The 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, one of the highlights of Israel's cultural scene, will start with a gala concert on March 8 and continue through to the finals on March 27 when a winner will be declared. On Sunday, March 9 at 11 a.m., 39 competitors from around the world will gather at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art for the ballot, which will determine their order of appearance for the entire competition. Stage I of the Competition will start the next day, Monday March 10 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are already on sale. The Rubinstein competition, which takes place every three years, draws pianists aged 18 to 32 from all over the world and this year includes five from Russia, four from Israel, four from Korea, three from Georgia, two from the US, two from Australia, two from the Ukraine, two from Taiwan, two from Poland, two from China and one from each of the following countries: Italy, Estonia, Brazil, Latvia, New Zealand, Serbia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Canada and Croatia. The Chamber Music Stage will be held in Eilat as part of the "Piano Festivities," a musical weekend to be held over Purim (March 20-22) in collaboration with Isrotel. The finals will take place on Thursday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. Three competitors will perform concertos from the Romantic period or the 20th century with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Uri Segal in the Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv. The first prize winner will take home $25,000, the second wins $15,000, the third $10,000 and the fourth, fifth and sixth prizes are $3000 each. In addition, prizes will be awarded in other categories, such as Best Performer and Audience Favorite. Competition winners will be invited to play at concerts in Israel and worldwide. For details on prices, schedules and broadcasting of the various stages within the competition, visit the official Web site: www.arims.org.il. For subscriptions and tickets for the Tel Aviv events call the Castel Ticket Agency 03-6045000 or *5000. For the Chamber Music Semi-finals in Eilat: Isrotel 1-800-800-808; Arkia: 09-8644444 or *5758.