I – General Rules

1.The 1st International Piano Competition ‘Samson François’ will take place in the Cagnes-sur-Mer Hippodrome from Monday July 4th to Wednesday July 6th, 2022. All piano players born after July 3rd, 1992, and before July 3rd 2006 are eligible. 

2. Registration will close on June 15th, 2022, or as soon as the total number of registered contestants reach 60. Any applications to register received after June 15th, 2022, will not be considered.  

3. In case of health and safety restrictions, government guidance or if the number of contestants is too low, the Competition may be cancelled. In such circumstances, the registration fees will be reimbursed.

4. A registration fee of €80 (excluding bank fees and non-refundable) needs to be sent via bank transfer when completing the registration through the website, or via cheque made to the association ‘Le piano en liberté’, which headquarters are at 55 boulevard Victor Hugo, 06000 Nice (deadline to receive the cheque is June 15th, 2022). 

The bank transfer must reference the name of the contestant. 

5. The contestants need to register before June 15th, 2022, and send the following documents: 

– A copy of a valid ID Card or Passport, 

– A CV in French or English, 

– A recent artistic photo in High Definition, 

– The proof of the bank transfer corresponding to registration fees. 

Any request regarding a programme change should be sent via email to (no programme change will be accepted after June 30th, 2022).

6. The contestants will need to be present in the Cagnes-sur-Mer Hippodrome, to confirm their arrival and register their application on Sunday July 3rd between 4pm and 6pm. They will need to show a valid ID (passport or ID Card). They will pick a random number that will determine the order in which they will be on stage for their 2 performances. 

7. Travelling and housing costs will be paid by the contestants.

8. Pianos to practice on will be made available in the Hippodrome. The pianists will be allowed to use the Competition piano for 5 minutes each when their application is registered. This will take place Monday July 4th and Tuesday July 5th from 9am to 10am, and from 1pm to 2.30pm.   

II – Competition Sequence

1.The competition is made of two performances, open to public audience. The first performance, which will be eliminatory, will take place on July 4th, 2022, and July 5th, 2022; the final performance and the prize ceremony will happen on Wednesday July 6th, 2022.  

2. The jury will be made of several international personalities of the musical world, 5 members for the first performance, and 7 members for the final performance. The president of the jury will make the decision in case of draw in the jury votes. The decisions of the jury cannot be appealed or contested. 

The jury is composed of international personages from the world of music :

  • Olga Monakh, Ukraine / Germany, president of the jury
  • Nicolas Bringuier, France
  • Julia Mustonen-Dahlkvist, Sweden
  • Pierre Reach, France
  • Markus Schirmer, Austria
  • Christine Gastaud, France
  • Olivier Bellamy, France

3. The jury can interrupt a performance should they consider that the contestant’s level is not good enough, or if the maximum allowed duration for this performance is reached.  

4. Prizes

Premier Grand Prix Samson François (First Grand Prize):

Deuxième Prix (Second Prize):

Troisième Prix (Third Prize):

Prix Cesari (Cesari Prize) for best interpretation of the piece written by Antoine Cesari for the competition Concours Samson François 2022: 


Many other prizes will be distributed thanks to our sponsors. 

The jury has the power of not distributing all prizes, but can distribute special prizes or share prizes. 

The winners may then have the opportunity to be hired by the organisers of the following concerts: Les Nocturnes du Piano, Les Rencontres musicales du Negresco, as well as other festivals in Europe.

5. The contestants to the 1st and 2nd performances will be able to ask for a certificate to testify they entered the competition. 

6. The public performances of the Competition may be broadcasted live and/or with some delay on radio, television, or on internet. They may also be recorded in order to publish content in other ways (CD, DVD, etc.). In regard to the popularity of the Competition, the contestants agree on giving away their rights to print, reproduce, and duplicate their performances on any support or medium, and agree that they could be used in different ways, and globally. This is valid for 50 years starting the date of the performances. 

7. Being a contestant in the Competition implies the acceptance of the terms described in the rules, the French version of these terms being legally binding.

III – Programme

First Performance: programme of free choice, maximum duration of 15 minutes, including a piece of F. Chopin.

Second Performance: programme of free choice, maximum duration of 30 minutes, including a piece of one of the following composers that the contestant will choose: Debussy, Fauré or Ravel.

A Special Prize will be awarded for the interpretation of the Barcarolle by Antoine Cesari. This piece can be played in either of the performances, up to the contestant’s discretion. It is not a mandatory piece.