The contest was established in 1994 by the Russian Ministry of Culture and inspired by the Skryabin Foundation and International Skryabin Society. The organizing committee of the first such contest that involved 38 participants from 10 countries was headed by late renowned Russian pianist Svyatoslav Richter. The program included not only Skryabin's, but also Chopin, Liszt, Methner, Lyadov, Taneyev, and Glazunov's works.
Russia's Minister of Culture and Mass Communication Alexander Sokolov is responsible for this year's contest.
After a preliminary tour, 37 participants from 11 countries were admitted to the final stage, Skryabin's music accounting for a greater part of the contest program than in previous years.
The chairman of the jury is President of the International Skryabin Society Russia's People's Artist (the Russian title awarded for distinguished career on stage or in cinema - Ed.) Mikhail Voskresensky.
The winner is in for a prize worth 10,000 U.S. dollars.
Alexander Skryabin (1872-1915) was a renowned Russian composer and pianist, mainly distinguished for his piano and orchestra works, some of which involved chorus. Skryabin's mystical philosophy was reflected in his music, especially in his novel harmony that was not in line with the traditional tune of those times. His symphonic Poem of Fire (Prometheus, 1909-1910) included light performance synchronized with changes in sound tunes as the play went by. Skryabin is considered to be the one who invented color organs. His last and unfinished work was so-called Preliminary Action for Soloists, Chorus, and Orchestra - a passion play he wrote hoping to unite the entire mankind.