orchestraThe American Prize in Piano Performance (solo piano), 2018-19


FINAL DEADLINE for postmark or emailing of application(s):

Monday, April 30, 2018.
There is no need to email in advance to take advantage of the later date. (Please note that the deadline date on the application form will not be changed, but be assured that your application will be accepted through the end of April. Please email with questions or problems.)

The American Prize in Piano Performance recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained pianists in America in 2018-19, based on submitted applications. There are separate categories for solo piano and for piano concerto performance. Pianists performing with others may also apply for The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance. (Click the "Competitions" button, above.)


2017-18 CONCERTO WINNERS (Lorin Hollander Award):
Professional: Richard Bosworth, Portland, OR (Tchaikovsky B flat minor)
College/University: Xiao Chen, Los Angeles, CA (Rachmaninoff #2)
High School: Leyla Kabuli, Davis CA (Rachmaninoff #2)

Professional: Roberto Plano, Holliston, MA
College/University: Nicholas Susi, Saint Louis, MO
High School: Victor Shlyakhtenko, Los Angeles, CA

2016 CONCERTO WINNERS: please click: 2016 Lorin Hollander winners.
2016 SOLO WINNERS: please click: 2016 solo winners.

Other recent winners in this category:

Michael Angelucci, Baltimore, MD—Professional division winner
Kris Carlise, Rome, GA—Special Judge's Citation: Championing Piano Music by American Composers

Susan Chan, Tigard, OR—Special Judge's Citation: Championing Piano Music by Asian Composers
Brendan Michael Kinsella, McAllen, TX—Special Judge's Citation: Championing the Music of Frederick Rzewski
Anna Dymtrenko, Newark, DE—College/University division winner

Heather Hsun Chang, Palo Alto, CA—High School division winner


Complete updated listings of winners and runners-up from all seasons will soon be found on the Winners' Pages.

The American Prize is more than monetary. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners are announced to national arts media and on our websites, where winners are profiled. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners earn the right to use The American Prize logo and official seal on printed programs and other documents, and on the web.

SEMI-FINALISTS: All semi-finalists receive official certificates.

FINALISTS and RUNNERS-UP: All finalists and runners-up receive certificates and written, unbiased evaluations from our distinguished national panel of judges. When winners are announced on The American Prize blog, RUNNERS-UP are also profiled on the blog with their photos, biographies and website links.

WINNERS: A single winner in each category and/or division is selected. Winners receive certificates, written evaluations, personalized press releases sent by us to local media and other contacts you provide as part of your application, and cash prizes up to $500, depending on the year, the category and the number of entrants.
Only with your explicit permission, excerpts of winning performances may be posted to The American Prize channel on .

The judges reserve the right to award citations and honorable mentions as warranted, and to combine categories when necessary. The decision of the judges is final.


FINAL DEADLINE to email and/or postmark applications: MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2018

The American Prize in Piano Performance is offered in two divisions: solo piano and concerto, with categories based on age, education and experience. Applications may be made by the pianists themselves, by teachers, colleagues, or other knowledgeable individuals. Pianists may apply in the solo piano division, the concerto division, or both.

In Solo Piano division, the categories are:
    1. professional (the musician has paid employment as a performing pianist or piano teacher)
    2. college/university (the pianist is seriously pursuing a professional music career)
    3. community (the pianist pursues music as a avocation)
    4. gifted high-school-age pianist

On the application form, select the one which best matches your current situation.

The competitions of The American Prize are open to all U.S. citizens, whether living in this country or abroad, and to others currently living, working and/or studying in the United States of America, its protectorates and territories. All application fees must be remitted in U.S. funds.


Every applicant must send certain required information by email.

Applicants can then complete their application either of two ways:


A. ONLINE ONLY: pay fees online, submit the downloaded application as a PDF file, along with the required emailed information (see application form), and include links to your online audition selections. (Application forms for The American Prize can be filled out on computer, saved and emailed by using Adobe Reader 11. Download it free here.)

B. BY MAIL & EMAIL: mail the completed, downloaded application form, send audition selections on disc or tape to the office, and email the required information (see application form), pay fees online, or by check, by money order or credit card.


    1. Download the application form for The American Prize in Piano Performance, solo piano division. Select the category which best identifies the applicant.
    2. MAIL the completed application form by the deadline date or EMAIL it as a PDF attachment with your required email.

    3. If providing audition selections ONLINE, include the links to them in your required email (see application form.)

    4. If providing audition selections BY MAIL, include two identical recordings of the applicant in performance, with the selections clearly indicated on both the recording itself and on the recording's cover or box. Be sure it lists applicant's name.
    5. Be sure to sign the form and pay the application fee. Pay ONLINE (click "FEES/GIFTS" in the menu bar, above), or send check, money order or credit card information by mail.
    5. Be sure to email the required information (see application form.)

The application fee is $45 per application. Pay ONLINE (click "FEES/GIFTS" in the menu bar, above), pay by credit card, or make checks payable to HCMT/The American Prize (see application form.) Application fees are nonrefundable. No incomplete applications will be accepted. When paying online, BE SURE to identify the applicant with the payment..


The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo piano division):

You need not prepare a special tape for The American Prize. A previous recording, whether of a concert made in front of an audience or one created in a recording session without an audience, is perfectly acceptable. Neither the location nor the repertoire of any qualified individual limits eligibility, provided the general guidelines listed below have been met. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the selection of finalists and winners.

1. MAIL recordings of, or email ONLINE links to, approximately 30 minutes of music, selected from the standard classical solo piano repertoire from any period. No pop music or improvisation. A variety of styles and periods is recommended. Judges will listen to up to 30 minutes of your audition. Recordings must have been made within the last five years. Audition materials may be audio or video, as is your preference. There are no other restrictions.


2. If sending recordings BY MAIL, performers and works must be clearly identified on the discs and covers or video boxes. We prefer DVD or VHS video of the applicant, but will accept CD audio recordings. No cassette tapes.


3. If submitting ONLINE links, include them in your required email. Be sure to identify the links by title of the selection and provide any passwords necessary, so judges can easily access your audition. Links must remain active until results in the category are officially announced. PLEASE NOTE: The responsibility for the viability of links rests with the contestant. Please double-check that they work correctly.


4. There are no other restrictions. No materials will be returned.


SEND required email to: theamericanprize@gmail.com

TIMELINE for this competition:
Final deadline for postmark or emailing applications, with extensions available by emailed request: Monday, April 30, 2018. Applications will be acknowledged by email following that date.


In general, the entire competition process is completed before the end of the calendar year. Semi-finalists are announced in the summer, finalists in the fall, followed by winners—after which all certificates, evaluations and prizes are mailed. Specific dates for the announcement of each stage of the competition are posted in regular updates to our blog and facebook pages. Find those links on the homepage of this website.


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts are administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc. (HCMT), the 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Danbury, CT.