Ukrainian pianist Illia Ovcharenko (21) has been named Prize Laureate of the 2022 Honens International Piano Competition. He wins one of the world’s largest prizes for piano: 100,000 Canadian Dollars (CAD) and an artist development programme valued at $500,000.


Finalists Rachel Breen (United States, 26) and Sasha Kasman Laude (United States, 27) each received Finalist Prizes of $10,000.

This year's Honens Piano jury included Michel Béroff (our choice for a best Prokofiev piano concertos set), Stewart Goodyear and recent BBC Music Magazine interviewee Imogen Cooper. Other jury members included Earl Blackburn, Katherine Chi, Ick-Choo Moon and Orli Shaham.

'Over the past two weeks, our jury and devoted audiences have experienced world-class pianism of the highest possible level,' adds Jon Kimura Parker, Honens’ artistic director. 'The Honens International Piano Competition has brought artistry, emotion, virtuosity, and creativity to Calgary and to the world. We offer our warmest congratulations to all of the pianists and special congratulations to the 2022 Honens Prize Laureate, Illia Ovcharenko.'

Currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv under the tutelage of Arie Vardie, Illia Ovcharenko has already performed with leading orchestras including the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Pomeranian Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, National Radio of Ukraine, and the Versailles Conservatory String Orchestra.

Illia's development programme will include debut recitals in some of the world’s leading concert houses, plus concert opportunities with leading orchestras, professional management, residencies, and recordings.

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The Competition’s mission is 'to identify talent that is unusual, imaginative, and informed—an artist not limited to displays of virtuosity but one who is capable of thoughtful, expressive music-making, and is ready for a professional career'. 'The world is in the throes of change and while Honens continues to adapt as it moves forward in its mission, we are pleased to remain consistent and true in our search for the complete artist,' says Neil Edwards, Honens’ President & CEO.

Honens sees the complete artist as 'a consummate communicator and collaborator, a risk-taking explorer, a dreamer. Through performance and programming choices, he / she expresses and interprets ideas from a wide cultural context with keen imagination, informed and seasoned by a fascination for life outside the practice studio. The Complete Artist inspires the heart and engages the intellect.'


Archived video recordings of the entire 2022 Honens International Piano Competition can be viewed at


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.