2021 GUIDE TO TOP COMPETITIONS
2021 Guide to Competitions
The 2021 Guide
Details for nearly 100 competitions
With the arrival of the vaccines, a sliver of light has begun to emerge at the end of a long tunnel. However, it raises challenging questions for competitions: Postpone the date of the finals (if you dare predict that far in advance) and face the cascading impact on every other date in the cycle? Will the venues booked still be available? How about the judges? Will they and the contenders be allowed to travel?
It is a testament to all involved that, whether postponing deadlines, changing venues, or being forced to make any number of other alterations, these competitions have persevered. Their commitment to bringing new, exceptional talent into the limelight persists, and with that, their continued nourishment and renewal of the field.
Download the Guide or scroll down to view information for each competition

2021 GUIDE TO COMPETITIONS

FEATURED COMPETITIONS
 

 
 
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.
 
   
 

 
 
Montréal, Canada
The Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) offer opportunities for the discovery, creation, performance and celebration of excellence in new concert music by awarding three prize packages each valued at $200,000 CAD: The Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music, the Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music and the Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music.
 
   
 

 
 
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 will celebrate its 11th Quadrennial Competition in September 2022, searching the globe for the finest young talents and propelling them onto the concert scene.
 
   
 

 
 
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.
 
   
 

 
 
Location to be announced
The biennial NATS Artist Awards competition is designed to assist classical singers prepared to launch a professional career.
 
   
 

 
 
Location to be announced
The National Musical Theatre Competition is seeking out the best emerging musical theatre soloists. Presented by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) as the FIRST national competition for the musical theatre soloist, winners are finding success on Broadway and other theaters across the country.
 
   
 

 
 
Location to be announced
The exciting experience of NATS Student Auditions continues in 2021 with a national round for Classical, Musical Theatre, and Spiritual categories. Originally for classical repertoire only, NATS auditions now encompass musical theatre, other contemporary musical styles, and (in alternating years) the Hall Johnson Spirituals and American Negro Spirituals competitions.
 
   
 

 
 
Takamatsu, Japan
To provide a forum to bring together top musicians worldwide as well as to encourage young people to pursue their dreams and goals of self-development.
 
   

ARD International Music Competition Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S Bach Competition
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.
Stony Brook, New York
For string players ages 16-30. Entrants will submit a videotaped performance of two contrasting movements of a work written by J.S. Bach for unaccompanied string instrument (Sonatas, Partitas or Suites). Application Deadline: October 10, 2021. Finalists will play complete work at the Finals on December 1, 2021. Grand prize: $5000; second place: $1000.
International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition
Vienna, Austria, and locations around the world
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.
Christmas Carol Commission Competition The Cooper-Bing Vocal Competition
Indianapolis, Indiana
The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir announces its 12th annual Christmas Carol Commission Competition as part of its commitment to the future of choral music.
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.
Dublin International Piano Competition Fischoff National Chamber Music 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.
South Bend, Indiana
The 48th Annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition takes place May 14-16, 2021, in South Bend, IN. For everyone's safety, this year's competition will occur virtually. The competition is open to ensembles with 3-6 members, and includes both senior and junior divisions. $39,300 in prize money will be awarded.
Geneva International Music Competition Honens International Piano Competition
Geneva, Switzerland
Founded in 1939, the Geneva Competition is one of the world's leading international music competitions. It aims at discovering, promoting and supporting young talented artists, giving them the necessary tools to launch an international career. Next competition is Cello & Oboe: October 16-29, 2021.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The Honens International Piano Competition takes place every three years and is considered one of the world's most prestigious events of its kind, awarding $100,000(CAD) and a comprehensive Artist Development Program. Honens prepares its Laureates for the rigours of professional careers in music, creating opportunities for growth and exposure.
International Music Competition Cologne International Piano Competition of Orleans
Köln, Germany
Besides technical virtuosity the aim of the IMWK is to award contestants who wish to find new interpretation approaches. Along with a high level of artistic achievement, IMWK requires young artists to present themselves in a self-confident manner, to be prepared being innovative and to act as versatile artistic personality
Orléans, France
Since 1994, the International Piano Competition of Orléans has releaved the talent of young artists who play piano repertoire, while promoting music from 20th and 21st centuries. The Competition has a strong international reputation and is affiliated with the World Federation Music Competitions.
10th International FRANZ LISZT Piano Competition Weimar-Bayreuth 2021 Franz Liszt International Piano Competition 2021
Weimar, Germany
In Weimar, musicians from all over the world will be able to meet at eye level, compare their abilities, and learn from each other. Feedback from a top-level international jury helps them in this regard. Attractive prices will reward the best oft the best.
Budapest, Hungary
Filharmonia Hungary is happy to announce the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, which will take place in September 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. The genius of Liszt imbues and inspires the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, making it one of the most prestigious Hungarian and international events.
Liszt Competition La Maestra International Competition for Women Conductors
Utrecht, Netherlands
The Liszt Competition actively presents, develops and promotes piano talents from around the world. The competition was founded in 1986 and has built a reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions. Role model for the competition is pianist, composer and visionary Franz Liszt.
Paris, France
La Maestra is an International Competition and Academy for Women Conductors co-directed by the Paris Mozart Orchestra and the Philharmonie de Paris. In 2022, La Maestra will provide a high profile platform for 14 outstanding women conductors who will compete in front of an international jury.
MTNA National Competitions Music International Grand Prix
Minneapolis, Minnesota
The MTNA National 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.
New York, New York, or virtual
International Music Competition culminating in a Winners Concert at Carnegie Hall. $5000 Grand Prix Award, thousands in other cash prizes. Esteemed panel of Judges. Video submissions followed by live Semifinals and Finals (Zoom available). Four age categories (no age limit for Adults).
The New York International Piano Competition Carl Nielsen International Competition
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.
Odense, Denmark
The first of the Carl Nielsen International Competition was held in Odense in 1980. After nearly four decades, the violin, clarinet and flute competitions have established themselves as some of the most inspiring and rewarding in the world, each offering winners the chance to launch a significant international career.
Piazzolla Music Competition PIMF Online Virtual Concerto Competition
Virtual
Piazzolla Music Competition is the international music competition for instrumentalists and ensembles in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Astor Piazzolla, presented in collaboration with Fundación Astor Piazzolla and with the involvement of the composer's family.
Virtual
Musicians in four age categories will compete for $25,000 in music festival scholarships and several performance opportunities including: a private recital in Philadelphia for the Grand Prize winner and a "Winners Circle" concert performance at PIMF, featuring members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, for first, second, and third place winners.
The Queen Sonja International Music Competition Paloma O'Shea Santander International Piano Competition
Oslo, Norway
Through exposure to an international jury of influential figures within the opera world, masterclasses, career development sessions, concert engagements and considerable cash prizes, participation in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition offers young artists a valuable kick-start to their careers.
Santander, Spain
In its 50th anniversary, the aim of the Santander International Piano Competition remains unchanged: to help young pianists worldwide offering them opportunities at a key moment in their lives, when they finish their educational period and are ready to take their first steps in the demanding professional world of music.
Schadt String Competition Franz Schubert and Modern Music
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Begun in 1997 following a bequest to the Allentown Symphony Association from Edwin H and Leigh W Schadt, the competition alternates biannually between violin and cello. The first prize includes a cash award of $12,000 and a solo concerto engagement with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.
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 contemporary pieces that are results of composition competitions that were particularly established for this competition.
Sing Finzi 2021
Virtual
To celebrate Gerald Finzi's 120th birthday year The Finzi Trust and Boosey & Hawkes are launching an international online singing competition giving you the chance to perform for a renowned panel and win a cash prize of £5000 for first place singer and £2000 for first place pianist.

ADDITIONAL COMPETITIONS
Danbury, Connecticut
Salt Lake City, Utah
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Besançon and Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; Beijing, China; Montréal, Canada
Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Miami, Florida
Cleveland, Ohio
Fort Worth, Texas
Dallas, Texas
New York, New York
Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Cork, Ireland
La Jolla, California
Bergen, Norway
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Hong Kong
Bonn, Germany
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Stuttgart, Germany
's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
New York, New York
Suzhou, China
Hannover, Germany
Washington, District of Columbia
Rochester or New York, New York
New York, New York
Lyon, France
Bamberg, Germany
København, Denmark
Budapest, Hungary
Houston, Texas
New York, New York, and locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico
Virtual
Monte Carlo, Monaco, France
Evanston, Illinois
Location to be announced
Osaka, Japan
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Columbia, Missouri
Los Angeles, California
Trondheim, Norway
Brussels, Belgium
Atlanta, Georgia
Tel Aviv, Israel
Various locations around the United States
Virtual
Detroit, Michigan
Norrköping, Sweden
Shanghai, China
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Sydney, Australia
Tokyo, Japan
New York, New York
Varallo (VC), Italy
Highland Park, Illinois
Poznan, Poland
London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom
New York, New York