Support Us!

Kaufman Music Center International
Youth Piano Competition

Igal Kesselman, Artistic Director

The next Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition will take place in June of 2024. Stay tuned for application details!

Congratulations to the 2022 Prizewinners!

Senior Division
First Prize (shared): Xuanyuan Jessie Gong & Tom Liu
Third Prize (shared): Xuanxiang Wu & Jude Giddens
Steinway and Sons Special Award for Best Performance of a Romantic Piece: Kevin Wang

Junior II Division

First Prize (shared): Xinran ShiSophia Shao
Second Prize (shared): Brian LiJerry Chang
Third Prize: Cobie Buckmire
Steinway and Sons Special Award for Best Performance of a Post-Romantic Piece: Yufei Chen
Best Performance of a Piece by an Underrepresented Composer: Daniel Haiduc

Junior I Division
First Prize (shared): Yuzhe Chen & Letao Li
Second Prize: Yidi Ding
Third Prize: Sophie Meng
Steinway and Sons Special Award: Best Performance of a Romantic Piece: Yuzhe Chen
Best Performance of a Classical Piece: Sophie Meng
Best Performance of a Piece by an Underrepresented Composer: Isabel Feng

Meet the 2022 Finalists!
Junior I Division
Junior II Division
Senior Division

June 23, 2 pm: Winners Concert in Merkin Hall
View the schedule for the Finals on June 21 & 22

Congratulations to the Finalists!
View the Senior, Junior 2 and Junior 1 Finalists and Alternates

Congratulations to the Semifinalists!
View the Senior, Junior 2 and Junior 1 Semifinalists.

The 2022 Kaufman Music Center Piano Competition Finals and Winners Concert will take place in Merkin Hall, June  21-23. Preliminary and semifinal rounds will take place virtually in a pre-recorded format.

FEB 15: Deadline to submit application with preliminary round recording. 

MAR 20: Results of the semifinal round will be announced by March 20.

APR 20: Semifinal recordings due.

JUNE 21 & 22: Finals take place in person at Merkin Hall. Schedule

JUNE 23, 2 pm: Winners Concert at Merkin Hall

Open to young pianists up to age 18, the Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition awards more than $12,000 in cash prizes and gives winners the opportunity to perform in New York's prestigious Merkin Hall.

2022 Jury

Michelle Cann, concert piainist,  Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies, Curtis Institute of Music
Olga Kern, concert pianist, Manhattan School of Music Piano Faculty
Igal Kesselman, concert pianist, Artistic Director, Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition; Director, Lucy Moses School; Music Director, Special Music School
Yaron Kohlberg, concert pianist, President, Piano Cleveland

Kaufman Music Center offers many opportunities for advanced young musicians. Learn more about our intensive Young Artists Program; Face the Music, a teen new music program; and Special Music School, a K-12 program that teaches music as a core subject.

Cash Prizes

Senior Division: Ages 15-18
Grand Prize - $4000
Second Prize - $2500
Third Prize - $1000
Special Prizes may be awarded.

Junior Division 2: Ages 11-14
First Prize - $2000
Second Prize - $1000
Third Prize .- $500
Special Prizes may be awarded.

Junior Division 1: Up to age 10
First Prize - $500
Second Prize - $350
Third Prize - $250
Special Prizes may be awarded.

ELIGIBILITY

As of June 20, 2022
Senior Division: Ages 15–18
Junior Division 2: Ages 11–14
Junior Division 1: Up to age 10

Jury

To Be Announced 

Audition & Repertoire Requirements

SENIOR DIVISION: AGES 15-18
Preliminary YouTube Round: Up to 20 minutes of music
Contestant's choice. (Needs to include at least one fast-paced work.)

Semi-Final Round – prerecorded: Up to 25 minutes Must be recorded in one take, no editing is allowed. (One camera, hands are visible at all times).  

1. One virtuoso etude by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Prokofiev, etc.
2. One Baroque polyphonic piece
3. One or more pieces at the participant's discretion

Finals: Up to 40 minutes
1. First movement (or all movements) of a Classical sonata,
2. One or more works from the compositions below:

One movement or more from: William Grant Still - 3 Visions:
1. Dark Horsemen
2. Summerland
3. Radiant Pinnacle

One movement or more from: Amy Beach - 4 Sketches op 15 
1.     In Autumn
2.     Phantoms
3.     Dreaming
4.     Fire-flies

Amy Beach: "A Hummingbird", op 128 #3
Aldo Lopez-Gavilan Suite for piano - movement #2
One Prelude or more from: Lera Auerbach - Preludes

3. One or more pieces at the participant's discretion

Please note that the following works must be included in the competition repertoire, in either semifinal or final round:
One or more compositions from the Romantic era

One work from semi-final round may be repeated in the finals.
Works from preliminary round can be performed at the semifinal or the final round.


JUNIOR DIVISION 2: AGES 11-14
Preliminary YouTube Round: Up to 15 minutes of music,
Contestant's choice. (Needs to include at least one fast-paced work.)

Semi-Final Round – prerecorded: Up to 20 minutes. Must be recorded in one take, no editing is allowed. (One camera, hands are visible at all times).  

1. One Baroque polyphonic work
2. One virtuoso etude by Czerny, Clementi, Moszkowski, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, etc.
3. One or more pieces at the participant's discretion

Finals: Up to 25 minutes
1. A Classical sonata (or first or last movement)
2. One or more compositions from the Romantic era
3. One or more works from the compositions below:

One movement or more from: William Grant Still - 3 Visions:
1. Dark Horsemen
2. Summerland
3. Radiant Pinnacle

One movement or more from: Amy Beach - 4 Sketches op 15 
1.     In Autumn
2.     Phantoms
3.     Dreaming
4.     Fire-flies

Amy Beach: "A Hummingbird", op 128 #3
Aldo Lopez-Gavilan Suite for piano - movement #2 (available here)
One Prelude or more from: Lera Auerbach - Preludes

4.One or more pieces at the participant's discretion - optional.

One work from semi-final round may be repeated.
Works from preliminary round can be performed at the semifinal or the final rounds.

JUNIOR DIVISION 1: UP TO AGE 10
Preliminary YouTube Round: up to 10 minutes of music,
Contestant's choice. (Needs to include at least one fast-paced work.)

Semi-Final Round - prerecorded: Up to 15 minutes. Must be recorded in one take, no editing is allowed. (One camera, hands are visible at all times.)
1. One Baroque polyphonic work
2. One virtuoso etude by Czerny, Berens, Lemoine Loeschhorn, Chopin, Moszkowski, Liszt, etc.
3. One or more pieces at the participant's discretion

Finals: Up to 20 minutes

1. First or last movement of sonatina or sonata from the Classical era
2. One or more compositions from the Romantic era
3. One works from the compositions below:

One movement or more from: William Grant Still - 7 Traceries:
No. 3. Muted Laughter
No. 5. Woven Silver ·
No. 7. A Bit of Wit

Florence Price – Ticklin’ Toes

Florence Price -   The Goblin and the Mosquito

Florence Price -   Thumbnail Sketches of A Day in the Life of a Washerwoman
     No.4. Evening Shadows

4. One or more pieces at the participant's discretion - optional.

One work from semi-final round may be repeated in the final round.
Works from preliminary round can be performed  in semifinal or final rounds

2022 Application Procedures

All application materials must be postmarked by February 15, 2022 and submitted by mail and/or email to:

Kaufman Music Center
International Youth Piano Competition
129 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023, USA
PianoCompetition@kaufmanmusiccenter.org

Download a printable application form.

The following must be submitted with the application form:

  • Preliminary audition via YouTube links emailed to PianoCompetition@kaufmanmusiccenter.org. We accept multiple links of the preliminary round repertoire (applicants are not required to record in one take).
  • One-page biography (up to 300 words): list teachers, awards and honors. A copy of the bio must be emailed to PianoCompetition@kaufmanmusiccenter.org.
  • List of repertoire for all rounds, including names of movements and timing for each work.
  • Letter of recommendation by your principal teacher
  • Proof of age: Copy of birth certificate or passport
  • Application fee: A $130 application fee must be submitted with your application, by credit card, check or money order payable to Kaufman Music Center. This fee is not refundable.

Contact

212 501 3360
PianoCompetition@kaufmanmusiccenter.org

Rules

  • This website contains the most recent and accurate information about the competition, including updates that may have been made after emails and print pieces have been sent.
  • All applications will be reviewed by the Competition’s artistic committee and treated as confidential.
  • The committee reserves the right to request additional information from or about an applicant.
  • Upon notification of acceptance to the competition, all candidates must guarantee their availability for all published dates of the competition.
  • The jury reserves the right not to choose any winners.
  • The decision of the jury is final.
  • The competition may be broadcast live or may be recorded and videotaped for subsequent broadcast, video, or audio recording use.
  • Competition winners are required to perform at the Winners Showcase Concert at  Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Concert Hall on Thursday, June 23, 2022
  • Competition winners must perform one of the compositions they performed at the live auditions for the Winners Concert, selected by the Artistic Committee.
  • Past First Prize Winners are not permitted to compete in the same category.
  • Your health and safety are our top priorities. The final round and Winners Concert of the 2022 competition will be held in person if current city, state and federal guidelines and recommendations related to COVID-19 make it possible to do so safely.