53 International Competitors arrive in Dublin for the World-Class Dublin International Piano Competition.

In two days the prestigious Dublin International Piano Competition will get underway as it celebrates its special milestone 25th year anniversary.

Today, Wednesday, 2nd May, fifty three international competitors, from all over the world and aged under thirty years of age, met in Dublin for the first time for the start of the 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition.

Following a random draw, John O'Conor, Artistic Director and Co-Founder, announced to the competitors the all-important order of performance for the prestigious Competition which commences on Friday, 4th May in the RDS. The grand final concerto performance takes place in the National Concert Hall on Tuesday, 15th May.

Representatives from Belarus, Canada, China, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States, will be accommodated by Dublin host families throughout their stay. Three entrants have been selected from Ireland and they are: Benjamin Shaffrey (21) from Ranelagh, Dublin 4, Máire Carroll (20) from Malahide, Co. Dublin and Nadene Fiorentini (22) from Greencastle in Co. Donegal. The Competition affords young pianists the opportunity to compete at an elite standard. In addition, it offers Irish contestants an opportunity to hold their own on home ground.

As a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, the Dublin International Piano Competition is ranked in the top five piano competitions in the world. Since its foundation in 1987, there have been a total of eight competitions which are held every three years in Dublin.

Since the inaugural Dublin International Piano Competition in 1988, 31 compositions have been commissioned, 15 of which have been commissioned by RTE Lyric FM since 2003. Thus after each Competition these compositions by Irish composers enter the international repertoire.

Artistic Director and Co-founder John O'Conor says: "We have received tremendous support since the foundation and the 25th Dublin International Piano Competition promises to be our most exciting to date."

As in previous years, the Competition will be in four rounds with the first two Preliminary Stages open to the public and held in The Royal Dublin Society from Friday 4th May to Thursday 10th May. In the first stage, all fifty three competitors will perform thirty minute recitals over the course of four days. After this, twenty four competitors will be selected to go forward to the Second Stage of forty minute recitals over two days. Twelve competitors then will be selected to enter the semi-final.

The National Concert Hall will then host the Semi-Final and Final, both of which will be recorded by Radio Telefís Éireann and offered to the European Broadcasting Union for transmission throughout Europe. The Semi-Finals will take place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of May in the National Concert Hall. All twelve semi-finalists must perform one of the three specially commissioned Irish pieces of music for this year’s Competition. After this, four finalists will compete for the acclaimed title in the Final concerto performances taking place on Tuesday 15th May with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland under the baton of, James Cavanagh. The final is being broadcast live on RTE Lyric fm and is also part of the EuroRadio Competitions Series which will be broadcast in Finland, Estonia, Bulgaria and New Zealand.

The Dublin International Piano Competition is adjudicated by illustrious international members of the music profession, chaired by John O’Conor. The winner of this year’s competition will be offered a number of international engagements, including début recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Wigmore Hall in London and other prestigious venues around the world.

Previous winners have carved highly successful international careers from this triennial competition including: Pavel Nersessian, Russia (1991); Davide Franceschetti, Italy (1994); Max Levinson, USA (1997); Alexei Nabioulin, Russia (2000), Antti Siirala, Finland (2003) and Romain Descharmes, France (2006). Alexej Gorlatch from the Ukraine is the current title holder in the Dublin International Piano Competition in 2009. Philippe Cassard, the French winner of the inaugural competition in 1988, joins the judging panel this year.

Steinway & Sons are proud to exclusively provide all pianos for the 2012 competition and are delighted to bring Ulrich Gerhartz, Steinway & Sons master piano tuner to Dublin for the Competition. After the Competition, these Steinway & Sons pianos will be on sale through Pianos Plus.

The Dublin International Piano Competition takes place from 4th - 15th May in the RDS and National Concert Hall. Please see www.dipc.ie for event information and ticket details.