One of the most prestigious international music contests, the P. I. Tchaikovsky contest of young talents, will celebrate its 45th anniversary on Tuesday.
The history of contemporary music competitions dates back to the contest between composers and pianists, organised on the initiative of famous Russian composer, pianist and conductor Anton Rubinstein in 1890. The outstanding musician managed to meet the demands of the time and evaluate the importance of such events, which, as a matter of fact, lay the basis of the career of young musicians.
The P. I. Tchaikovsky international contest, established by the Soviet government in 1958, became one of the most outstanding events on the music arena and the discoverer of young talents.
The title of the contest was not chosen by chance. "Tchaikovsky's extremely sincere and deeply humane music became a symbol of perfect composer's craft, revealing thoughts and feelings of common people," wrote composer Dmitry Shostakovich, the chairman of five contests. The name of the great Russian composer Tchaikovsky and his music largely determined the spirit and character of this creative competition.
Originally, only violinists and pianists took part in the contest. However, in 1966 the contest was held in four categories: piano, violin, cello and solo singing. A serious elimination round precedes the contest. The main contest is held in three stages. The contest programme includes works by major composers and is characterised by difficulty, richness and variety.
The music contest justified its international status and gained prestige from the very beginning. If in 1958, 67 musicians from 21 countries participated in it, in 1998, 524 musicians from 50 countries applied for participation in the contest. The 45-year history of the contest is associated with such outstanding people, as David Oistrakh, Leonid Kogan, Mstislav Rostropovich, Irina Arkhipova and Sergei Lemeshev, who presided over the jury. The contest discovered such names, as Van Cliburn, Valery Klimov, Oleg Kagan, Yelena Obraztsova and Tamara Sinyavskaya. Nowadays, the P. I. Tchaikovsky Moscow International Contest has a great influence on the development of the world music culture, in spite of many rivals.