Concours Musical International De Montréal

10 days of festivities with 24 of the world’s finest young pianists who will compete for over $125,000 in prizes, awards, grants and concert engagements with orchestras across Canada.

 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the CMIM (Concours musical international de Montréal), which is dedicated to piano this year. The competition features Voice, Violin and Piano on a rotating basis; and has gained a solid world-wide reputation. This edition of the CMIM promises to be special, while also highlighting the 375th anniversary of the founding of Montreal and the 150th anniversary of Canada. Here’s a look at this year’s anniversary edition.

Competitors   24 young pianists; 6 women and 18 men from 15 countries with an average age of 26, have been selected to participate in the CMIM from May 2 to 12. The highest number of candidates is from South Korea (7), followed by France (3) and Italy (3). The remaining countries are represented by one participant each: Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan. The 24 competitors were selected out of a record-breaking 304 pianists, representing the highest number of applicants in the history of the Competition and an increase of 120% from the previous piano edition in 2014. This is a testament to the solid reputation that the competition has achieved.

The first round (May 2 to 4, sessions at 2 pm and 7:30 pm) and semi-final round (May 6 and 7, sessions at 2 pm and 7:30 pm) will be held at Bourgie Hall of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The finals (May 9 and 10 at 7:30 pm) will take place at Maison symphonique with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) led by Maestro Claus Peter Flor.

“The CMIM makes an incredible contribution to Montreal’s reputation as a
cultural metropolis.

In this, our 15th anniversary year, I am delighted to welcome these virtuoso young artists.

What a pleasure it will be to also have three former winners with us on the evening of the Gala Concert; a wonderful opportunity for them as they return to Montreal, where everything started!”

…André Bourbeau, President and Co-founder of the CMIM.

Robert Charlebois is the 2017 competition spokesperson
Author, composer, musician, and performer Robert Charlebois launched his career in the mid-‘60s, establishing himself as one of the key figures of French Chanson in Québec and abroad. A fan of classical music, Charlebois collaborated for the first time with a symphony orchestra in 1971 at Place des Arts for a concert with the OSM led by Leon Bernier. Since then, he has performed many times with an orchestra. “It is with great joy that I have joined forces with the CMIM. Hats off to these young virtuoso pianists who have to present two recital rounds before performing the final round with none other than the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, a national treasure. I am inviting you to come encourage all of our competitors in the concert halls, thereby contributing to the development and growing reputation of today’s finest young pianists,” stated Charlebois.

Tribute to André Mathieu
To honour the work of Montreal pianist and composer André Mathieu, the CMIM’s administrators have chosen Laurentienne No. 2 as the compulsory Canadian work for candidates in their semi-final recital.

The international jury, presided over by André Bourbeau, co-founder and president of the CMIM, includes Idil Biret (Turkey), Dang Thai Son (Vietnam), Alain Lefèvre (Canada), Hélène Mercier (Canada), Pedja Muzijevic (Bosnia), David Owen Norris (United Kingdom), Cristina Ortiz (Brazil), R. Douglas Sheldon (United States), and Gabriel Tacchino (France).

The competitors will compete for over $125,000 in prizes, awards and grants. The CMIM will also provide concert engagements to the laureates through partnerships with orchestras across Canada.

Main prizes

  • First Prize offered by the Ville de Montréal, $30,000 and Joseph Rouleau Career Development Grant funded by the Azrieli Foundation, $50,000
  • Second Prize, $15,000
  • Third Prize offered by Stingray Classica, $10,000

Special awards

  • Radio-Canada People’s Choice Award, $5,000
  • Best Canadian Artist Award offered by the Bourbeau Foundation, $5,000
  • André Bachand Award for the best performance of the compulsory Canadian work in the semi-final round offered by Jean-Claude and Raymond Bachand, $4,000
  • Award for the best semi-final recital offered by Tourisme Montréal, $2,000
  • Bach Award for the best performance of a work by Johann Sebastian Bach offered by the Montreal Bach Festival, $1,000
  • Chopin Award for the best performance of a work by Fryderyk Chopin offered by Liliana Komorowska, $1,000

Awards Gala and concert on May 12, 2017, at Maison Symphonique with the OSM led by German conductor Claus Peter Flor
For its 15th anniversary, the CMIM will present a unique gala event. For starters, the top three prizewinners, as well as the winners of all the special awards, will be announced at the awards ceremony preceding the concert. Both audiences, the one in the Hall and the one following the competition on our webcast, will find out along with the competitors who has won and who will be performing with the OSM that evening. In addition to hearing the First Prize winner of the 2017 piano edition, the audience will have the pleasure of hearing three former CMIM First Prize winners: soprano Measha Brueggergosman (2002), pianist Serhiy Salov (2004) and violinist Benjamin Beilman (2010). It promises to be an exceptional evening.

Box Office

  • Finals and gala concert at the Place des Arts box office: or 514-842-2112, toll free: 1-866 842-2112.
  • First and semi-final rounds, and Pianos en liberté at Bourgie Concert Hall, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: or 514-285-2000, option 4.


  • To kick off the competition, the CMIM presents Pianos en liberté, a piano improvisation concert at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts’ Bourgie Hall on April 26 at 7:30 pm. This unique event will feature Serhiy Salov, winner of the 2014 Richard Lupien Improvisation Prize, and world-renowned pianists, Frenchmen Jean-François Zygel and Bruno Fontaine, who will take turns in performing the improvised piano part of “Fantaisie pour piano-fantôme et orchestre” by Canadian composer François Dompierre. The soloist will not only improvise his part but will also conduct Montreal’s I Musici ensemble from the keyboard. It is a musical feat that has never been done before, and Montrealers will be the first to witness this improvised world premiere.
  • Prior to each evening of the Finals, Jean-Pierre Primiani will host pre-concert talks with jury members Alain Lefèvre on May 9 and Hélène Mercier on May 10. Both at 6:45 pm in Foyer Allegro (Maison symphonique), upon presentation of a ticket for the Final.