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22th International Television Contest for Young Musicians "The Nutcracker"

The Russia-Kultura TV channel announces call for entries for the XXII Nutcracker International Television Contest for Young Musicians, that will take place in Moscow from November 29 to December 6, 2021. Young performers from all over the world are welcomed to submit their entries by October 5, 2021.

The XXII Nutcracker Contest will feature three categories:

  • Piano;
  • Strings (violin, cello, double bass, harp);
  • Winds (blockflute excluded) / Percussions.


The upper age limits for the contestants are:
– 14 years for pianists and string/percussion performers;
– 15 years for wind performers.

There is no minimum age limit.

The participants will perform at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and at the Organ Concert Hall of the Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music.

The Jury will choose 9 winners (three winners in each category), who will receive prizes and commemorative gifts:
I Prize – The Golden Nutcracker
II Prize – The Silver Nutcracker
III Prize – The Bronze Nutcracker
SMS-voting will determine the winner of the Audience Choice Award.

The international Jury is made up of performers, conductors, composers and teachers, all of them being outstanding musicians from both Russia and abroad. The Juries of the previous Nutcracker Contests featured Vera Gornostayeva, Sergey Dorensky, Alexsander Tchaikovsky, Svetlana Bezrodnaya, Mark Gorenstein, Igor Butman, Denis Matsuev, Anna Tsybuleva, Georgy Vachnadze, Vladimir Kharin, Nikita Borisoglebsky, Valentine Michaud, Ivan Stolbov, Vadim Eilenkrig and many others.

The opening and closing ceremonies as well as the Contest rounds will be broadcast live on the Russia-Kultura TV channel and on RTR’s SMOTRIM online platform.

To enter the contest, the applicants should email the filled application form to nutcracker@tv-culture.ru.

The Rules of the Contest are available at the SMOTRIM online platform.

Full details: +7 499 0095060.

The Nutcracker International Television Contest for Young Musicians was established by Russia-Kultura in 2000. Amazingly young musicians perform most complicated academic pieces at Moscow academic venues. The Nutcracker Contest gives them a unique opportunity to make a name for themselves and to rise to a new professional development level. All stages of the Contest are broadcast live on both TV and the Internet, so the participants come into the spotlight in front of multimillion audience and win recognition from the public. The Contest Final is traditionally held at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, one of the best Moscow venues, where the participants perform accompanied by a symphony orchestra.

Since 2016, the Nutcracker has been a Member of the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY). The XVI Nutcracker Contest reached the TEFI Final in the Programs for Children and Youth category.

The talent competition does not end with the closing ceremony, prizes and awards. The Nutcracker participants enter the best musical educational institutions, perform all over the world with support from famous Russian and foreign musicians, take part in the most prestigious music festivals.

Over 500 young performers from 83 Russian cities and towns and from 23 countries have taken part in the Contest since it was established 21 years ago. The participants represented Australia, Austria, Belarus, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Germany, Kazakhstan, Canada, China, Latvia, Norway, Singapore, the USA, Turkey, France, Sweden, South Korea, Japan and many other countries.