- Perform a recital not exceeding 40 minutes.
- Repertoire is left to the discretion of each pianist.
- Program must include a work written in or after 1975.
- Selections from / movement(s) of larger works are permissible (e.g. a selection of Chopin Preludes; or, the first movement of a Schubert Sonata), but pianists are encouraged whenever possible to present complete works.
- Please keep in mind that the judges will consider the well-roundedness and creativity of each competitor’s program when choosing a winner.
- Returning alumni that have previously won the competition are not eligible to compete
Anonymous feedback from the judges will be available after the competition.
The winner will be presented in recital at Hahn Hall during the 2024 season, receive a $5,000 cash prize, and premiere a new work written by composer/pianist Anthony Cheung. The winner also receives access to an Innovation Stipend: up to $1,000 to support recital elements that help the audience engage in new, personal, or imaginative ways. Inventive approaches to sound, theatrical lighting, and projection are possibilities as are approaches not driven by technology.
KESTON MUSIC ACADEMY EXCHANGE (MAX) AUDITIONS
Principal musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will oversee an audition through which ten Academy fellows will be chosen to participate in the Keston Music Academy Exchange (MAX) program, an intensive, immersive residency held in London in November 2023. MAX activities could include private lessons, chamber music, a mock audition, seminars with artists and administrators, observation of/participation in community outreach activities, and appearances with the orchestra in rehearsals and concerts.
Auditions will include a preliminary audition with Music Academy teaching artists during Week 4 of the Festival followed by a final round audition with the LSO musicians during Week 7.
Standard orchestral audition list determined by the LSO. Link coming soon.
$1,500 award for each winner
Immersive residency in November 2023 culminating in a performance with the LSO. Travel, housing, and a per diem is provided for each winner.
The opportunity to audition for and take part in the Keston MAX program is open to all orchestral fellows except harp and previous Keston MAX winners.
The Duo Competition is open to all instrumental fellows, excluding solo pianists. Returning alumni that have previously won the competition are not eligible. Jonathan Feldman, head of Collaborative Piano, will pair all interested instrumentalists with a collaborative piano fellow based on repertoire submitted through the enrollment process. This pairing information will be shared with fellows prior to arrival at the Festival.
You should build a program of no more than 30 minutes of music. One longer piece plus one or two shorter pieces generally works well. Your repertoire must meet the following guidelines:
- A published work. Score and parts must be available for rental or purchase. Possible exceptions may be approved by Jonathan Feldman.
- Pieces must be originally composed for solo instrument & piano duo. No piano reductions of orchestral concertos are allowed but some standard show pieces may. be approved by Jonathan Feldman.
- Prepared in full (all movements) for final round of the competition.
- Performed with Music Academy collaborative piano fellows only.
Rounds and Repertoire Requirements
- Prelims: 6-8 minutes of music that you select from your program. Adjudicated by Music Academy Teaching Artists.
- Semifinals: 10 minutes of music that you select from your program and was not performed in the prelim round. Adjudicated by Music Academy Teaching Artists.
- Finals: Public performance of your entire program of no more than 30 minutes of music. Adjudicated by a panel of guest judges.
Upon arrival in Santa Barbara, Duos will have approximately two weeks to prepare for the preliminary round held during week 3 of the Festival. Those that move on to the next round will have about two more weeks to prepare for semifinals held during week 5. The final round is a public performance held during the last week of the festival.
The winning duo will be presented in recital at Hahn Hall during the 2024 season, each receive a $5,000 cash prize, and premiere a new work written by composer Derek Bermel. The winners also receive access to an Innovation Stipend: up to $1,000 to support recital elements that help the audience engage in new, personal, or imaginative ways. Inventive approaches to sound, theatrical lighting, and projection are possibilities as are approaches not driven by technology.
MARILYN HORNE SONG COMPETITION
Named in honor of the distinguished alumna and former Voice Program Director, this competition celebrates the art of the song. All vocal and vocal piano fellows from the Lehrer Vocal Institute participate in this annual competition which takes place in the final week of the Festival.
Singers and pianists will be paired by way of a random drawing in advance of the summer. Each duo will work together to create a recital program meets the following parameters:
- 60 mins in length
- Reflects the artistic voice of both performers
- Includes music written after 1970
- Includes music written by a BIPOC or female composer
- Includes music in English
- Songs should be originally composed for voice and piano
Note: music written after 1970, written by a BIPOC or female composer, and music written in English can all be achieved with one song or song cycle
Please submit this program by May 1st, 2023 along with a brief statement that describes the program, why it resonates with you, what you hope to communicate to the audience. The full recital program and accompanying statement will be submitted to the judges for their consideration as part of the competition.
The final competition program will be selected by you and your partner in consultation with the MHSC committee: Sasha Cooke, John Churchwell, and Tamar Sanikidze. The final program should include:
Three pieces that total in approximately 10 – 12 minutes in length.
The grand prize is awarded to one singer and one pianist; it is not necessary for the singer and pianist to have performed together in the competition. The winning duo will be presented in recital at Hahn Hall during the 2024 season, each receive a $5,000 cash prize, and premiere a new work written by composer Joel Thompson. The winners also receive access to an Innovation Stipend: up to $1,000 to support recital elements that help the audience engage in new, personal, or imaginative ways. Inventive approaches to sound, theatrical lighting, and projection are possibilities as are approaches not driven by technology.
Fast Pitch Competition: an opportunity to develop & present ideas designed to propel classical music boldly forward
Music Academy meets “Shark Tank” | finalists present publicly during Week 6
- open to all fellows
- beginning in Week 1, interested fellows attend group sessions & 1:1s
- time commitment varies, determined by each fellow; often much less than other competitions
- Interactive workshops / training sessions provide inspiration and guidance to design and pitch creative ideas (aka your big idea for classical music). This includes special meals and “Batting Practices” to rehearse and refine pitch
- Finalists present a ~3 min pitch for judging by music/biz leaders and a live audience
- All finalists receive cash prizes of $500+
- One winner receives a $5,000 cash prize