How We Do It
Honens Piano Competition
Every three years, Honens embarks on the search for the next Complete Pianist.
The Competition is open to pianists aged 20 to 30 from around the world. 50 pianists advance to the Quarterfinals in Berlin and New York to perform a 40-minute solo recital. The First Jury, made up of four music professionals, selects ten pianists to advance to the Semifinals in Calgary. Each Semifinalist performs a 65-minute solo recital and a 65-minute collaborative recital. The seven-member Second Jury chooses three Finalists. Each Finalist performs with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the world’s top conductors. One pianist is chosen as Honens Prize Laureate and wins $100,000 and a three year artistic and career development program valued at a half million dollars.
Every September, Honens presents Calgary’s only summer classical music festival.
The event features four days of extraordinary music making, with free and ticketed events. There is something for everyone. The Festival includes innovative and engaging programming from performances by some of the world’s top pianists, an Open Air concert in Central Memorial Park, late night programming, Storytellers for children and learning opportunities for Alberta’s emerging talent.
Every third year, the Festival expands to ten days to include the Competition.
Honens in the Community
Open Air | Open Air takes place during the Festival. Honens takes the music out of the concert hall and into the community. Families are invited to bring a picnic, spread out a blanket and enjoy the sounds of chamber music under the warmth of the sun at Central Memorial Park. The concert features Honens Laureates with international guest festival artists and favourite local classical musicians.
Masterclasses | Honens is committed to discovering future generations of Complete Pianists. Through masterclasses led by Honens Laureates and Competition jurors, music students receive helpful instruction on topics ranging from technical and performance skills to musical style and artistic interpretation. Masterclasses are open to the public at no charge.
Music as a Second Language | Honens’ Music as a Second Language (MSL) performance-lectures are music appreciation courses taught by the experts. Honens Laureates and guest artists give MSL chats prior to select concerts and Competition sessions.
Encore Concerts | During the Competition, Honens presents Competition Semifinalists in free encore concerts at seniors’ centres, community halls and other locations throughout the community.
Storytellers | Storytellers introduces children and family audiences to the fun of classical music through narrated stories set to music for piano.
Storytellers at School | Helping children build an appreciation of music and art is important to Honens. For this reason, Honens has been going into Calgary schools (and moving in a grand piano!) since 1995. Children are inspired to strive for excellence through these enriching experiences.
“I thought it was pretty cool to see a famous pianist come to our school. I learned new things about music and its meaning. When she played it was beautiful. I loved listening to Katherine Chi.”—Brittany B, Grade 6