The 1981 Competition
  1. Ian Hobson (United Kingdom)

  2. Wolfgang Manz (Germany)

  3. Bernard d'Ascoli (France)

  4. Daniel Blumenthal (United States)

  5. Christopher O'Riley (United States)

  6. Peter Donohoe (United Kingdom)

  • Chairman: Dame Fanny Waterman DBE

  • Marie-Antoinette Lévêque de Freitas Branco

  • Rudolf Fischer

  • Claude Frank

  • Peter Frankl

  • Orazio Frugoni

  • Hans Graf

  • Moura Lympany

  • Nina Milkina

  • Daniel Pollack

  • Béla Síki

  • Abbey Simon

  • Hugo Steurer

  • Arie Vardi

  • Wiktor Weinbaum

  • First Stage

    Competitors must choose one work from Group 1, one from Group 2 And two from Group 3:

    Group 1

    Bach: French Overture in B min

    Partita No. 4 in D

    Partita No. 6 in E min

    Beethoven: Sonata in D min, Op. 31 No, 2

    Sonata in C, Op. 53 (‘Waldstein’)

    Sonata in F min, Op. 57 (‘Apassionata’)

    Haydn: Sonatain A flat, Hob. XVI No. 24  

    Sonata in E flat, Hob. XVI No. 45

    Mozart: Sonata in B flat, K. 570

    Sonata in D, K. 576

    Group 2

    Brahms: 16 Waltzes, Op. 39

    2 Rhapsodies, Op. 79 No. 1 and No. 2

    Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G min, Op. 23

    Ballade No. 2 in F, Op. 38

    Ballade No. 3 in A flat, Op. 47

    Ballade No. 4 in F min, Op. 52

    Mendelssohn: Andante and Rondo capriccioso in E, Op. 14

    Schumann: Novelette, Op. 21 No. 8

    Fantasiestücke, Op. 12

    Group 3

    Bartók: One study from Op. 18

    Debussy: One of the 12 Etudes

    Etude No. 5 in E min (Bk. 2)

    Liszt: One of the 12 Transcendental Studies

    Scarlatti: One sonata

  • Second Stage

    Candidates must offer one from each group:

    Group 1

    Bach: 153-part Inventions

    Beethoven: Sonata in A flat, Op. 110

    Sonata:in C min, Op. 111

    Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a theme of Handel, Op.24

    Chopin: Sonata in B min, Op. 58

    Liszt: Sonata in B min

    Mozart: Sonata in C min, K. 457

    Schubert: Sonata in A min, D845

    Fantasy, Op. 17

    Prokofiev: Sonata No. 6

    Group 2

    Bartók: Sonata (1926)

    Britten: Holiday Diary, Op. 5

    Busoni: Sonatina No. 6 (‘Carmen’ Fantasy)

    Janáček: Sonata No. 1 (1905)

    Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales

    Shostakovich: Any two preludes and fugues

    Tippett: Sonata No. 2

    Webern :Variations, Op. 27

  • Semi Final

    A recital programme of the competitor’s own choice lasting Approximately 45 minutes. The competitor must not repeat a piece previously played by him or her in the Competition. Competitors must choose one of the following chamber works, to be played with the Gabrieli String Quartet:


    Piano Quartet in G min, Op. 25 3

    Piano Quintet in F min, Op. 34


    Piano Quintet in A, Op. 81


    Piano Quartet No. 2 in G min, Op. 45 (mvts. 1 and 2)


    Piano Quartet in E flat, K. 493


    Piano Quintet in E flat, Op. 44

  • Final Stage

    Each of the 6 finalists will play one of the following concertos with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Groves:


    No.2 in E BVW 1053


    No.2, Sz. 95


    No.2 in B flat, Op. 19

    No.3 in C min, Op. 37

    No.4 in G, Op. 58


    No.1 in D min, Op. 15


    A min


    A min, Op. 16


    No.1 in G min, Op. 25


    E flat, K. 271 Dmin, K. 466


    No.2 in C min, Op. 18


    A min, Op. 54

Career Highlights
  • Ian Hobson
    Ian Hobson (United Kingdom) - 1st Prize

    Increasingly, Hobson is in demand as a conductor, particularly for performances in which he doubles as piano soloist. He made his debut with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra as conductor and soloist in October 1997. Hobson is also active as an opera conductor with a wide range of repertoire. A much sought-after judge for both national and international competitions, Hobson was invited at the specific request of Van Cliburn to participate as a juror for both the preliminary and final rounds and in 1998 he acted as juror, performed as a recitalist and conducted the final round of the Artur Rubinstein Competition in Poland. In March of 2000 he was a juror for the Chopin Competition in Florida. In September 2001 he joined the jury for the International Pianoforte Competition Cologne (Foundation Tomassoni) in Germany.

  • Wolfgang Manz
    Wolfgang Manz (Germany) - 2nd Prize

    Since his success at famous competitions Wolfgang Manz has been much in demand as a soloist with orchestras, in solo recitals and chamber music. His repertoire includes more than 50 concertos with orchestra and an extensive solo and chamber music programme ranging from Bach to Contemporary Music. Since 1986 Wolfgang Manz is regularly involved in ballet productions at the opera houses in Zurich, Leipzig , Munich, Berlin, Dresden and Karlsruhe, where he takes an important function as piano soloist.

    Apart from his career as soloist Wolfgang Manz has gained much recognition as pedagogue. He has given masterclasses in Belgium, Austria and South Corea. From 1994-1998 Manz held a teaching position at the University of Music at Karlsruhe. In 2000 Manz was guest professor at the Ferris – University in Yokohama / Japan. In the same year he was appointed ordinary professor for piano at the University of Music Nürnberg-Augsburg. In November 2011 Manz was appointed “guest visiting professor” at the Leeds College of Music in Britain. Wolfgang Manz is recently sought after as a jury member in national and international piano competitions.

  • Bernard d'Ascoli
    Bernard d'Ascoli (France) - 3rd Prize

    Bernard d'Ascoli first came to major public attention in 1981 when, following his Third Prize in the Leeds International Piano Competition, he made his London debut both in recital and with orchestra and recorded the Liszt sonata and other works for EMI, later re-issued on CD. He was soon performing in many of the world's most prestigious venues. He has performed with most London and other British orchestras as well as with many major overseas ensembles. He has participated in prestigious international festivals such as the BBC Proms, Sintra, Oviedo, Besançon or La Roque d'Anthéron. In 2000 he was a special guest of the Sydney Olympic festivities, appearing at the Opera House both as recitalist and soloist with the Sydney Symphony. He is founder and Artistic Director of PIANO CANTABILE an organisation based in France which is dedicated to the coaching and professional support of highly-gifted young pianists.

    His particular affinity with the music of Chopin led him to undertake the recording of the complete Scherzi and Impromptus and a double album of the complete Nocturnes for the Athene-Minerva label. The latter CD was selected as an "Editor’s Choice" in the "Gramophone" magazine.

  • Daniel Blumenthal
    Daniel Blumenthal (United States) - 4th Prize

    Daniel Blumenthal enjoys an international reputation as soloist, concert musician and chamber artist. He is professor at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, Belgium. He is artist professor at the Thy Masterclass Chamber Music Festival, Denmark. Blumenthal has recorded more than 80 compact discs.

  • Christopher O'Riley
    Christopher O'Riley (United States) - 5th Prize

    As a prestigious artist, pianist and national media personality, O'Riley has dazzled the world over on stage, the radio and his records. His memorable interpretations of traditional and popular repertoire make him a cherished bridge between musical tastes, genres and audiences worldwide.

  • Peter Donohoe
    Peter Donohoe (United Kingdom) - 6th Prize

    Peter Donohoe has built an extraordinary world-wide career, encompassing a huge repertoire and over forty years’ experience as a pianist, as well as continually exploring many other avenues in music-making. He is acclaimed as one of the foremost pianists of our time, for his musicianship, stylistic versatility and commanding technique.

    He is vice-president of the Birmingham Conservatoire and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates of Music from the Universities of Birmingham, Central England, Warwick, East Anglia, Leicester and The Open University. Peter Donohoe was awarded a CBE for services to music in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.