. Since 2008, Mr. Varga worked closely with Alexis Gregory, ensuring that Vendome continued and developed in the spirit in which it was created. “Alex dedicated much of his life and energy to discovering exceptionally talented young pianists. He followed their careers and offered individual help and guidance to many who competed for the Vendome Prize. We are happy to continue the prize for hopefully many years to come, and I know that this would make Alex very, very happy,” said Mr. Varga.

Vendome is a recommendation-based only competition. Each year its Advisory Board submits their recommendations of outstanding young pianists whom they believe to be at the highest level of excellence in this field. The current Advisory Board includes 45 names, among them President of the 2024 Board, Pavlina Dokovska, and Chairman of the Jury, Gordon Back.

Alexis Gregory Vendome Prize in Partnership with the Mannes School of Music

Robert Bily
Roman Fediurko
Yuzhang Li
Anthony Ratinov
Julian Trevelyan
Andrzej Wierciński
Zihao Wu
Jialin Yao
Dmitry Yudin
Ido Zeev

Please see bios and the full program here.

Schedule of Events:

JANUARY 17 – 20, 2024


Wednesday, January 17, 2024 · Semi-final Round (Day 1)
10:30 am –2:00 pm: Session 1
3:30 pm –5:30 pm: Session 2
Thursday, January 18, 2024 · Semi-final Round (Day 2)
10:30 am –2:00 pm: Session 3
3:30 pm –5:30 pm: Session 4*

*Finalists announced around 6:30 pm

Saturday, January 20, 2024 · Final Round
5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
9:15 pm: Award Ceremony

Admission is Free with Registration.

The College of Performing Arts at The New School was formed in 2015 and draws together the Mannes School of Music, the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances.

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