Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888) was one of the most outstanding piano virtuosos of his age and a genial composer. His personality was strong and imaginative.During his time he was considered a great musician and was compared with such masters as Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt. Chopin was one of his closest friends.

Pierre-Joseph-Guillaume Zimmerman (or Zimmermann, 1785-1853) was Alkan’s beloved piano professor at the Conservatoire de Paris. He was considered the best piano professor and one of the most interesting composers of France during his time. Georges Bizet, César Franck and Ambroise Thomas were among his most famous students. Zimmerman organised legendary concerts at his home inviting the most famous musicians to perform. Alkan considered Zimmerman a father figure, cherished him and remembered him throughout his life.

It is with great admiration, love and respect that we dedicate the ALKAN-ZIMMERMAN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION to the memory of these two unique personalities and to the memory of legendary composers-pianists of the 19th century who are forgotten today.