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The Musical America Guide to Competitions
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2018 Top Competitions
The Musical America Worldwide Guide
This Guide is our biggest to date and we've added more information about the competitions―everything from their Twitter handles to the names of the jury members, entry fees, cash prizes (as well as management, performances, and recordings), deadlines, frequency, disciplines, eligibility, and the dates of the semi-finals and finals. So, whatever the discipline, you (or your students) are bound to find the right competition at the right time and the right place.

The Musical America Worldwide Guide


Toronto, Ontario
The biennial Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) offer opportunities for the creation, performance, recording and celebration of new orchestral Jewish music through the awarding of two $50,000 prizes: the international Azrieli Prize for recent existing works and the Azrieli Commission for the creation of a new work of Jewish music.

Warsaw, Poland
The aspiration to revive the authentic sound of our brilliant composer’s music, which has borne fruit in the form of this unique event, is one of the fundamental ideas behind the work of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute.

Calgary, Alberta
Canada’s Honens International Piano Competition takes place every three years and awards $100,000 (CAD) and an Artist Development Program valued at a half-million dollars. Honens prepares its Laureates for the rigors and realities of professional careers in music and creates opportunities for growth and exposure.

Indianapolis, Indiana
Hailed by musicians, media and critics as one of the world's most important competitions for launching a professional career in violin, "The Indianapolis" now celebrates its 10th Quadrennial Competition to search the globe for the finest young talents and propel them onto the concert scene.

Jacksonville, Florida
The NATS Art Song Composition Award program's purpose is to stimulate the creation of quality vocal literature through the cooperation of singer and composer. The performance of the first place winning composition will be premiered at the NATS National Conference in 2020.

Jacksonville, Florida
The biennial NATS Artist Awards competition is designed to assist singers prepared to launch a professional career.

Jacksonville, Florida
The National Music Theater Competition is seeking out the best emerging music theater soloists. As the FIRST national competition for the music theater soloist, this competition's winners are finding success on Broadway and other theaters across the country.

Jacksonville, Florida
Originally for classical repertoire only, auditions now encompass music theater, other contemporary musical styles and (in even-numbered years) the Hall Johnson Spirituals.

Brussels, Belgium
Established in 1951 on the initiative of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth of Belgium as a successor to the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition the Queen Elisabeth Competition very soon became one of the leading international competitions for violinists pianists singers and in 2017 for cellists.

Arcadia, California
Schoenfeld International String Competition (SISC) was founded in 2013 in honor of the violinist Alice Schoenfeld and her late sister, the cellist Eleonore Schoenfeld, both legendary performers and pedagogues. With the support of the Foundation, we continue to build a multifaceted platform for gifted violinists, cellists, and chamber music performers.

Gina Bachauer International Artist Piano Competition BBC Cardiff Singer of the World
Salt Lake City, Utah
The Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions was the first competition to use a single elimination format Instead of eliminating competitors after playing only once all Bachauer competitors perform in two separate rounds. And as there are no requirements of repertory, competitors are free to display their artistry and virtuosity.
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is known throughout the classical music world as one of the premiere showcases for young professional singers at the start of their careers. It is broadcast on BBC Television, Radio and online, and can be seen and heard throughout the world.
International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition
Vienna, Austria
Since 1982 the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition is one of the world’s best networked singing competition with qualifying rounds in more than 70 cities world-wide each year. The singers are judged by a jury consisting of artistic and casting directors from the world's most prestigious opera houses.
Flint, Michigan
The William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition was started by William C. Byrd, conductor of the Flint Symphony Orchestra, for the purpose of helping launch careers for young musicians. Following his untimely death, the St. Cecilia Society of Flint, MI has continued to sponsor the annual classical music competition.
Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
Forth Worth, Texas
May 31-June 8, 2019 - Quadrennial international competition for 13 to 17 year old pianists held in Dallas, Texas on the campus of SMU and at Meyerson Symphony Center. Jury chairman: Alessio Bax. All performances webcast live and on demand. Final Round performances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Fort Worth, Texas
May 28-June 12, 2021. Quadrennial international piano competition held at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. Cash awards: $50,000/$25,000/$15,000. Winners also receive three years of comprehensive artist management services and tour booking, professional recording, publicity services, more. Fully produced live webcast of entire Competition.
Concours musical international de Montréal - CMIM The Cooper-Bing Competition
Montreal, Quebec
The CMIM is one of the world’s most highly regarded classical music competitions; the only one in North America to be held annually and to present three disciplines (voice, violin, piano) in a 3-year rotation. Prizes total half a million dollars per cycle and winners benefit from many professional opportunities.
Columbus, Ohio
The purpose of the Cooper-Bing Competition is to discover, recognize and encourage young operatic talent. Opera stars perform in a new competition format, with a top prize of $10,000.
Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition
Oberlin, Ohio
The Cooper International Competition alternates annually between piano and violin. The multi-round competition, open to the public and live-streamed, is open to musicians ages 13-18. The competition culminates in a final round at Severance Hall, where the top three competitors perform a full concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra.
Notre Dame, Indiana
Founded in 1973, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition encourages young people to pursue chamber music study and performance. Each year forty-nine ensembles of 3-6 players are invited to participate in the Junior Division, Senior String Division and Senior Wind Divisions.
The 16th International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition The Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition
Bergen, Norway
The competition will take place at Troldhaugen, Grieg’s picturesque home in Bergen, Norway, 1-9 September 2018. Competitors will reside with host families, and those who do not advance to the Second Round, Semi Final or Final will perform at a paid concert in the Bergen area. 1st prize: 30.000 euro.
Helsinki, Finland
Quinquennial (every five years) international voice competition held in Helsinki, Finland. One of the leading international singing competitions. Designed for outstanding young singers, it is known for its high standard, exacting repertoire, superb prizes and prestigious Jury. Prizes in total €173,000. Streamed live online and televised by the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
Michael Hill International Violin Competition 52nd International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch
Auckland, New Zealand
The world's best emerging violin talent in the world's most unique location.
's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Sole classical vocal competition in the Netherlands that involves opera and oratorio, as well as art song for singer/ pianist duos. Much attention paid to 20th century and contemporary music. Finals with symphony orchestra, masterclasses, media training, feedback from jury members, career development, travel refund possible, accommodation at host families.
Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover Kerikeri International Piano Competition (New Zealand)
Hannover, Germany
Since 1991, Stiftung Niedersachsen has been presenting the ›Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover. Those who succeed, having shown their special talent, virtuosity, and artistic personality, will be rewarded with impressive monetary prizes, a three-year loan of a Guadagnini-violin, debut performance opportunities, and the worldwide distribution of a CD recording.
Kerikeri, New Zealand
15 pianists will compete in Rounds One and Two with four in the Final
Selection is by audition video recording
There are 3 international judges on the jury
First Prize is NZ$15,000
An allowance (in NZ$) may be available towards travel costs
Home-stay accommodation is provided (if required)
IX Fritz Kreisler Violin Competition International FRANZ LISZT Piano Competition Weimar-Bayreuth
Vienna, Austria
The most important violin competition in Austria, organized in Vienna every 4 years, will take place from September 20th to 30th, 2018, with the Gala Final being hosted in the beautiful Golden Hall of Vienna’s Musikverein. The finalists will perform together with the ORF-Radio Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Johannes Wildner.
Weimar, Germany
Franz Liszt, after whom the competition and the University of Music in Weimar is named, always felt obligated to support young artists. He was significantly more than "just" a piano virtuoso and composer: He worked over a periode in Weimar.
Long Thibaud Crespin International Competition Monte Carlo Piano Masters
Paris, France
The Long thibaud Crespin international competition is a piano, violin and singing competition open to young musicians from all over the world. For more than 70 years, it represents a highlight of the parisian, french & international season. The 2018 violin edition is placed under Renaud Capuçon's artistic direction.
Paris, France
Reserved to the finalist of the international competitions. One single final prize.
NEP Call for Scores The New York International Piano Competition
Boston, Massachusetts
Since 1985, the New England Philharmonic has been one of few orchestras of its size in the country with a Composer-in-Residence program that holds an annual Call for Scores competition, receiving submissions from around the world. Winning scores are performed on one of our season’s programs.
New York, New York
A first in the world of competitions and a unique feature of the NYIPC, no participant is eliminated throughout the competition. The Foundation presents a cash award to each of the contestants not receiving a major prize. The NYIPC includes seminars, master classes, ensemble playing, and concert and recital appearances.
OFUNAM International Conducting Competition PianoArts
Mexico City, Mexico
The mission of the OFUNAM International Conducting Competition, with a biannual format, is to aid in the professional growth of the participants, as well as to promote the music of Mexican composers around the world.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Finalists have 4 rehearsals– with second pianist, conductor, chamber ensemble, and full orchestra prior to performing a full concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in the Concerto Round. Through the Artist Training Institute, contestants have classes on engaging audiences with concert conversations. During the concurrent festival, all perform community concerts.
Rapido! A 14 Day Composition Contest
Atlanta, Georgia
Rapido!® A 14-Day Composition Contest was founded by the Atlanta Chamber Players & The Antinori Foundation in 2009 to promote new chamber music compositions. The contest challenges composers of all ages to submit an original chamber work of 4-6 minutes composed in just 14 days, following specific theme and instrumentation.

New York, New York
Danbury, Connecitcut
Provo, Utah
Shaker Heights, Ohio
New York, New York
Highwood, Illinois
Cork, Ireland
Brooklyn, New York
Geneva, Switerland
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Utrect, The Netherlands
Harbin, China
Tokyo, Japan
Bonn, Germany
Poznan, Poland
Charlotte, North Carolina
Edmond, Oklahoma
New York, New York
New York, New York
Villeurbanne, France
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bamberg, Germany
Houston, Texas
Miami, Florida
New York, New York
Evanston, Illinois
Osaka, Japan
Oslo, Norway
Tel Aviv, Israel
Oxford, Ohio
Graz, Austria
Shanghai, China
Evanston, Illinois
Detroit, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Tokyo, Japan
New York, New York
Varallo, Italy
Washington, District of Columbia
Jackson, MIssissippi
London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom
New York, New York