Varaždin School of Music organizes the International Piano Competition „Memorijal Jurica Murai“ (Tribute to Jurica Murai) and „Murai Grand Prix“. The piano competition is divided into two parts that together with the name of the Croatian pianist, the academician Jurica Murai, and the Varaždin School of Music as an organiser, form an inseparable whole. The competitions are held on the School premises in the baroque Erdödy Palace
The School has been promoting music education since 1828 and has contributed greatly to the cultural tradition of the Town of Varaždin. The competition has been organized since 2015. and is now beeing held biannual. Its aim is to develop artistic talent of pupils, young professional musicians, to promote international cultural cooperation, to inspire pianists and audiences, to stimulate interest in the piano and music in general and to provide a platform to showcase outstanding pianists from around the world. With the quality of the organization, the growing number of participants every year and the selection of jury members, competition became attractive to numerous competitors around the world, gained a great reputation, and became a member of the Alink-Argerich Foundation.
Memorijal Jurica Murai (Tribute to Jurica Murai) is intended for young pianists up to 19 years old. The participants compete in six categories determined according to their age on the day of the competition. Murai Grand Prix is a competition intended for pianists, 17 – 32 year-old artists. The participants compete in the unique category. The competitors’ age (17 – 32) is determined according to their age on the day of the competition. The Competition in this category consists of two rounds. The wishes and needs of the participants are central to the organisers, who make every effort to ensure that participating in the Competition does not put excessive stress on the young pianists. The decision to organize a piano competition came from the intention to foster a more engaging and effective learning. Apart from the basic, educational nature of our program, we believe that this competitive try-out will encourage pianists to make greater improvements.
The number of the applicants is getting larger by the year, confirming its important international status, naming here some of the participating countries – Japan, Italy, Germany, Hungary, United States of America, Austria, Costa Rica, Russian Federation, Turkey, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, Vietnam, South Korea, Azarbaijan and Croatia.
The 5th edition of the Tribute to Jurica Murai and Murai Grand Prix will take place in Spring 2021.