The 1st International Harpsichord Competition – City of Milan comes from the desire of Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale to discover, promote and support young musicians, and to help them start their own career. Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale has always involved young artists in its events. This competition is the perfect combination between two cornerstones of its mission: the support to young talents and the spreading of early musical heritage.
The main aim of the event is to offer a highly formative experience to the candidates: an experience that will not be just a competition among participants, but a comparison with different cultures, different professional and personal experiences. This could encourage them to express their best as musicians and build a bridge between their present and the future international music scene.
Internationally renowned harpsichordists will judge the candidates: Ottavio Dantone (Italy), Christophe Rousset (France) and Jos van Immerseel (Belgium) will offer to the participants their proven artistic experience, as well as concrete examples of successful international careers.
The competition is part of Milano Arte Musica, international festival of early music, organized by Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale. During its ten editions, the festival has grown considerably in terms of audience, interest and attention from the media, with a strong media coverage on the main local newspapers, on television and on paper/radio specialized press. Since the first years of activity, Milano Arte Musica gave space to young emerging artists, becoming an international showcase of their talent. Being part of Milano Arte Musica means that the competition will be open to the public: this ensures the candidates to perform in front of a large, interested and expert audience, a possibility for the participants to have an anticipation of what might be their artistic future.
Today, more than ever, it is essential to believe in young talents and to support them: Milan and its 1st International Harpsichord Competition are ready to open the doors to emerging musicians and to act as a launch pad for new careers in the early music world.


Regulations

  1. Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale will hold the 1st International Harpsichord Competition of Milan, that will take place in Milan, from July 23rd to July 26th 2017.
  2. The competition is open to applicants of any nationality who have not turned 31 years of age at the date of February 1st 2017.
  3. Deadline for applications is February 1st 2017.
  4. The application form can be downloaded from the website www.lacappellamusicale.com, and it must be sent to concorso@lacappellamusicale.com, completed with the following attachments, February 1st 2017:
  • A recording file for the pre-selection round (.mp3 or .mp4)
  • A copy of the competitor’s ID or passport (PDF)
  • A short curriculum vitae, either in Italian or in English (PDF)
  • One or more recent colour photographs (JPEG, 300 dpi), with no copyrights
  • A copy of the receipt of registration fee (PDF)
  1. The registration fee is € 100 (net of any bank fee) and it has to be transferred to the following account:

Beneficiary: Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale
Bank: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Agenzia 55
Address: Viale Brenta 16/18 - 20139 Milano
IBAN: IT20J0103001645000061199621
BIC: PASCITM1M55
Reason for payment: Milan Competition + Candidate’s surname and name

  1. Registration fee are not refundable for any reason.
  2. Only completed and signed applications will be accepted and examined.
  3. Applicants who decide to withdraw from the competition must communicate it to the competition’s office by sending an email at the following address: concorso@lacappellamusicale.com
  4. The competition consists of three rounds: pre-selection, semifinal and final. All the rounds, except for the pre-selection, are open to the public.
  5. The pre-selection round consists in listening the recorded music file. The recording has to be, if possible, of excellent technical quality and recorded professionally. The recording must not contain any cuts or changes.
  6. Maurizio Croci, Luca Guglielmi and Ketil Haugsand compose the jury of the preselection round.
  7. The recorded copy will be made anonymous. The jury members will evaluate the recording individually.
  8. The applicants have to choice 2 of the following works to perform for the preselection round:

Girolamo Frescobaldi
One toccata to be chosen from Toccate e partite d’intavolatura di cimbalo, first book (Roma, 1615)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Prelude and fugue in G major BWV 860 (First book of The Well-Tempered Clavier)

Louis Marchand
Suite in D minor (Pièces de clavecin, Book 1)
The candidates must perform only these movements:
Prelude, Allemande, Courante I, Chaconne

  1. The applicants will be advised of their acceptance not later than March 15th 2017 by email.
  2. Twelve (12) candidates are admitted to the semifinal round.
  3. I candidati ammessi alla semifinale dovranno comunicare all’indirizzo di posta elettronica concorso@lacappellamusicale.com the titles of the two chosen sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, with the duration.
  4. The selected applicants who decide to withdraw from the semifinal round must communicate it to the competition’s office by sending an email at the following address: concorso@lacappellamusicale.com, within March 29th 2017.
  5. Candidates admitted to semifinal are expected to arrive to the office of Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale on July 23rd at 10 a.m. A document of identification is required. The order of rehearsals and performances will be decided by drawing lots.
  6. Three harpsichords will be provided to candidates for the competition:

German harpsichord with two keyboards: derived from Christian Vater 1738, two GG-e’’’ keyboards, 58 notes, three choirs (2x8 and 1x4)

French harpsichord with two keyboards: copy from J. C. Goujon 1749-J. Swanen 1784, two FF-f ’’’ keyboards, 61 notes, four choirs (2x8, 1x4, Peau de Buffle)

Italian harpsichord: original owned by C. Rousset, anonymous 1639, one keyboard C / E-c ’’’, 45 notes, two choirs (2x8)

  1. Candidates will have the opportunity to try out the harpsichords on July 23rd and 24th, according to the draw order.
  2. The semifinal round will be held on July 25th 2017. Scheduled time will be communicated.
  3. Works to perform:

Louis Couperin
Prelude à l’imitation de Mr Froberger
La Piemontoise

Johann Sebastian Bach
Overture in the French style BWV 831
The candidates must perform only these movements: Ouverture, echo

Domenico Scarlatti
Two sonatas by choice, to be previously communicated to the competition’s office by sending an email at the following address: concorso@lacappellamusicale.com

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Ballo del Granduca SwWV 319

  1. Five (5) candidates will be admitted to the final round.
  2. The final round will be held on July 26th 2017. Scheduled time will be communicated.
  3. Works to perform:

Girolamo Frescobaldi
Cento partite sopra passacagli

François Couperin
Ordre 27ème de clavecin in B minor (Fourth book, 1730)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Italian Concerto BWV 971
…, andante, presto

  1. Ottavio Dantone, Christophe Rousset, and Jos van Immerseel compose the jury of the semifinal and final round. The artistic director, Maurizio Salerno, will be the President of the jury, without the voting right.
  2. All jury’s decisions are final and will not be discussed.
  3. The jury has the right to interrupt the performance of the candidate, or to ask the candidate to perform only parts of the selected works.
  4. Prizes:

1st prize: € 5.000 + a concert offered by Gioventù Musicale d’Italia, a concert offered by Fondation Académie d’Orgue de Fribourg, and a concert offered by Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale within the international festival of early music Milano Arte Musica.

2nd prize: € 3.000 + a concert offered by Urbino Early Music Festival and a concert offered by Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale within the international festival of early music Milano Arte Musica.

3rd prize: € 2.000


  1. The first prize is indivisible
  2. The jury may choose not to award some of the prizes.
  3. Eventual first three (3) classified candidates will perform in a final concert on the evening of July 26th.
  4. All the semi-finalists will receive a diploma of participation.
  5. All candidates are responsible for their travel and accommodation.
  6. The rehearsals, the semifinal and the final round of the competition may be recorded, filmed and broadcast live and/or subsequently by radio, television and Internet. All rights to record, to reproduce on any physical (CD, DVD, etc.) and/or digital support, and to broadcast the live performances and/or subsequently by radio, television and Internet, belong to Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale, with no obligation to recognize any fee.
  7. By entering the competition, the candidates accept and agree all of these rules and of possible changes. All the changes, made by Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale, will be communicated to the participants.
  8. Associazione Culturale La Cappella Musicale takes no responsibility for any eventual damages to candidates or their property during the competition.
  9. The official language of the competition is Italian.
  10. In case of dispute, place of jurisdiction will be Milan. Only Italian text of the competition’s regulations will be considered valid.

Programme

Preselection

Choose 2 of the following works to perform:

Girolamo Frescobaldi
One toccata to be chosen from Toccate e partite d’intavolatura di cimbalo, first book (Roma, 1615)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Prelude and fugue in G major BWV 860 (First book of The Well-Tempered Clavier)

Louis Marchand
Suite in D minor (Pièces de clavecin, Book 1)
The candidates must perform only these movements:
Prelude - Allemande - Courante I - Chaconne

Semifinalabout 35 minutes

Louis Couperin
Prelude à l’imitation de Mr Froberger
La Piemontoise

Johann Sebastian Bach
Overture in the French style BWV 831
The candidates must perform only these movements: Ouverture - Echo

Domenico Scarlatti
Two sonatas at the candidate’s choice, to be previously communicated to the competition’s office by sending an email at the following address: concorso@lacappellamusicale.com

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Ballo del Granduca SwWV 319

Final about 40 minutes

Girolamo Frescobaldi
Cento partite sopra passacagli

François Couperin
Ordre 27ème de clavecin in B minor (Fourth book, 1730)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Italian Concerto BWV 971
… - Andante - Presto

Calendar

02.01.2017

Application Deadline

03.15.2017

Announcement of the preselected candidates

03.29.2017

Deadline for retirement

07.23.2017

(10:00 a.m.) Arrival of the candidates
Draw of the candidates’ performing order

07.23-24.2017

Candidates’ rehearsals

07.25.2017

Semi-final round

07.26.2017

Final round

07.26.2017 (8.30 p.m.)

Award ceremony and performance of eventual first three (3) classified

Harpsichords

German Harpsichord with two keyboards

derived from Christian Vater 1738
two GG-e’’’ keyboards, 58 notes, three choirs (2x8 and 1x4)

French Harpsichord with two keyboards

copy from J.C. Goujon 1749 - J. Swanen 1784
two FF-f’’’ keyboards, 61 notes, four choirs (2x8, 1x4, Peau de Buffle)

Italian Harpsichord

original owned by C. Rousset, anonymous 1639
one keyboard C / E-c’’’, 45 notes, two choirs (2x8)



Download Competition Notice (PDF)