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The Costa Rica Piano Festival

Concerto Competition

is one of the most unique in its kind,

providing all finalists the opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra.  

The CRPF Concerto Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities, ages 8 to 32.  Exceptions may be made for exceptional younger students.


Registrants are not required to attend the Festival to participate in the competition.




Sponsored by

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First Round (online)

Participants must submit a video recording performing ONE movement of a concerto (with cadenza if applicable) from the LIST of eligible repertoire provided, with a piano reduction or orchestral accompaniment by the official deadline. Some attacca movements are allowed.  Up to 7 finalists will advance to the final round.  

Final Round (live)

Selected participants will proceed to the final round that will include rehearsals and a live performance with the orchestra. Finalists must play the same movement of the concerto they submitted for the First Round.  The award ceremony will follow, in which the jury will announce the winners in each category.


Application fees are NON-REFUNDABLE


All fees must be paid by the official deadline.

Previous first place winners may not participate in consecutive years.  However, they may participate consecutively in a different category.


Judges may select up to three alternates from each category.


No changes in the competition repertoire are allowed after the application is submitted.


Late applications will not be accepted.

Prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the jury. Decisions of the adjudicators are FINAL.  The Jury reserves the right to not award any of the prizes; to split a prize between several contestants; to stop any performance which does not meet professional standards; to disqualify any candidate who does not comply with any of Competition’s regulations or norms of social behavior.

Participants must submit a concerto movement from the approved list of concerti ONLY - failure to do so will result in disqualification from the competition but NOT the Festival.

Participants are required to submit an unedited single camera video (YouTube link or similar media) with their application, performing a movement of an approved list of concerti. See the list of approved concerti

Recordings should be a fair representation of the Contestant’s abilities (visible hands at all times), but need not be of a professional quality

Contestants must perform from memory in all rounds including preliminary recordings.

No repertoire changes are allowed after the application is submitted or at any point during the competition.  

Applications must be received no later than April 19th, 2020. Entries will be rejected if they are late, incomplete or damaged.

​International participants are solely responsible for obtaining their visa to travel to Costa Rica (if applicable). The competition can provide an official letter of invitation upon request. 

*Non Festival participants:  Finalists are responsible for all travel arrangements and accommodations.  

*Festival participants - All tuition fees as well as parents/guardians travelling with contestants (if under 18) must be paid and attendance confirmed before April 31.  Failure to do so will result in disqualification.


A) 8 to 15

B) 16 to 32  

Age as of July 1st, 2020

*Proof of age required in application

Application Fees

Festival Participant:  $160

Non-Festival Participant:  $350


The Costa Rica Piano Festival administration reserves the right to terminate the Concerto Competition, in whole or in part, and/or adjust, amend or suspend the Competition, and/or the Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason without prior notice.


Participants may choose ONE movement from the list of eligible concerti.  Attacca movements may be played together.  


April 19, 2020


Finalists will be notified by May 20. Confirmation must be received by May 28. 

Tuition and fees must be paid in full before May 19. 


Category A

1st - USD$600 + USD$1000 scholarship for 2021 CRPF 

2nd - USD$400 + USD$500 scholarship for 2021 CRPF

3rd - USD$200 + USD$250 scholarship for 2021 CRPF

Category B

1stUSD$1000 + USD$1000 scholarship for 2021 CRPF

2nd - USD$700 + USD$500 scholarship for 2021 CRPF

3rdUSD$400 + USD$250 scholarship for 2021 CRPF

Costa Rica Piano Festival Orchestra

Alejandro Gutiérrez


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Alejandro Gutiérrez is the principal conductor of the OSUCR (Professional Symphony Orchestra of the University of Costa Rica), director of the OSEAM (Symphony Orchestra of the School of Musical Arts of the University of Costa Rica) and is frequently invited as conductor of the Symphony Orchestra National of Costa Rica. He participated three seasons as associate director of Pacific Symphony in Orange County - California, where he also served as artistic and musical director of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has acted as guest conductor of Houston Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony, Southern California Philharmonic, Philharmonic Orchestra of the UNAM - Mexico, Symphony Orchestra of Michoacán-Mexico, The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic of Honduras, Orchestra Symphony of Porto Alegre-Brazil, Tatui Wind Festival Orchestra - Brazil, the MIMU Chamber Ensemble - Brazil, as well as “Honor Orchestras” of several California school districts.

With the Costa Rica National Lyric Company he has been musical director of the opera La Bohème de Puccini and preparer for the casts of Madama Batterfly. Musical Director of the opera Così fan tutte de Mozart with the UT Opera Center in Texas, USA. He has also been the musical director of several musical plays. He was the assistant director of Austin Symphony-Texas 2009-12, designer and director of several successful educational and family programs, including "Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Haunted Violin", "Halloween and the Masquerades", "Families of instruments of the orchestra ”,“ Discovering Beethoven ”and“ From the Caverns to the Orchestra ”.In addition to his passion for introducing orchestral symphonic music to new audiences, Alejandro has led programs to introduce opera and ballet to children with productions such as: "The Magic Flute" by Mozart, "The Magic Potion" (Elixir de Amor) ) by Donizetti, "La Cenerentola" by Rossini, "The Nutcracker" by Tchaikovsky and "Cinderella" by Prokofiev among others.Alejandro has been awarded the “National Music Prize - Carlos Enrique Vargas in Orchestral Direction 2016 and is a founding member of Trombones de Costa Rica with whom he won the 1997 National Music Prize in Chamber Music and the Special Prize of the city of Passau in Germany in 1999.


He has acted as an artist on stages in America, Europe and Asia. As musical director of the Symphonic Band of the National Institute of Music and the Symphony Orchestra of the School of Musical Arts of the UCR he has led new music programs and premiered winning compositions of National Awards. He has also been the General Director of Bands of the Ministry of Culture.Alejandro holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts with an emphasis in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Texas at Austin. He is periodically invited to give talks and master classes at universities in the United States and Latin America. He is professor of the chair of orchestral direction of the University of Costa Rica.

Past Winners

Category A-  

Max Fan, Forrest Zeng, Alí Fallas, Camilla Choi

Category B-

Esteban Cruzaley, Aidos Baibossyn, Caleb Hu, Tianju Liao, Andrea Molteni

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