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The Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition came into being in 1974 at the initiative of Jan Jacob Bistritzky, whose aim was to unite the name and the artistic legacy of Arthur Rubinstein with the cultural life of Israel. Rubinstein was honored to give his name to the Competition.
Conceived in the spirit of this legendary pianist, the Competition is committed to attaining standards of the highest order and is a valid international forum for presenting talented, aspiring young pianists and fostering their artistic careers.
In determining the highly demanding criteria for this stimulating musical confrontation, the organizers were inspired by Arthur Rubinstein’s personal approach to the art of the piano.
The task of the international jury is to select competitors of above average concert standard with a mature intellectual and emotional response to music.
The Arthur Rubinstein Award and other prizes are presented to young master pianists whose talents reveal outstanding musicianship as well as the ability to render versatile, artistically convincing interpretations of works, ranging from the pre-classical to the contemporary.
The Rubinstein Competition also fosters Israeli music. Since its inception, the contest has commissioned, financed and published 21 works by the following Israeli composers:
Haim Alexander, Shulamit Ran, Jacob Gilboa, Ami Maayani, Oedon Partos, Jan Radzynski, Ron Weidberg, Moshe Zorman, Joseph Dorfman, Noam Sheriff, Zvi Avni, Mark Kopytman, Gil Shohat, Eliezer Elper, Ben-Zion Orgad, Oded Zehavi, Josef Bardanashvili, Menachem Wiesenberg, Aviya Kopelman, Ella Sheriff and Benjamin Yusupov.
The only exception was the 13th Competition, where it was decided to honor two deceased, prominent Israeli composers, whose works were never performed in previous Arthur Rubinstein Competitions: Paul Ben Haim (1897–1984) and Josef Tal (1910–2008).
For the 15th, which will take place in April-May 2017, the competition commissioned, once again, new works. This time by Betty Olivaro and Avner Dorman, two very active and successful composers in Israel, whose works have been performed extensively, both in Israel and abroad.