66 young international pianists will be hoping to hit the right note when they compete in The Dublin International Piano competition next week. 

Now ranked in the top five piano competitions in the world, the event, which runs from May 15 to 26, is chaired by Artistic Director John O’Conor and adjudicated by distinguished members of the music profession.

The first prize includes €15,000 cash and professional debut recitals in the Carnegie Hall in New York and the Wigmore Hall in London, and other national and international engagements.

Open to musicians between 18 and 30 years of age, this year’s representatives come from 18 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belarus, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland and Japan.

This year’s Irish candidates are Billy O’Brien (22) from Waterford, Jonathan Morris (22) from Enniscorthy, Wexford, Sean Rooney (21) from Newry, Down, Adam McDonagh (21) from Dublin, Peter Regan (18) from Ballyleague, Roscommon and Gary Beecher (21) from Cork.

The distinuguished pianist and teacher John O’Conor is DIPC Co-founder and Artistic Director and Chairman of this year’s jury.

“Since the first Competition in 1988, we have had 533 young pianists from 49 countries compete in Dublin,“ O’Conor says. “This year there was a tremendous entry of almost 170 pianists from all over the world with a huge entry from the Far East. 22 from China, 30 from Korea, 8 from Japan as well as entries from Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam for the first time."

The competition kicks off on May 15 with first and second rounds, held at the RDS, with semi-finals and final at the National Concert Hall.

The four finalists will compete for the first prize in the Final concerto performances on May 26, accompanied by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland under the baton of Alan Buribayev.

Visit http://www.dipc.ie for event information and ticket details.