DATES:  March 9 – 14, 2020

AGE:  13 through 17

LOCATION:  Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA

COMPETITION PIANOS:  Steinway & Sons graciously provides the grand pianos for the Competition and its related events. The Steinway grand piano Model D will be available to the 2020 competitors for action testing on March 7 at the Round I and Round II competition venue.

COMPETITION ROUNDS:  The 2020 Hilton Head International Piano Competition will consist of three rounds of competition.

  • Round I                            20 Competitors
  • Round II                           20 Competitors
  • Round III – Finals               5 Competitors


COMPETITOR SELECTION JURY:  The Competitor Selection Jury will evaluate, without discussion, all video audition files on the basis of commonly accepted musical criteria. The Jury will then select twenty (20) competitors to compete in the 2020 Hilton Head International Piano Competition. The Jury will also provide the competition administration with a rank ordered list of alternates.  The Jury’s decision is final.



  • Janice Weber – chair, USA
  • Soyeon Kate Lee – South Korea/USA
  • Jack Winerock – USA



  • Douglas Humpherys – USA , Chair
  • Christopher Elton – United Kingdom
  • Miyoko Lotto – Japan
  • Yong Hi Moon – South Korea
  • Matti Raekallio – Finland


COMPETITOR ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DATES:  All competitors are expected to arrive on either Thursday, March 5 (for those traveling from international locations), or Friday, March 6 (for those traveling from U.S. locations) and to depart on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

HOST FAMILY ACCOMMODATIONS:  Each competitor stays in the home of a Host Family from arrival on March 5 or 6 to departure March 15, 2020, who provides lodging, food, all local transportation, and a grand piano for practice. If a competitor wants to stay in the Hilton Head area for any days falling before or after the period of March 5 – 14, they will be responsible for arrangements and payment for their own lodging, food, and transportation for those extra days.

TRANSPORTATION:  The Competition will reimburse up to $500 in travel costs for each of the twenty (20) competitors.  Chaperones must travel to and from Hilton Head on their own expense.


  • Saturday and Sunday, March 7:  Action testing of competition piano;
  • Saturday, March 7: welcome party for competitors, chaperones and host families; drawing for performance order
  • Monday and Tuesday, March 9 & 10: Round I
  • Wednesday and Thursday, March 11 & 12: Round II
  • Friday, March 13: Master Classes and School Ambassador Program; rehearsals with the HHSO for the finalists
  • Saturday, March 14: One-on-One Conversations with the Judges in the morning;
  • Saturday, March 14:  Round IV Finals (Awards Ceremony & Reception)



First Prize: $10,000 US cash prize, plus:

  • Concerto performance with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra (2020-2021 Season)
  • Other offered engagements, subject to arrangements with presenters

Second Prize: $5,000 US cash prize

Third Prize: $3,000 US cash prize

2 Medalists: $1,000 US cash prize each

Sascha Gorodnitzki Memorial Prize: $1,000 judges’ discretionary cash prize

Peter Takács Classical Sonata Prize:  $1000

In honor of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the Takács Prize will be for the best performance of a Beethoven sonata.