The pianists range in age from 19 to 29; 11 of them are women. They come from 17 countries, of which China has the most contestants, with seven. The United States, with five entries, and Russia, with four, are also well represented. Serbia will send a contestant for the first time.
The competitors were chosen from among 244 pianists who submitted written applications. Of those, 143 were asked to submit videotaped auditions, which were judged by Paul Schenly of the Cleveland Institute of Music, James Giles of Northwestern University, and Lori Sims of Central Michigan University.
The preliminary rounds of the competition will take place July 27-August 3 at the Cleveland Play House. The finals, on August 5 and 6, will take place at Severance Hall, where finalists will perform with the Cleveland Orchestra.
The Cleveland Competition was founded in 1975 and is held every other year.