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17th International Television Contest for Young Musicians 'The Nutcracker'
17th International Television Contest for Young Musicians 'The Nutcracker'
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17th International Television Contest for Young Musicians 'The Nutcracker' was held in Moscow from 29 November to 6 December 2016.

The ‘Nutcracker’ Contest is one of the most cherished projects of the RUSSIA-KULTURA Television Channel. Each year the contest discovers new and exciting talents from all over the world and provides young performers with opportunity to showcase their skills on a professional level, as well as exchange experiential knowledge and receive the judgement of eminent professionals.

The ‘Nutcracker’ has earned the reputation as one of the most prestigious music contests for children in Russia. It enjoys close attention of a wide and diverse audience, from professionals to classical music enthusiasts. 

The contestants perform in front of many millions of viewers, as the auditions are both televised and streamed live on the channel’s website. This means that the participation in ‘Nutcracker’ is an inspiring opportunity for young performers to step into spotlight. Besides, finalists are honoured to perform at one of the most prestigious Moscow venues – the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall – with a symphony orchestra accompaniment.

The Contest is held in three disciplines:

  • Piano,
  • Stringed Instruments (violin, cello, harp, double-bass),
  • Winds (except recorder) & Percussion Instruments.

Participants are young musicians under 14 (for piano, stringed instruments and percussion) or 15 (for wind instruments).
No minimum age requirements.


The Opening Ceremony of the 17th International Television Contest for Young Musicians 'Nutcracker' (29 November 2016) and the Final Round (6 December 2016) took place at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall under the accompaniment of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra (artistic director and chief conductor — Yuri Simonov). Conductor – Ayyub Guliyev.

Rounds I and II were held at the the Central Music School at the P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory on 30 November and 1 December 2016.

The International Television Contest for Young Musicians 'Nutcracker' was founded in 2000 by the RUSSIA-KULTURA Television Channel and has been held annually ever since. The 'Nutcracker' is currently the only televised children's classical music contest in Russia. 

On April 25, 2016 the International Television Contest for Young Musicians 'The Nutcracker' became a member of the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY).


The prizes of the Contest in each nomination are Gold, Silver and Bronze Nutcrackers – figurines created by the world-famous artist Mihail Chemiakin. The winner of SMS-vote receives the Audience Award.


In 2015 the Contest has acquired the International Board of Trustees that consists of famous musicians, cultural professionals and patrons of art: Evelyn Glennie, Denis Matsuev, Irina Nikitina-Häfliger, Paloma O’Shea, Vladimir Spivakov, Markus Hinterhäuser, Aleksey Shalashov, Mihail Chemiakin, Gennady Yavnik.

Address of the Organization Committee:

Russia Kultura TV Channel
Music Department, International Television Contest for Young Musicians 'The Nutcracker'
Malaya Nikitskaya Str., 24
123995, Moscow, Russia
Tel: +7(495) 780 56 61
Tel/fax: +7(495) 780 56 80
e-mail: nutcracker@tv-culture.ru
Official website:  www.nutcracker.tv



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