The Epinal International Piano Competition was created in 1970 by Madame Suzanne Chevalier. It was an emanation of the “Concours Artistique d’Epinal” (which still exists) at the instigation of Monsieur Albert Ehrmann, President of the Confédération Musicale de France and President of the Order of the Musicians.
In 1972, it was decided that the competition would be biennal and the fourth competition, held in 1973, hosted twenty competitors. The first price was awarded to a young Filipino, Maria-Louisa Lopez-Vito.
With the help of the Conservatoire’s Professor Yankoff, the Competition became a real cultural event and, in 1979, the competition was granted the agreement of the World Federation of International Music Competitions of Geneva.
In 1980, after the sudden death of Suzanne Chevallier, Madame Henry Najean took the competition over. Through her dedication, her competence and her personal patronnage, Madame Najean gave the Competition it’s worldwide fame. In 1991, Jacques Grasser was elected president of the Competition, a duty he fulfilled for 20 years before handing it over to Jean-Pierre Aubry in December 2011. Since January 2018, Olivier Moulin, pianist and former prizewinner of the competition, is the new president of the competition.
Regularly held every two years in late March, the Epinal International Piano Competition welcomes competitors from all over the world, listened to by an International Jury composed of a panel of eminent personalities from the world of music.
The aim of the Competition is obviously to give a chance to the competitors to make it into the list of award winners, leading to an international career.
However, it is also an opportunity for the people of Epinal (some 4000 music lovers come to the City Theatre during the week) and a unique experience for the young pianists in contact with the piano schools from around the world.
With the continued support of the City of Epinal, the Département des Vosges and the Région Lorraine among others, the competition became, across decades, a major french musical event.