The Washington International Competition (WIC), established in 1950, is held for singers, pianists, string players, and composers. WIC competitions for singers, pianists, and string players are held each spring in annual rotation. The WIC composers’ competition, established in 1976, is held every 3 years for the composition of a string quartet, piano quartet, piano quintet, piano trio, or string trio. Through the authority of its judges, high musical standards, and the quality of young artists attracted, the WIC offers—both in the United States and abroad—a significant opportunity for young artists to step upward from the ranks of talented students to recognition as professionals. Prize-winners of these competitions have gone on to win other important contests and achieve distinction on concert and opera stages around the world. 

Winners receive substantial cash awards and the opportunity to perform in recital or as soloist with orchestras in prestigious Washington venues. The winner of the WIC piano competition is invited to perform a solo recital in the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC (Alice Nagle Fund) and a concerto performance with the FMMC Avanti Orchestra during the following season. 

In the preliminary stage, applicants for performance competitions audition by videotape submitted electronically to our online application site. Those accepted as semifinalists are invited to come to Washington, DC, to compete before a panel of judges composed of outstanding performers, distinguished teachers, and others of recognized stature in various music fields. The WIC provides local housing for participants, with local transportation and meals provided at the convenience of hosts. Housing is available for all semifinalists. 

The semifinals and finals are open to the public free of charge—a great opportunity to hear promising young artists in a varied program. Applicants for the composition competition submit musical scores electronically to our online application site. The winning composition is publicly performed by professional musicians during the WIC Strings finals.

Upcoming Washington International Competitions

The next WIC competition is the 2020 Washington International Competition for Piano, which will take place May 23-24, 2020. For more information, please contact the co-chairs: Grace McFarlane & Junko Takahashi at wicpiano2020@gmail.com.

The next Washington International Competition for Strings and Composition will take place in 2021.