A Competition with a Difference
The keys to a successful career as a pianist go beyond the piano. That’s the philosophy of PianoArts. Based in Milwaukee, PianoArts is a performing and educational organization that presents music festivals; a competition for international pianists, ages 16-20, who study full time or live in North American; and in collaboration with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a competition for Wisconsin pianists, ages 11-15. Designed for some of the most talented musicians, the competitions offer prizes, scholarships, and future performances, but the winners – in fact, all of the contestants – receive training and advice on all aspects of performance.
Participants have private conferences with well-known judges and participate in classes with professional musicians to hone their skills in playing with an ensemble and in speaking effectively about music. All contestants rehearse and perform a collaborative work for violin and piano or cello and piano with a musician from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In the North American Piano Comeptition, finalists have the opportunity to perform their full concerto with the MSO during the prize round. In the Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition, the winner received the opportunity to perform with the MSO on one of their youth concerts.
Opportunities After the Competitions
And for the winners, PianoArts is a source of support well after the contest is over. The organization stays in touch with the young musicians, providing contacts and opportunities to perform, give master classes, or present talks about music. Many North American Piano Competition finalists return to Milwaukee as PianoArts fellows to lead education programs, perform in concert halls, with area ensembles, and at PianoArts soirees. In keeping with the PianoArts philosophy of the importance of staying in touch with present day audiences and future professionals, many PianoArts winners continue to serve as advisers to the organization even as their training advances and careers grow.