The first year of the International Piano Competition Košice (hereinafter as IPC) was held in 1993 and it immediately gained a positive response. An author of the project is a teacher at Mária Hemerková Elementary School of the Arts in Košice, Judita Barthová.
Up to the 5th year it was held annually, then the IPC Organizational Committee decided for a two-year cycle. This is the only competition in Slovakia for children under 15 (since 13th year under 17) with international attendance. So far, the competition has been attended by children from the Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Turkey and Ukraine. The international judges panel came from Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, USA, Brazil, Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
A total number of contestants is about 50-70 children who compete in two rounds, in four age categories from the youngest 6-year-old to 17-year-old contestants. Their proficiency in each category is judged by a five-member judges panel composed of prominent international figures of the piano interpretation art. From its very beginning the IPC Art Director has been Peter Toperczer, Dr. h. c., Rector emeritus at AMU in Prague, a native of Košice. After his sudden death, in 2011 it was an outstanding composer, pianist and conductor Peter Breiner and beginning with the next XIII. year of the competition the function of a professional guarantor and IPC Art Director will be taken by professor Toperczer`s son, Peter Toperczer jr.
The accompanying event of each IPC is a concert of laureates of previous years as well as concerts of an excellent school orchestra Musica Iuvenalis.
The competition is also supported by the mayor of Košice and competition laureates of previous years were given prizes by presidents of the Slovak Republic Rudolf Schuster and Ivan Gašparovič. In 1998 the competition was admitted as a regular member of the international organization EMCY (European Union of Music Competitions for Youth), which has substantially enhanced its credit on international scale. EMCY supports these competitions with the help and cooperation of UNESCO.
The objective of the competition is to support talented children and enable them to present themselves on major concert stages not only in Slovakia. Our endeavour is to help them feel well in Košice, and mainly to ensure that the light of knowledge emerging from the competition is inspirational for their further artistic development. Noteworthy too are interesting concerts of IPC laureates of previous years which constitute a traditional part of each year of the competition. This provides the opportunity to see and compare artistic growth of participating young pianists.
The climax of each IPC is a final „Concert of winners“ along with the prize awarding ceremony at Dom umenia (Palace of Art). Peter Toperczer International Piano Competition Košice has gained a great response by the wide specialist and general public, it promotes both the city of Košice and Slovakia abroad, and brings a huge artistic potential, contacts and friendships into the city. It has well deserved its reputation of one of the most significant competitions in Slovakia. For the above-mentioned reasons we will certainly continue in this project, which is a long-term project of our school, in the future.