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The mission of the Contest is to attract public attention to children’s music education and to promote young gifted musicians that could continue the traditions of XXI Century erformers by providing them with opportunities to realize their artistic potential, such as:

‣ admission into the best music education_al institutions;

‣ collaboration with leading orchestras and conductors;

‣ participation in workshops, different concerts and festivals.


The 22nd International Television Contest for Young Musicians ‘The Nutcracker’ will be held in Moscow in 2021, from November 29 to December 6.

The Contest features three disciplines:


String instruments (violin, cello, harp, double bass);

Wind instruments (except for the blockflute) and percussions

The Contest consists of a preliminary Round (based on video recordings) and three public Rounds.

During Round I and II each contestant shall perform solo or with an accompanist. In Round III contestants shall perform with a symphony orchestra. The performance order of the contestants will be determined by lot before the start of round I. The Opening Ceremony and the Final will take place at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. All the public Rounds will be recorded by the ‘Russia-Kultura’ TV Channel.


We invite to participation the young musicians, whose age (at the moment of Round I) is:

under 14 (for piano, stringed instru_ments and percussion),

under 15 (for wind instruments).

No minimum age requirements.

The selection of contestants will be based on their performance recordings. The committee composed of professional musicians will evaluate them assigning points out of 10.

At the end of this Preliminary Round 48 applicants (16 in each discipline) will be chosen for the participation in the Contest. If any of the chosen applicants is unable to take part in the Contest, he or she will be replaced by the next_in-line applicant.

No more than 16 contestants in each category will be admitted to Round I, 8 contestants in each category will be admitted to Round II, and 3 contestants in each category will be admitted to Round III.

The former 1st Prize winners of the Contest are not allowed to participate with the same instrument.


To participate in the Contest fill in the application form at the RTR official online platform : https://smotrim.ru/ and enclose the following documentation:

‣ short biography as a text file (MS Word compatible file). It shall contain the most important information about participation in other contests (exact contest name, year, venue and result), concert performances, as well as hobbies and most interesting events in the applicant’s artistic life; no more than 600 symbols including spaces;

‣ performance program (MS Word compatible file). It shall include full names of the authors, exact titles of the pieces, opus numbers, parts numbers and dura_tion of each piece (for more information see the Performance Program part);

‣ 1 photo as a graphic file high res_olution, suitable for printing; file name shall contain the applicant’s first and last name);

‣ scanned copy of the Contestant’s birth certificate or passport as a graphic file.

The Application form shall also contain direct links to the recordings of the applicant’s performances (on Youtube, Rutube, etc.). The record_ings shall be made in 2020 and provided as separate videos. Each video shall contain the first and the last name of the applicant as well as the name of the composition performed.

The Contestant is not obliged to perform the works from the recordings during the Contest. One of the recordings may be uploaded to the official site of the Contest. The complete package of docu_ments shall be received by the Organizing Committee not later than on October 05, 2021. The materials delivered after this date as well as incomplete pack_ages of documents will not be accepted.

Any applicant providing inaccurate or misleading information will be disqualified.

The applicants admitted to the Contest shall provide the Organizing Committee with a copy of their birth certifi_cate or passport, certified by their school.


The ‘Russia-Kultura’ TV channel, Music Department, The International Television Contest for Young Musicians ‘The Nutcracker’

Shabolovka Str., 37, 115162, Moscow, Russia

Tel: +7 (499) 009-5060

E-mail: nutcracker@tv-culture.ru.


The choice of the repertoire is free. The entire performance program shall be played from memory. None of the music pieces can be performed twice during the Contest.

‣ The program of Round I shall include two works of different charac_ter: cantilena and virtuoso piece. The performance duration shall be about 5-7 minutes.

‣ The program of Round II shall include one or more music pieces at the Contestant’s discretion. The performance duration shall be about 5–7 minutes.

‣ In Round III each contestant shall perform with a symphony orchestra accompaniment. The performance duration shall be about 5–7 minutes.

The music piece shall be composed (or orchestrated) for solo instrument and for symphony (or chamber) orchestra.

Contestants are obliged to perform the music pieces indicated in the application form. In case a Contestant wishes to make changes to the program, the Organizing Committee shall be informed about the changes in a letter confirming the Contestant’s attendance (not later than on October 05, 2021). The confirmed program cannot be changed.

The applicants admitted to Round I shall provide scores and orchestral voices for the music pieces they have chosen for Round III, possible cuts shall be marked. The scores shall be handed over to the Organizing Committee at the opening day of the Contest.


The Contestants’ performances will be evaluated by the Jury consisting of famous musicians –

composers, performers and teachers. A separate Jury is formed in each category – Piano, Strings, Winds and percussion. The auditions for Round I and II are held separately in each discipline. Round III shall be evaluated by the combined Jury.

The evaluation of the performances will be based on the following criteria:

‣ musicianship;

‣ technique;

‣ sound quality.

No account will be taken of age differences.

The Jury reserves the right not to award all the prizes. The decision of the Jury is final and not subject to review.


No entry fees shall be charged. The Organizing Committee provides accommodation for each contestant plus one accompanying person. The accommodation is provided for the participation period: from the day of arrival (but not earlier than the determined date) till the day after the Contestant’s elimination (12 noon).

Travel expenses are to be covered by Contestants. Upon prior request the Organizing Committee can assist a Contestant in booking a hotel for additional accompanying persons. If a Contestant arrives and refuses to perform, all the expenses are his/her own responsibility.

Contestants that have not qualified for the next Round can stay in the hotel until the end of the Contest at their own expense.


Contestants can bring their own accompanists at their expense. Upon prior request the Organizing Committee will provide a contestant with an accompanist gratis.


Contestants will be provided with accompanists for two rehearsals and performances without any extra charge. Each Finalist can have two rehearsals with the orchestra.


All the Contestants will receive Diplomas for their participation in the Round I. All the Contestants admitted to the Round II will receive Diplomas and souvenirs. The finalists will be honored to perform at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow in the Round III.

All finalists are dubbed Laureates. The Laureates in each category will be awarded Diplomas and prizes:

— I Prize —

Gold Nutcracker;

— II Prize —

Silver Nutcracker;

— III Prize —

Bronze Nutcracker;

The Laureates’ teachers and accompanists will receive Contest Diplomas. The ‘Russia-Kultura’ TV Channel attracts public, charity and commercial organizations as partners and sponsors of the Contest with the right to award additional prizes.

The Contest Laureates will be invited to participate in concerts organized by the ‘Russia-Kultura’ TV Channel or the Contest partners – public organization and charitable funds.


The Contest will be covered by the ‘Russia-Kultura’ TV Channel in a special television series.

The recordings of all Rounds, as well as Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be broadcast at the RTR official online platform: https://smotrim.ru/.