The audition video is designed to provide preliminary judges with excerpts of your performances of the works you have selected for Repertoire Categories 1, 2, and 3 only. You are asked to list in your application all movements of each work you have selected for all four categories, including the title and timing of each movement of each work, because the purpose of the application is to gather all the information needed if you are selected for the semi-final rounds in Washington, DC. This information is used to generate repertoire lists for the judges and pianists, the competition program, and for scheduling purposes.
Application and Auditions
Why does the application tell me to list all the movements of each work if the audition video wants only 5 minutes or less of Bach, 12 minutes or less of the sonata, and 13 minutes or less of the concerto?
If you are selected for the semi-finals, you will need to be prepared to perform every movement of each work you have listed as your repertoire in the application, including the virtuoso work. In addition, semi-finalists are required to play a new work commissioned for the competition.
The judges need accurate timings in order to select which movements they want to hear and in what order.
The time limits for each category are somewhat flexible, as long as you do not exceed the time limit for any category by more than 1 minute. However, the total time of the audition video should not exceed 30 minutes. For example, if you need slightly more than 5 minutes for your Bach, that is fine as long as you use less time somewhere else.
What if I already have a video of a live performance of a concerto with orchestra? Can I use an excerpt of that for my audition video?
You may use a live video recording of the work you are performing with orchestra. However, we advise you to consider the audio quality of the orchestral performance. Audio quality is of paramount importance, and a video with a pianist may produce a better recording.
Video quality is very important! If there are any technical problems that interfere with both viewing and hearing your performances, your score may be affected or your application may be disqualified. Preliminary judges will not be viewing your videos, only hearing the audio portion, but monitors will be watching the videos to make sure guidelines are followed. Please use one of the acceptable file formats. Because your audition score will be based on the audio portion of your video, we recommend that you listen carefully to its audio quality before sending in your final application package.
Videos must not be edited. The camera must remain in the same position during each video.
Notifying the Semi-Finalists
The audition videos are judged in the first half of January. Semi-finalists are notified shortly after the judging is finished and the semi-finalists have been selected. Semi-finalists are notified by email and by phone, if possible.
Yes, applicants who were not selected for the semi-finals are notified by email as soon as possible. Because the semi-finalists must learn a new work for the competition, it is urgent that we send out their information packets first.
We do not publish or release the names of our semi-finalists until after the competition is over. Our judging is done at all stages without identifying the performers. Semi-finalists are assigned a competition number, and those numbers are used in the competition program and on the judging materials.
Rehearsing with the Competition Pianists
All semi-finalists are required to perform with the official competition pianists.
There is one day of rehearsals on Wednesday, March 14, the day before the semi-finals. All repertoire will be covered at that time. Each semi-finalist gets approximately 25 minutes of rehearsal with an assigned pianist. This time includes unpacking your instrument and tuning. In addition, each semi-finalist has a 10-minute warm-up period with the pianist before the semi-final performance on Thursday or Friday.
Before arriving at the semi-finals, spend some time talking with your teacher and identify the areas that would need special attention, such as tempo changes, transitions, or complicated passages.
Our pianists are highly accomplished professionals who have performed with our competitors for more than 10 years. They are familiar with most of the works selected as repertoire for this competition. However, if a work is unknown or extremely difficult to put together, it might not be ideal for the limited rehearsal time.
Yes, you need to bring your own piano parts. Be sure to write your assigned semi-finalist competition number on the part. If you have specific things you want the pianist to know, such as changes in tempo, rubati, dynamics, and so on, you might want to mark those in your piano part.
Performing at the Semi-Finals
Each semi-finalist performs for approximately 20 to 25 minutes total, depending on how many semi-finalists are selected for the competition.
You may select the first work for your semi-finals performance. The judges will stop you when they think it is time to move on to a different piece. They will then tell you what they want to hear next. You will not be able to play all the music you have chosen as your repertoire during the semi-finals due to time constraints. However, there is no way to know what the judges will ask you to play. If you are chosen as a finalist, the judges will ask to hear music during the finals that you have not performed during the semi-finals.
The typical schedule is below. However, the schedule might change depending on a number of factors, such as how many semi-finalists or finalists are selected. Do not rely on this when making travel plans.
Wednesday: Rehearsals – 9:00 am to 5:30 pm; 25-minute rehearsal with pianist for each semi-finalist
Thursday: Semi-Finals – 8:30 am to 5:30 pm; 10-minute warmup; 20- to 25-minute performance
Friday: Semi-Finals – 8:30 am to 5:30 pm; 10-minute warmup; 20- to 25-minute performance
Finalists are announced Friday evening; the judges assign the repertoire for the Finals.
Saturday: Finals – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; 10-minute warmup; 20- to 25-minute performance.
Winners are announced and prizes awarded Saturday right after the finals.