Members of the jury

Jury Guidelines

1. Members of the Jury

The jury is international and consists of 7 members appointed by the Artistic Director. All jury members are contracted to adjudicate each round of the competition. A jury member who is unable to be in attendance throughout any portion of a round of the competition shall not vote at the conclusion of that round.

2. Jury members 2017
  • Olga Kern, Russia
  • Håkon Austbø, Norway
  • Olaf Henzold, Germany
  • Kyung-Sook Lee, South Korea
  • Alberto Nosè, Italy
  • Cristina Ortiz, Brazil
  • Boaz Sharon, USA

Honorary Member (not voting)

  • Bjørunn Zang, China
3. Administration of the Jury

An administrator of the jury is appointed by the Board. The administrator is not a voting member of the jury. Each jury member has one vote. The administrator is in charge of the voting procedure of the jury and will convey the results of the jury’s work.

4. Confidentiality

Jury members shall maintain complete confidentiality about all aspects of their work including but not limited to the following:

  • Any matters discussed while the jury is in session
  • Their own votes or other jury members’ votes of which they become aware
  • The results of any judging until it is officially announced
  • Any information disclosed to them involving balloting, ranking, tie-breaking procedures, or other matters related to voting in any round of the competition.
5. Conduct of the Judges

Jury members shall at all times show proper respect for one another, the contestants, and the officers and staff of the competition. Jury members should avoid all criticism of the opinions and work of others. The jury members shall not communicate with each other in any language that is not understood by all jury members. The official jury language is English.

6. Standard for Judging

Jury members are asked to base their decisions solely on the cumulative quality of all performances at the competition—not on prior performances the judges may have heard, nor expectations of future performances, nor on reputation, teachers, competitors’ age, or other credentials of any kind.

7. Judging Procedure for 1st round
  • Balloting: As soon as the 1st round of the competition is completed, each judge shall fill out and sign a ballot containing the number and name of each contestant, voting as follows: Exactly 12 unranked “yes” votes for the twelve contestants whom the judge believes most qualified to advance to the Semifinal Round.
  • Delivery of Ballots: Each judge shall deliver his/her completed ballot to the Administrator of the Jury, who shall meet with, and only with an appointed person to tally and determine the results of the balloting.
  • Determination of Ballot Results: “Yes” votes shall be tallied and the twelve contestants with the highest number of “yes” votes shall be those who become semi-finalists of the competition. In case a tie vote makes it impossible to determine the required number of winners a second vote is performed in which each judge ranks the tied contestants. In case the second voting does not determine the required number of winners, a vote by the Artistic Director among the tied contestants will decide and eliminate the tie.
  • D. Announcement of Winners: The names of the winners shall be announced in a form that does not disclose their relative ranking in the balloting.
8. Judging Procedure for the Semifinal
  • Balloting: As soon as the semifinal of the competition is completed, each judge shall fill out and sign a ballot containing the number and name of each contestant, voting as follows: Exactly 3 unranked “yes” votes for the three contestants whom the judge believes most qualified to advance to the finale.
  • Delivery of Ballots: Each judge shall deliver his/her completed ballot to the Administrator of the Jury, who shall meet with, and only with an appointed person to tally and determine the results of the balloting.
  • Determination of Ballot Results: “Yes” votes shall be tallied and the three contestants with the highest number of “yes” votes shall be those who become finalists of the competition. In case a tie vote makes it impossible to determine the required number of winners a second vote is performed in which each judge ranks the tied contestants. In case the second voting does not determine the required number of winners, a vote by the Artistic Director among the tied contestants will decide and eliminate the tie.
  • D. Announcement of Winners: The names of the winners shall be announced in a form that does not disclose their relative ranking in the balloting.
9. Judging Procedure for the Finale
  • Balloting: As soon as the Finale of the competition is completed, each judge shall fill out and sign a ballot ranking the finalists 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
  • Delivery of Ballots: Each judge shall deliver his/her completed ballot to the Administrator of the Jury, who shall meet with, and only with an appointed person to tally and determine the results of the balloting.
  • Determination of Ballot Results: The contestant receiving the highest number of first place votes will receive the first prize. The contestant receiving the highest number of second-place and remaining first-place votes will receive the second prize, and the remaining contestant will receive third prize. Should a tie occur in at any stage of the Finale balloting a second vote is performed among the tied contestants. In case the second voting does not determine the required number of winners, a vote by the Artistic Director among the tied contestants will decide and eliminate the tie.
  • Awarding of Prizes: It is the policy of the Top of the World International Piano Competition that all prizes will be awarded, and that each prize will be designated for one candidate. As noted above, tie-breaking procedures are in place. Prizes may not be shared by multiple candidates.
10. General Matters
  • Balloting: So far as possible, jury members shall prepare themselves to ballot immediately at the conclusion of each round of the competition.
  • Improper Ballots: In the event that a ballot is found to be illegible or not properly completed (too many votes, too few votes, not signed, etc.) the Administrator of the Jury shall endeavor to consult the jury member to correct the ballot. If the ballot for any reason is not corrected, it shall not be counted.
  • Jurisdiction of the Jury: The jury’s work and responsibility is to judge the piano performances at the competition and award prizes of the competition in accordance with these procedures. The jury’s verdict is final and indisputable.
  • Amendments: These Judging Procedures may be amended or supplemented only by action of the board of the Top of the World International Piano Competition.