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The finals
The finals
Six outstanding young pianists will have the opportunity to perform with the Manchester Camerata and conductor Stephen Threlfall.

About Manchester Camerata

Glastonbury openers, UK Ensemble of the Year (RPS Music Awards 2017) and ‘Probably Britain’s most adventurous orchestra’ (The Times) – Manchester Camerata is redefining what an orchestra can do.

Famous for innovation, we pop up in all sorts of places, from concert halls to care homes, and collaborate with a spectrum of artists, from classical superstars like Martha Argerich to iconic band, New Order. We opened the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this year with our collaboration with the Hacienda DJs. Our Music Director and conductor, Gábor Takács-Nagy, is one of the finest musicians on the planet, and a magnet for international artists. A Registered Charity, we’re at the forefront of music-led dementia research, and our pioneering community programme helps to promote social change in our communities.

Stephen Threlfall’s current role as Director of Music at Chetham’s School of Music, the UK’s leading music school, is a happy culmination of many years’ experience in the professional music world. An alumnus of the Royal Northern College of Music, Stephen’s career took him first to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, where he was Sub-Principal Cello, before becoming Director of Music at Benenden School. At the same time, his reputation as a conductor and educator was growing rapidly.
As a conductor, Stephen has earned much acclaim for his performances, recordings and broadcasts. He has conducted at many major venues and festivals in the UK and with many international solo artists. Engagements have taken him to the USA, Europe and Scandinavia, with regular visits to the Urals Philharmonic and Bach Orchestras in Yekaterinburg, the Royal Oman Symphony and Amman Symphony Orchestras. Other ensembles include Leeds Festival, Chester Bach and Manchester Chamber Choirs; the Northern Ballet and Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the BBC Philharmonic. He has conducted a number of concert broadcasts for the BBC, Classic FM and Russian national Radio and TV, and his repertoire includes many world premieres, notably High on the Slopes of Terror by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Stephen made his Royal Festival Hall debut in February 2012 in an all Rachmaninov programme.
Stephen combines a natural sense for performance with his creative vision to inspire the artistic direction and programming of concerts, festivals and educational events. He has a passion for working with young people and has enjoyed successful collaborations with many student and youth orchestras both at home and abroad.
He has created and directed a number of arts and community projects involving an impressive number of guest musicians, artists and specialists. In Autumn 2008, the Leonard Bernstein Celebration included chamber and symphonic concerts. In Autumn 2012, Stephen directed a 4-day celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of Frederick Delius. In 2013 Stephen devised a major project marking the centenary of Benjamin Britten. The ‘Russian October’ project marking the centenary of the 1917 Revolution takes place around Manchester this autumn.
Stephen has collaborated with an array of outstanding classical artists, and with a number of actors and entertainers including Timothy West and Prunella Scales, Robbie Coltrane, Vanessa Redgrave, Bridget Forsyth, Hinge and Bracket, Ted Robbins, Emily Watson, Russell Grant and Celia Imrie.
Stephen’s performances of Mahler 3 in July 2015 with the Mezzo Soprano Sarah Connolly and the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra were both highly praised.
Recent performances include a recording of the orchestral works of Marcus Blunt with Manchester Camerata, and conducting the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. Concerts in Melbourne, Australia, and return visit to Russia, Oman and the USA planned for next season. He also devised the celebratory Opening Weekend of concerts and events to mark the opening of The Stoller Hall at Chetham’s School of Music in April this year which received a 5 Star Review.

Semi-finalists are announced.
The semi-finalists are announced. An outstanding first round of 78 entries from 23 countries has resulted in a very high standard in the 2017 ompetition. As a result we are delighted to announce 20 young pianists have been selecetd for the next stage of the competition.
Promotional films now live
Promotional films now live
Two films (one in English and one in Chinese)are now available to give more insight into the 2017 competition.
2017 Competition announced
2017 Competition announced
We are delighted to announce that the 5th competition will take place from 23 - 29 August 2017. The competition will be for pianists 22 and under.
Selected semi-finalists will be invited to the Chetham's International summer school for pianists to perform their complete concerto on two pianos. The international jury will select up to SIX finalists to perform with Manchester Camerata under conductor Stephen Threlfall in the brand new Stoller Concert Hall.

Full details on how to enter will be updated soon.
New concertos added to competition repertoire
We are delighted to announce that two more concertos have been added to the list of repertoire for the 2013 Manchester International Concerto Competition.

Kabalevsky Piano Concerto No 3 in D major, Op 50 and Shostakovich concerto No 2 in F major Op. 102

Click here for a full list of the repertoire.
Results of 2013 Competition announced
Results of 2013 Competition  announced
We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2013 competition is Sophie Dee. Sophie is 19 amd is a student in London. She performed Chopin Concerto no 2 in the finals, accompanied by Manchester Camerata and conductor Stephen Threlfall.