2020 Guide to Competitions
The Guide to Top Competitions
Details for more than 90 contests
Competitions have many moving parts—application deadlines, eligibility rules, artistic disciplines, frequency, dates, fees, jury members. We've gathered and filtered them all to present the sixth Guide to Competitions, our largest yet.
In addition, each part has subtleties and iterations. For instance, jury members may be teachers and, if so, the question arises as to whether their students will be allowed to compete (always a sharp discussion point after the winners are announced).
We run all those disparate elements through our filter to make the result as useful as possible. We hope it’s helpful, both to aspiring talent and to those trying to find the bright future stars.
Download the Guide or scroll down to view information for each competition



Beijing, China
From May 1-11, 2020, 24 violinists from around the world, aged between 16 and 28, will compete in Beijing for unmatched cash prizes. The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform in the first phase Final Round, where six competitors will each play a major violin concerto by Mozart. The competition invites prominent performers and pedagogues to form a distinguished jury panel.

Submissions to Jacksonville, FL; winner performed in Chicago, IL
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 57th NATS National Conference in Chicago, IL.

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

Knoxville, Tennessee
The exciting experience of NATS Student Auditions, where singers perform and receive written feedback, continues in 2020 with a national round of competition and prizes. Originally for classical repertoire only, auditions now encompass music theater, other contemporary musical styles and (in even-numbered years) the Hall Johnson Spirituals.

New York, New York
The National Music Theater Competition is seeking out the best emerging music theater soloists. Presented by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) as the FIRST national competition for the music theater soloist, winners are finding success on Broadway and other theaters across the country.

Harbin, China
Schoenfeld International String Competition was founded in 2013 in honor of the violinist Alice Schoenfeld and the cellist Eleonore Schoenfeld, both legendary performers and pedagogues. As a member of WFIMC, the Schoenfeld aims to build a multifaceted platform for gifted violinists, cellists, and chamber music performers all over world. Chamber music ensembles include: string quartet (two violins, viola, cello); piano trio (violin, cello, piano); and piano quartet (violin, viola, cello, piano).

American Pianists Awards ARD International Music Competition
Indianapolis, Indiana
The American Pianists Awards are held every two years to discover the best aspiring American jazz or classical pianists. Winners receive cash and two years of career advancement and support valued at over $100,000, making this one of the most coveted prizes in the music world.
Munich, Germany
One of the most renowned and large-scale competitions of its kind takes place every year in four varying categories. The invitation to participate in this competition is extended to young musicians, who are ready to launch an international career.
2020 Gina Bachauer Junior and Young Artists International Piano Competitions William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition
Salt Lake City, Utah
Twenty-four pianists, ages 11-14, and 24 pianists, ages 15-18, compete in back-to-back competitions in June 2020 in Salt Lake City in their quest for $62,000 in prizes and the opportunity to perform in the Final Round in Abravanel Hall with the Utah Symphony.
Flint, Michigan
The William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition is an annual event that takes place at the Flint Institute of Music, Flint, MI. The winner receives $6,000 and the opportunity to perform with the Flint Symphony Orchestra. The second place winner receives $2,500. Three other finalists receive $1,000.
Christmas Carol Commission Competition Cooper-Bing Competition
Indianapolis, Indiana
The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir announces its 11th annual Christmas Carol Commission Competition as part of its commitment to the future of choral music.
Columbus, Ohio
This internationally recognized vocal competition engages impressive young operatic talent from all over the world. The Cooper-Bing Competition aims to encourage emerging artists and celebrate the next generation of opera stars. Join us for an afternoon of outstanding singers as they compete for a top prize of $10,000.
Dublin International Piano Competition The 17th International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition
Dublin, Ireland
The Dublin International Piano Competition is an internationally renowned piano competition attracting participation of the most outstanding young pianists in the world, adjudicated by a distinguished jury.
Bergen, Norway
The Competition will take place at Troldhaugen, Grieg's picturesque home in Bergen, Norway, September 2020. 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. First prize: €30,000.
Michael Hill International Violin Competition International Music Cologne 2020
Auckland, New Zealand
The world's best emerging violin talent in the world's most intriguing location. Prize package valued at over NZ$100,000; first prize NZ$40,000 plus recording and recital tour in 2022. Personalized professional development program; airfares provided to 16 quarter finalists
Köln, Germany
This year's discipline will be a singer's competition with the main focus opera/operetta. This important international music competition is devoted to promoting young professional music talents, and serves as a stepping stone for young artists on their way to an international career.
Jinji Lake International Piano Competition 2020 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players (Ages 13-17)
Suzhou, China
This Competition is a new and exciting event of international caliber in the Asia Pacific Region held in Suzhou, a 2500-year-old city hailed as "Venice of the Orient," and is dedicated to promoting the art of piano at the most professional level for its local communities and global friends.
Washington, District of Columbia
Total of $67,000 in prizes, with equal prizes for each instrument. The JIC is funded by a charitable trust established by Anna Storch Johansen, who wanted to encourage young musicians with significant prize awards at a time when they need it most.
Kocian Violin Competition MTNA National Student Competitions
Ústí nad Orlicí, Czech Republic
The competition takes place in Ústí nad Orlicí, Czech Republic, the birthplace of the violin virtuoso and composer Jaroslav Kocian. The aim of the competition is to support young talented violinists, to create opportunities to meet and to compete with support and assistance of professional international juries.
Atlanta, Georgia
The MTNA National Student Competitions are the most successful and prestigious student competitions in the country. The purpose of the Music Teachers National Association performance competitions is to provide educational experiences for students and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence.
The New York International Piano Competition PianoArts
New York, New York
A first in the world and a unique feature of the NYIPC, no contestant is eliminated throughout the Competition, to be held June 21-26, 2020, in New York City. Cash awards: First Prize $20,000; Second Prize $15,000; Third Prize $5,000; Fourth Prize $2,500; Ensemble Prizes $6,000; Best Performance of Commissioned Work $2,000; Finalist Award to each of the remaining contestants $1,000.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
PianoArts semifinalists perform solo recitals and partner with a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra violinist or cellist to rehearse and perform duo recitals. They speak about music and rehearse their presentations with a speaking coach. Finalists perform complete concertos with the MSO. Numerous prizes include PianoArts Fellowships and performances for diverse audiences.
The Queen Sonja International Music Competition Rapido! A 14 Day Composition Contest
Oslo, Norway
The Queen Sonja International Music Competition is a prestigious competition, held every two years for singers from around the world. The Competition is a platform for providing career opportunities for young singers and acts as a stepping stone to the professional music world for young artists.
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 four to six minutes composed in just 14 days, following a specific theme and instrumentation.
Franz Schubert and Modern Music XII International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition
Graz, Austria
Its uniqueness is the combination of traditional and contemporary music so that not only the participants but also the audience gets in touch with both genres. Participants will perform winning pieces of an affiliated composition competition.
Helsinki, Finland
XII International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition will be held in Helsinki from November 22 to December 3, 2020. First and second rounds with pianist and finals with two symphony orchestras: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Dima Slobodeniouk, and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Susanna Mälkki.
Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition Poznan
Norrköping, Sweden
Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition (WSIMC) was started in 2006 in Norrköping, Sweden, by Sonja Stenhammar and has since been held every second year. Contestants are required to perform a work of Wilhelm Stenhammar, the famous Swedish composer.
Poznan, Poland
The Competition runs October 9-22, 2021 and is divided into three sections: first, solo with piano; second (in two parts), with piano and with chamber orchestra; third, with symphony orchestra (two concertos). A prize-winner gala is held on October 22, 2021 in Poznan, and repeated in Warsaw on October 24, 2021.
Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition
London, United Kingdom
The Competition celebrates the art of the song recital and honors the Lied’s place at the heart of the genre. The Competition has grown in status and prestige since its foundation in 1997 and continues to attract international singers and pianists keen to embark on significant recital careers.
London, United Kingdom
The Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition is one of the most prestigious quartet competitions in the world. The Competition is held under the auspices of Wigmore Hall, the leading venue for chamber music. It attracts the best young quartets and offers excellent career development opportunities to prizewinners.

New York, New York
Danbury, Connecticut
Montréal, Canada
Banff, AB, Canada
Provo, Utah
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Besançon, France; Berlin, Germany; Beijing, China; Montréal, Canada
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Montréal, QC, Canada
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Fort Worth, Texas
Dallas, Texas
New York, New York
Montréal, QC, Canada
Oberlin, Ohio
Bucharest, Romania
South Bend, Indiana
Cork, Ireland
Vienna, Austria, and location around the world
Geneva, Switzerland
La Jolla, California
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Houston, Texas
Calgary, Canada
Hong Kong
Stuttgart, Germany
Bonn, Germany
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Indianapolis, Indiana
's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
New York, New York
Hannover, Germany
Berlin, Singapore, New York and Leeds, United Kingdom
Rochester, New York
New York, New York
Utrecht, Netherlands
Lyon, France
Bamberg, Germany
København, Denmark
Budapest, Hungary
New York and locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico
Miami, Florida
New York, New York
Evanston, Illinois
Gütersloh, Germany
Osaka, Japan
Columbia, Missouri
Trondheim, Norway
Brussels, Belgium
Tel Aviv, Israel
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Various locations around the United States
Shanghai, China
Manchester, United Kingdom
Detroit, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Sydney, Australia
Takamatsu, Japan
Tokyo, Japan
Varallo (VC), Italy
Vercelli, Italy
Washington, District of Columbia
Brookfield, Wisconsin
New York, New York