Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Call for Pianists: The Second Chicago Amateur Piano Competition

I've always been a huge fan of amateur music-making, and many of my adult students would happily fall into that category. Pianists who don't perform for a living often have a hard time fitting into the uncompromising world of competitions, which is why it is such a pleasure to hear about the announcement of the second Chicago International Piano Competition to be held in May 2012.

How can you tell if you're an amateur pianist? Let's look at what the CIPC considers an amateur who can qualify for the competition:
I. Applicants must be amateurs: the word amateur stems from the Latin amo, meaning “to love.” From this the PianoForte Foundation has created the following definition of an Amateur Pianist: an enthusiastic pursuer of piano playing for pleasure and dedication to the instrument and its repertoire, rather than professional pursuits or financial benefit.
II. Applicant must be 30 years or older by May 23, 2012.
III. Applicants must not be faculty members at a college/conservatory level music department.
IV. Applicants must not derive a majority of their income from public performances.
V. Applicants must not be actively pursuing a degree in piano performance.
VI. Previous first place winners are not eligible to compete
Taking a look at the application form, here's the required rep for the competition:
Solo piano: Competitors are free to choose their own programs for all solo piano rounds of the competition. However, no works may be repeated in subsequent rounds. Repertoire should reflect a variety of musical styles, periods, and composers. Individual movements of larger works are acceptable. Works do not have to be memorized. The contestant may choose to play one or more pieces during each round.
Concerto: Contestants will choose one of the following below, equaling 15-20 minutes of music. An accompanist will be provided for Round 1. Concerto options:

Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op.54 I. Allegro affettuoso
Beethoven: Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 I. Allegro con brio
Tchaikovsky: Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
The jury will consist of Chicago Symphony Members, and the final round in Symphony Center (with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras’ Encore Chamber Orchestra) will be part of the Keys to the City Festival. Applications are due on February 1, 2012, so there's no time like the present for putting your competition programs together.

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