CIPCE 2023: Focus on Manuel de Falla

The International Piano Competition Compositores de España announces their winners

24 year-old pianist Khadizha Israpil from Kalva (Azerbaijian) won First Prize at the International Piano Competition Compositores de España (CIPCE) at the Auditorio Joaquín Rodrigo in Las Rozas de Madrid. It carries a cash prize of 8,000 Euros and an international Concert Tour organized by the Management of the International Piano Competition, valued at 4,000 euros.

The Jury then awarded Second Prize to the 26-year-old pianist Robert Bily and Third Prize to Laura Ballestrino. As for the prize for Best Performer of Spanish Music, it also went to Robert Bily.

In this 23rd edition of the CIPCE, which paid tribute to the great Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, conductor Mariusz Smolij and the Orquesta Internacional Virtuosos de Madrid were in charge of putting the finishing touch to the competition.

The International Jury, presided by Hannfried Lucke was formed by nine personalities from the world of music: Johannes Kropfitsch, Natalia Lamas, Marian Lapsansky, Alexander Mullenbach, Gisele Nacif, Miguel Ángel Tapia, Mariusz Smolij and Fabio Witkowski.

All of the candidates highlighted the extraordinary quality of the contestants and their high musical level. 


1st prize: Khadizha Israpil (24), Kalva

2nd prize: Robert Bily (26), Halle

3rd prize: Laura Ballestrino Mateos (23), Madrid



Hannfried Lucke (Chair), Johannes Kropfitsch, Natalia Lamas, Marian Lapšanský, Alexander Mullenbach, Gisele Nacif, Miguel Ángel Tapia, Mariusz Smolij, Fabio Witkowski



Orquesta Internacional Virtuosos de Madrid/ Mariusz Smolij (Conductor)


Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) is considered the most distinguished Spanish composer of the early 20th century. In his music he achieved a fusion of poetry, asceticism, and ardour that represents the spirit of Spain at its purest.

Falla took piano lessons from his mother and later went to Madrid to continue the piano and to study composition with Felipe Pedrell, who inspired him with his own enthusiasm for 16th-century Spanish church music, folk music, and native opera, or zarzuela. In 1905 Falla won two prizes, one for piano playing and the other for a national opera, La vida breve.

In 1907 he moved to Paris, where he met Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas, and Maurice Ravel (whose orchestration influenced his own) and published his first piano pieces and songs. In 1914 he returned to Madrid, where he wrote the music for a ballet, El amor brujo, remarkable for its distillation of Andalusian folk music. Falla followed this with El corregidor y la molinera, which Diaghilev persuaded him to rescore for a ballet called El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat; London, 1919). Noches en los jardines de España (Nights in the Gardens of Spain; Madrid, 1916), a suite of three impressions for piano and orchestra, evoked the Andalusian atmosphere through erotic and suggestive orchestration. All these works established Falla internationally as the leading Spanish composer.

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©️ WFIMC 2023