Piano Competition

The competition is open to all young pianists between the ages of 6 and 18 years old. All previous "First Prize" winners may not compete until eligible for the next age division.

2024 Competition Details 

Featured Theme: The Baroque Style

Competition Date: Sunday, September 29, 2024

Application Deadline: Friday, September 6, 2024 at 11:59 PM

NEW SPECIAL PRIZE: Diversity in Music Award

Registration fee: A registration fee of $35 (non-refundable) must accompany each application.

For more information: Any questions regarding repertoire or the competition should be directed to Dr. Jacob Ertl.

TO REGISTER

Requirements

Young Pianist Division
  • Ages 6-10 as of September 1, 2024
  • Two memorized pieces - one work must be written by a composer from the Baroque period (can also be written by a contemporary pedagogy composer in the Baroque style); one work/movement by another composer in a contrasting style
  • Maximum audition time will be 7 minutes 
Junior Division
  • Ages 11-14 as of September 1, 2024
  • Two memorized pieces - one work/movement must be written by a composer from the Baroque period; one work/movement from another historical style period
  • Maximum audition time will be 10 minutes.
Senior Division
  • Ages 15-18 as of September 1, 2024
  • Two memorized pieces - one work/movement must be written by a composer from the Baroque period; one work/movement from another historical style period
  • Maximum audition time will be 15 minutes.

Awards

Diversity in Music Award

This special award is given to a deserving participant in each age division who performs a work by an under-appreciated composer of color as part of their 2 required repertoire selections. The composer may be black, indigenous, or a person of color (all non-white people) from any style period and country.

In the unlikely event the adjudicators determine that no performance is prize-worthy, the award will be withheld.

Prize: Young Pianists – $25, Junior – $50, Senior – $50

Resources:

A Seat at the Piano: database with levels
Ebony Music: piano music by black composers
Piano Music of the African Diaspora - 6 graded levels
Pianolit.com – piano pieces by black composers

Young Pianist Division
  • First Place Winner: $75
  • Second Place Winner: $35
  • Diversity in Music Award: $25
  • Honorable Mentions awarded at judges' discretion
Junior Division
  • First Place Winner: $200
  • Second Place Winner: $75
  • Diversity in Music Award: $50
  • Honorable Mentions awarded at judges' discretion
Senior Division
  • First Place Winner: $200
    • $3,000 Nazareth University Piano Scholarship awarded upon application and acceptance into the Nazareth University School of Music
    • Invitation to present a senior recital in Wilmot Recital Hall, scheduled during the winner's senior year of high school and subject to hall availability
  • Second Place Winner: $75
  • Diversity in Music Award: $50
  • Honorable Mentions awarded at judges' discretion

Awards Ceremony and Winner's Recital

Details

The Awards Ceremony and Winner's Recital will be held on the day of the competition at 4:30 p.m. in Beston Hall, Glazer Music Performance Center

Meet the Judges

Judges 2024

Past Competition Results

2023

Featured Composer: Character Pieces of the 19th Century

Young Pianist Division

1st Prize - Bryant Li, Williamsville, NY, student of Violeta Arakelova
2nd Prize - Alex Chang, Pittsford, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Diversity in Music Award - David Wu, Pittsford, NY, student of Jacob Ertl
Honorable Mention - Oliver Kulshrestha (Pittsford, NY), student of Bonnie Choi
Honorable Mention - Alan Wu (Pittsford, NY), student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Abigail Budnack (Grand Island, NY), student of Rasa Stalygiene

Junior Division

1st Prize - Max Thiele, Pittsford, NY, student of Kym Schifino
2nd Prize - Wenzhang Vazquez, Buffalo, NY, student of Violeta Arakelova
Honorable Mention - Jasmine Wu, Pittsford, NY, student of Elier Suarez 
Honorable Mention - Thea Costanzo, Hemlock, NY, student of Brian Preston
Honorable Mention - Kevin Zang, Manlius, NY, student of Scott Cuellar

Senior Division
1st Prize - David Fu, Delmar, NY, student of Julian Martin
2nd Prize - Nathaniel Shuhan, Ithaca, NY, student of Andrea Merrill
Diversity in Music Award - Nathaniel Shuhan, Ithaca, NY, student of Andrea Merrill
Honorable Mention - Shaila Man, Pittsford, NY, student of Brian Preston
Honorable Mention - Alexander Wu , Pittsord, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - David Yang, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Logan Canfield, Penfield, NY, student of Elier Suarez 

Judges:
Young Pianist: Dr. Kevin Nitsch, Dr. E-Na Song
Junior Division: Dr. Sarah Rhee-Tirre, Dr. Beverly Smoker
Senior Division: Dr. Gary Fisher, Dr. Yi-Wen Chang

2022

Featured Composer: Haydn

Young Pianist Division

1st Prize - Frank Luo, Syosset, NY, student of Zhiye Lin
2nd Prize - Vivienne Liu, Buffalo, NY, student of Mary Handley
Honorable Mention - Oliver Santora, Buffalo, NY, student of Mary Handley
Honorable Mention - Alex Chang, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Abigail Budnack, Grand Island, NY, student of Rasa Stalygiene
Honorable Mention - Elnora Budnack, Grand Island, NY, student of Rasa Stalygiene 

 Junior Division

1st Prize - Weijun Wang, Pittsford, NY, student of Alla Kuznetsov
2nd Prize - Lindsey Shen, Pittsford, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich
Honorable Mention - Charlotte Anderson, Fairport, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Advik Anand, Rochester, NY, student of Gary Kong
Honorable Mention - Hanwen Li, Pittsford, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Milo Anderson, Fairport, NY, student of Elier Suarez

Senior Division
1st Prize -  Emma Wu, Buffalo, NY, student of Shirley Chan
2nd Prize - Julian Chumacero, Victor, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Allison Fan, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
Honorable Mention - Gabe Foster, Rochester, NY, student of Sally Forgensi
Honorable Mention - Sophia Damico, Victor, NY, student of Bonnie Choi

Judges: 
Young Pianist: Dr. Gary Fisher, Dr. Yi-Wen Chang
Junior Division: Dr. Sarah Rhee-Tirre, Dr. Kevin Nitsch
Senior Division: Dr. Asami Hagiwara, Dr. Beverly Smoker

2021

Featured Composer: Women Composers

Young Pianist Division
1st Prize - Haolin Jin, Buffalo, NY, student of Violeta Arakelova
2nd Prize - Hanwen Li, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Oliver Santora, Buffalo, NY, student of Mary Handley
Honorable Mention - Charlotte Anderson, Fairport, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Jiaxi Gao, Buffalo, NY, student of Akina Yura Stalygiene
Honorable Mention - Thea Costanzo, Pittsford, NY, student of Brian Preston

Junior Division
1st Prize - Emily Yu, Pittsford, NY, student of Brian Preston
2nd Prize - Shaila Man, Pittsford, NY, student of Brian Preston
Honorable Mention - Lindsey Shen, Pittsford, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich
Honorable Mention - Surya Man, Pittsford, NY, student of Brian Preston
Honorable Mention - Weijun Wang, Pittsford, NY, student of Alla Kuznetsov
Honorable Mention - Milo Anderson, Fairport, NY, student of Elier Suarez

Senior Division
1st Prize - Rebecca Lee, Pittsford, NY, student of Jacob Ertl
2nd Prize - Amy Feng, Pittsford, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Madeleine Wang, student of Peter Vinograde
Honorable Mention - Paul Di Folco, student of Russell Posegate

Judges: 
Young Pianist: Dr. Asami Hagiwara, Dr. Sarah Rhee-Tirre
Junior Division: Dr. Gary Fisher, Dr. Beverly Smoker
Senior Division: Dr. Yi-Wen Chang, Dr. Gary Palmer

2020

Featured Composer: Beethoven and his Contemporaries

Young Pianist Division
1st Prize - Rinchen Posel, Saugerties, NY, student of Janara Khassenova
2nd Prize - Oliver Santora, Kenmore, NY, student of Mary Handley
Honorable Mention - Tianying Tang, Beijing, China, student of Miao Tian
Honorable Mention - Charlotte Anderson, Fairport, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Abigail Budnack, Grand Island, NY, student of Rasa Stalygiene
Honorable Mention - Emma Yu, Pittsford, NY, student of Brian Preston

Junior Division
1st Prize - Jiatong Gao, Clifton Park, NY, student of Young Kim
2nd Prize - Shaila Man, Pittsford, NY, student of Brian Preston
Honorable Mention - Lindsey Shen, Pittsford, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich
Honorable Mention - Maureen Zhang, Pittsford, NY, student of Brian Preston
Honorable Mention - William Deinzer, Amherst, NY, student of Steven Bianchi
Honorable Mention - Milo Anderson, Fairport, NY, student of Elier Suarez

Senior Division
1st Prize - Elizabeth Zhang, Andover, MA, student of Alexander Korsantia
2nd Prize - Natalie Chow, Livingston, NJ, student of Beatrice Long
Honorable Mention - Amy Feng, Pittsford, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Giorgi Kharchilava, Getzville, NY, student of Rasa Stalygiene
Honorable Mention - Madeleine Wang, Ithaca, NY, student of Golda Tatz
Honorable Mention - Kaelem Michel, Fayetteville, NY, student of Natela Mchedlishvili

Judges: 
Young Pianist: Dr. Gary Fisher, Dr. Beverly Smoker
Junior Division: Dr. Asami Hagiwara, Nicholas Susi
Senior Division: Dr. Albert Kim Dr. Paul Sanchez

2019

Young Pianist Division
1st Prize - Lindsey Shen, Rochester, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich
2nd Prize - Wenzhang Vazquez, Buffalo, NY, student of Violeta Arakelova 
Honorable Mention - Charlotte Anderson, Rochester, NY, student of  Elier Suarez

Junior Division
1st Prize - Rebecca Lee, Rochester, NY, student of Jacob Ertl
2nd Prize - Emily Yu, Rochester, NY, student of Brian Preston
Honorable Mention - Julian Chumacero, Farmington, NY, student of Elier Suarez
Honorable Mention - Weijun Wang, Rochester, NY, student of  Alla Kuznetsov
Honorable Mention - Matthew Barry, Rochester, NY, student of Howard Spindler
Honorable Mention - Milo Anderson, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez

Senior Division
1st Prize - Maxwell Sun, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
2nd Prize - David Munechika, Rochester, NY, student of Gary Fisher
Honorable Mention - David Su, Buffalo, NY, student of Violeta Arakelova 
Honorable Mention - Katherine Yun, Buffalo, NY, student of Mary Handley
Honorable Mention - Giorgi Kharchilava, Buffalo, NY, student of Rasa Stalygiene

2018

Featured Composer: Chopin and his Legacy

Elementary/Young Pianists Division

  • First Prize: Weijun Wang, Rochester, NY, student of Alla Kuznetsov
  • Second Prize: Emily Yu, Rochester, NY, student of Brian Preston
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Lauryn Lee, Rochester, NY, student of Seiko Yokoyama
    • Emily Martin, Rochester, NY, student of Alla Kuznetsov
    • Annie Sun, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
    • Tristan Zhang, Rochester, NY, student of Janet Koets

Junior Division

  • First Prize: Maxwell Sun, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
  • Second Prize: Christopher Shen, Rochester, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Jeffrey Xue, Rochester, NY, student of Brian Preston
    • Rebecca Lee, Rochester, NY, student of Jacob Ertl
    • Margaret Bauman, Rochester, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich
    • Madeleine Wang, Ithaca, NY, student of Deborah Martin

Senior Division

  • First Prize: Jonathan Indajang, Albany, NY, student of Young Kim
  • Second Prize: Robert Graziano, Rochester, NY, student of Hassan Al-Mufti
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Debosir Ghosh, NY, student of Mary Handley
    • David Munechika, Rochester, NY, student of Gary Fisher
    • Lillian Kahng, Buffalo, NY, student of Mary Handley
2017

Featured Composer: Music after 1917

Junior Division

  • First Prize: Celine Wang, Buffalo, NY, student of Violeta Arakelova
  • Second Prize: Margaret Bauman, Rochester, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Felix Huang, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
    • Maxwell Sun, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
    • Clara Thiele, Rochester, NY, student of Kym Schifino

Senior Division

  • First Prize: Raymond Feng, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
  • Second Prize: David Munechika, Rochester, NY, student of Gary Fisher
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Edelia Liitvak, NY, student of Ubaldo Diaz-Acosta
    • Michael Samodurov, NY, student of Natalya Hennings
2016

Junior Division

  • First Prize: Amy Feng, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
  • Second Prize: Thomas Xue, Rochester, NY, student of Brian Preston
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Kaelem Michel, Syracuse, NY, student of Patricia DeAngelis
    • Clara Thiele, Rochester, NY, student of Kym Schifino
    • Serena Yang, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
    • Celine Wang, Buffalo, NY, student of Violeta Arakelova

Senior Division

  • First Prize: Jimmy Berger, Buffalo, NY, student of Rasa Stalygiene
  • Second Prize: Yulia Yang, Rochester, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich 
  • Honorable Mention: 
    • Elizabeth Schoewerer, New Paltz, NY, student of Valentina Shatalova
    • Joshua McKinnis, Syracuse, NY, student of Patricia DeAngelis
    • Robert Graziano, Buffalo, NY, student of Hassan Al-Mufti
2015

Junior Division

  • First Prize: Sabrina Yu, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
  • Second Prize: Felix Huang, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
  • Honorable Mention: Fidel Cai, Rochester, NY, student of Joseph Irrea

Senior Division

  • First Prize: Vivian Yu, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
  • Second Prize: Grace Lineham, Rochester, NY, student of Tamari Gurevich Hill
2014

Junior Division

  • First Prize: Sherrie Wang, Buffalo, NY, student of Violeta Arakelova
  • Second Prize: Hannah Sohn, Clifton Park, NY, student of Young Kim
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Jeana Chun, Poughkeepsie, NY, student of Ruthanne Schempf
    • Tina Wen, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
    • Sabrina Yu, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez

Senior Division

  • First Prize: Alexei Aceto, Ithaca, NY, student of Trudy Borden
  • Second Prize: Rachel Sohn, Clifton Park, NY, student of Young Kim
  • Honorable Mention: 
    • Karen Cao, Troy, MI, student of Faye Mao
    • Nicole Franki, Rochester, NY, student of Sarah Rhee-Tirre
    • Mia Gorczyca, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
    • Demi Yang, Troy, MI, student of Faye Mao
2013

Junior Category

  • First Prize: Rachel Sohn, Albany, NY, student of Young Kim
  • Second Prize: Lauren Kim, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Tina Wen, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
    • Muxing Zhao, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez

Senior Category

  • First Prize: Stuart Burtner, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
  • Second Prize: Mia Gorcyzca, Rochester, NY,  student of Bonnie Choi
  • Honorable Mention: 
    • Vivian Yu, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
    • Nicole Franki, Rochester, NY, student of Sarah Rhee-Tirre
2012

Featured Composer: J.S. Bach

Junior Category

  • First Prize: Raymond Feng, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
  • Second Prize: Rachel Sohn, Clifton Park, NY, student of Young Kim
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Daniel Yang, Rochester, NY, student of Gary Kong
    • Vivian Yu, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez
    • Margaret Zhang, Rochester, NY, student of Alla Kuznetsov
    • Muxing Zhao, Rochester, NY, student of Elier Suarez

Senior Category

  • First Prize: Kate Blaine, Rochester, NY, student of Harriet Zimmerman
  • Second Prize: Stuart Burtner, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi
  • Honorable Mention: 
    • Mia Gorcyzca, Rochester, NY, student of Bonnie Choi

2023 Competition Winners

    1st Place, Young Pianist Division
    1st Place, Senior Division
    2nd Place Diversity in Music Award, Senior Division
    1st Place, Junior Division

    2022 Competition Winners

      1st Place, Senior Division
      1st Place, Young Pianist Division
      2nd Place, Junior Division

      Past Competition

        2019
        Competition Judges 2022
        2021

        Resources

        • A Seat at the Piano: inclusion, study, and performance of a more equitably representative body of piano works
        • Ebony Music: database for black composers