Behind the scenes at the competition……

Peter Donohoe’s Tchaikovsky Competition Diary

It’s thirty years since British pianist Peter Donohoe won joint silver medal at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Hard to believe now that at that time Russia was still the Soviet Union, under the iron rule of an old guard communist leadership, when people’s rights and freedom was severely restricted and when visiting foreigners, such as Peter and his co-competitors, were treated with suspicion and were subjected to close surveillance.

To mark the thirtieth anniversary of his fine achievement, Peter has published his Tchaikovsky Competition diary on his blog. It’s a fascinating document, charting not just the highs and lows and daily anxieties of participating in an international competition, but also an insightful and entertaining glimpse behind the iron curtain. Despite the fact that we know the final outcome, this is a thrilling account.

Download the text here

[Peter Donohoe will feature in a future Meet the Artist interview in August]




  1. Thanks for this, very interesting reading indeed, especially about the dodgy going-ons. A shame he does not feel able to reveal the names of the juror and the finalist that had a lesson together on a concerto just before the final round. Yes, as he says, people will guess nonetheless. But many will guess wrong and this can potentially generate unfairness towards innocent parties. I’m sure Mr Donohoe is well-intentioned in his decision, but this inevitably takes away the value of such writing.

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