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. Although it appeared in 2015 in the world of piano competitions, the Competition Memorijal Jurica Murai & Murai Grand Prix was very quickly recognized as a competition that provides young pianists with exceptional conditions, about whom a professional and highly motivated Organizing Committee is taking care of. 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.
There are numerous awards and recognitions given to Jurica Murai for his versatile and valuable reproductive activities that testify about his reputation and signifcance and it is a big honour that our competition is named by such a great artist. He possessed a refined musicality, poeticism, tonal palette and an evident knowledge of general culture. His concert activity includes over 800 concerts, 40 foreign tours and collaboration with numerous conductors and orchestras. With this cultural heritage in mind, it is our aim to develop artistic talent of pupils and 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. 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 and that the participation in our competition will allow them to make that next step and open new doors in their career.
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 6th edition of the Tribute to Jurica Murai and Murai Grand Prix will take place in Spring, from April 18th to April 23rd 2024!