Overview for Applicants

Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition

Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition for pianists, ages 10 – 16 Proudly presented by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and PianoArts North American Piano Competition Sponsored by the JoAnne Krause Education Endowment Fund

June 12–15, 2015

Semifinal and Final Rounds of Competition Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

April 20, 2015

Application and CD submission deadline

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and PianoArts are delighted to present a concerto competition for Wisconsin pianists, ages 10-16. Held in the years opposite the PianoArts North American Competition for pianists ages 16-20, the Wisconsin Youth Concerto Competition challenges young musicians while providing positive learning experiences through rehearsals, performances, and classes with professional musicians.

The preliminary round will be via a compact disc (CD) recording. This round is anonymous. A number will be assigned to each contestant. Following the adjudication, the jury of three judges will invite up to twelve contestants to participate in the semifinal round. During the semifinal round, each contestant will rehearse and perform the first movement of his or her concerto with a professional pianist, provided by the competition, playing the orchestral reduction. Another jury of three judges will advance three pianists to the final round. Each finalist will rehearse and then perform in the final round with a conductor and quintet of musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Cash prizes and an award of performing for a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert will be presented.

All contestants in the preliminary, semifinal, and final rounds will receive critiques of their performances from each member of the jury. A distinguishing feature of PianoArts is that all contestants speak to audiences about their music. Prior to speaking to audiences, contestants will have private coaching sessions to hone their skills in communicating about music.

During the competition, contestants will:

  • perform with a quintet of MSO musicians during the Finals and Awards Concert
  • attend recital series featuring internationally distinguished pianists
  • receive guidance through one-on-one conferences with distinguished judges
  • rehearse and perform with professional pianists during the semifinal rounds
  • participate in workshops on speaking to audiences about music, stage presence, competing with confidence, and performing with a conductor
  • receive written comments from judges following the CD preliminary round