World Pianist Invitational - Where the world's promising pianists meet and compete

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What is the World Pianist Invitational?

The World Pianist Invitational is your opportunity to earn prestige and recognition on an international stage. The WPI is a world-class international classical piano competition. The preliminary round of the competition will consist of an online application component. All WPI competitors will earn rankings in the first round. The top five scoring pianists in each age group will be named WPI Phenom Laureates. Each of these twenty-five finalists will receive a personal invitation to perform during the live competition finals at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC on Saturday, July 12, 2014. At this event, the top young classical pianists from across the globe (ages 6-29) will compete for more than $10,000 (USD) in cash scholarships, as well as the significant honor of performing at one of the world’s most renowned performing arts venues.

When and where will the final performance round of the World Pianist Invitational be hosted?

The World Pianist Invitational will be held in the Terrace Theater of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington DC, USA, on July 12, 2014. Music competitions are often held in auditoriums and performing arts centers on university and college campuses across the United States and around the world. Some are held in community performing arts centers. Although these can be very fine venues, few can come close to matching the prestige of performing at the internationally renowned Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. All WPI Phenom Laureates will join a select group of musicians from around the world who have been invited to perform in person at The Kennedy Center.

How much will be awarded in cash scholarships to the WPI Phenom Laureates finalists and how can the cash awards be used?

The WPI Foundation guarantees that at least $10,000.00 in cash scholarships will be awarded to the WPI Phenom Laureates who perform at The Kennedy Center Final Round and Gala concert on July 12, 2014. The cash scholarships are presented to support each award winner's musical aspirations and may be used by the winner without restriction.

What is the cost of participating in The 2014 World Pianist Invitational program as a competitor?

The World Pianist Invitational Board of Directors strives to make this premier competition one of the most competitively priced world-class opportunities for aspiring international pianists available. WPI competitors will pay a one-time $220 registration fee when they upload their performances to the WPI secure website. No additional fees or charges are required to participate in the complete 2014 WPI program.

This one-time entry fee will cover all of the following: registration, preliminary and final round competition, adjudication, written judges’ critiques, ranking, and certificates of participation. There are no additional required competition fees for each of the talented musicians that qualify for the Final Round performance at The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

In addition, for those competitors who advance to the WPI Final Round, all of the following will be included in the one-time entry fee: practice sessions in DC, adjudication, live and written judges’ critiques, framed personalized Kennedy Center certificates of placement, VIP receptions, 1 ticket (plus 4 additional tickets for family members or friends) to attend The Kennedy Center Final Round and Gala performance.


In the case of an emergency cancellation by one of the competitors, the following rules will be followed:

Cancellation on or before May 2, 2014
A full refund (100%) of the registration fee will be provided to the person who paid, provided the competitor’s file has not already been sent to adjudicators for evaluation.

Cancellation from May 3, 2014 through May 8, 2014
A partial refund (50%) of the registration fee will be provided to the person who paid. The remaining 50% of the registration fee will offset staff time already spent certifying the application, assigning the competitor to the correct category, and reserving an adjudicator’s time for judging the competitor.

Cancellation on or after May 9, 2014
No refund (0%) will be provided. The certification process for the application will have already been completed. The video links will have been sent to the judges at this point. After this point, the Preliminary Round adjudication will have already begun.

How does The World Pianist Invitational classical piano competition maintain its high ethical and performance standards?

The World Pianist Invitational Foundation Board of Directors has adopted the rigorous guidelines of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC), Geneva, Switzerland. The WFIMC guidelines require that its member competitions follow strict protocols and competitive structure designed to ensure the highest levels of integrity, fairness and competitive process in the industry.

How does The World Pianist Invitational ensure that its judges are qualified and follow the highest standards for competitive integrity?

WPI uses certified adjudicators from throughout the international music community. The World Pianist Invitational Judicial Committee will annually certify a truly remarkable and accomplished team of international music judges. The WPI guidelines of adjudication for both the preliminary and final performance rounds of the WPI competition will assure that all appropriate standards for international diversity and representation are addressed. The WPI competition uses the established guidelines of The World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva, Switzerland.

What makes The World Pianist Invitational classical piano competition so exciting?

One of the World’s Most Prestigious Cities Hosts one of the World’s Most Prestigious Music Events. Washington, DC is among a select few cities in the world that is a “must see” city for global visitors. In addition to the many competitors who will participate in this event from across the United States, there will also be a significant number of international competitors (ages 6-29) from around the globe. The opportunity to visit and perform in person at a major music competition, in the capitol of The United States of America, will be a life changing event for these aspiring musicians from throughout the world.

What are the age groups for competitors in The World Pianist Invitational?

WPI age groups are Young Musicians (6-9 years old), Junior Musicians (10-13 years old), Intermediate Musicians (14-17 years old), Advanced Musicians (18-21 years old) and Graduate Musicians (22-29 years old). Pianists will compete only within their respective age group for both preliminary and performance rounds of the competition. Competitors will qualify for their age group based on their actual age as of July 12, 2014, the date of the Final Round performance at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Government issued identification (proof of age) will be required.

How are the “preliminary” and “performance” round WPI judges selected?

WPI uses certified preliminary and performance round judges. Qualification standards for WPI judges are consistent or higher than those of many other international music competitions. Each WPI International judge is required to apply and meet or exceed WPI’s experience and quality standards. Each judge is vetted and then certified by the WPI Judicial Committee. The WPI Judicial Committee will ensure that the WPI judges represent some of the most accomplished musicians, performers and music educators in the world. WPI judges are paid for their adjudication services by The WPI Foundation.

Why does The World Pianist Invitational limit its competition to classical piano?

The WPI focuses on classical piano music. Many music competitions today focus on instruments other than piano. Of those competitions that are piano-centric, jazz and/or piano composition seem to be the “genre de jour.” Surprisingly few competitions hosted in the US today are fully dedicated to classical piano. This provides a unique opportunity for WPI to address an under-served yet highly coveted subset of music and music lovers. In addition, it is important to note that classical piano is considered to be the international music “gold standard” in many countries and among many international music lovers. Today there are more than 35 million piano students in China alone.

What does The World Pianist Invitational do to ensure fairness in the judging of its competitors?

The WPI uses blind judging throughout its Preliminary Round. In the WPI, each competitor's identification details (name, address, nationality, age, etc.) will be hidden from the preliminary round judges. Each WPI competitor’s application will be reviewed by WPI staff. Once our staff has determined the an application is complete and conforms with the established rules, the applicant will receive a unique WPI competitor number. This number and the associated video performance file will be sent to the assigned team of judges. Using this protocol, judges will not know the name, nationality or exact age of the competitors for which they are adjudicating. This process greatly reduces the opportunity for adjudication bias. In the event that a judge is coincidentally familiar with a particular applicant, he/she will be required to withdraw from judging that applicant.

Why does WPI prefer to take applications and video performances over the Internet?

The WPI makes efficient use of current technology. The WPI Board of Directors has taken full advantage of technology, the Internet and social media. Most music competitions today still rely on applications and performance DVDs sent through the mail. Mailing applicant files creates significant processing delays, administrative issues, extra costs and hardship, especially for international competitors. WPI has leveraged a custom, elegant and cost-effective web-based application which facilitates competition information, registration, adjudication and competitor feedback, all within a secure and easy to operate online website. The WPI secure website allows our competitors and judges to confirm that their applications have been registered properly and their submissions are complete.

Is The World Pianist Invitational Foundation a non-profit organization?

The World Pianist Invitational Foundation is a Federal 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, incorporated in the State of Delaware. Sponsor funds contributed to The World Pianist Invitational Foundation will go to directly benefit the World Pianist International competitors as they perfect their artistic development and musical skills. More than 90% of all funds contributed to the Foundation are expressly earmarked to support the following:

* Cash scholarships for WPI Phenom Laureates

* Constructive written critiques and feedback summaries for each WPI competitor, delivered by a certified team of paid international music judges.

What are the rigorous requirements to become a WPI judge?

WPI uses Certified Adjudication Teams. Individuals aspiring to become a WPI judge must complete a WPI application that includes professional references. Each judge's application is carefully reviewed and evaluated by the WPI Judicial Committee. As part of the certification process, each WPI judge is required to review, approve and sign the WPI Official Adjudication Guidelines and Agreement. Each judge is paid by WPI for their adjudication services.

What is the judging process to qualify for an invitation to perform in the Final Round at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and qualify for cash scholarships?

WPI has two rounds in its competition process. In the preliminary round competition, each WPI competitor’s file (including their unique competitor number, the age range and the video file) will be assigned and distributed electronically to two (2) independent certified international judges. Each judge will adjudicate each of their assigned competitors, complete the appropriate critique and scoring forms online, and send them back to the WPI headquarters. The two judges’ scores for each competitor will be combined for a total preliminary round competition score. The total score will determine each competitor’s ranking within their age group. The top five scoring competitors within each age group will receive a personal invitation to perform as Phenom Laureates at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In the performance round of the competition, each finalist's performance will be adjudicated by five (5) certified independent international judges. The scoring process for the final round will be similar to the preliminary rounds. The total of the five judges’ final performance round scores will determine each Phenom Laureate’s ranking within his/her age group and the amount of the cash scholarship to be awarded.

How can participation in The World Pianist Invitational classical piano competition enhance my musical aspirations?

A World Pianist Invitational Certificate enhances a pianist's credentials. The WPI Committee will present a personalized World Pianist Invitational Certificate of Completion to each WPI competitor. In addition, each Phenom Laureate will receive a personalized WPI Certificate identifying him/her as a performance finalist in the Kennedy Center World Pianist Invitational competition. The Kennedy Center World Pianist Invitational Certificate will be a coveted asset in the musical portfolio of each WPI competitor. Kennedy Center World Pianist Invitational Certificates will serve as supporting credentials for those pianists seeking acceptance to musical schools, university programs or conservatories. Some institutions may issue educational credits for participation in international music competitions at the level of WPI.

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