42nd Annual HSO Young Artists Competition

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce the return of its Young Artists Competition, which highlights the immense musical talent possessed by students in Connecticut and offers unparalleled performance opportunities for young artists. Read on for information on how you or your student can get involved!

EligibilityRepertoireApplication ProcessSemi-Final RoundFinal ConcertAwardsQuestions?

Eligibility

  • Contestants must be Connecticut residents in grades 9-12 during the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Previous first-place winners of HSO’s Young Artists Competition are not eligible.
  • Contestants must perform on one of the following instruments:
    • Flute
    • Oboe
    • Clarinet
    • Bassoon
    • Horn
    • Trumpet
    • Trombone
    • Bass Trombone
    • Tuba
    • Alto Saxophone
    • Percussion
    • Harp
    • Piano
    • Violin
    • Viola
    • Cello
    • Bass

Repertoire

  • Pre-screening Round – Recorded
    • All applicants must prepare up to three (3) solo works, or movements from larger works.
    • Each included work, or movement from a larger work, should be a MAXIMUM of five (5) minutes. Please indicate measure numbers included on the recording for any partial works or movements.
    • The recorded works should represent a variety of styles.
    • At least one (1) recorded work must be performed with piano accompaniment, including submissions from pianists.
    • At least one (1) recorded work must be for solo, unaccompanied instrument. This work must also be performed during the live semi-final and final rounds, if advanced.
    • Recordings should NOT include any identifying information, including speaking. Please edit any speaking, identifying information, and applause from recordings.
  • Semi-Final Round – Live
    • All applicants must prepare a Concerto or solo instrument and orchestra work, or appropriate movements as applicable, from the pre-approved list. This work should be the same work listed on the application.  Due to time restrictions, applicants will be cut off after ten (10) minutes.
    • The Concerto or solo instrument and orchestra work must be performed with live piano accompaniment, including works for solo piano.
    • All applicants are responsible for making arrangements for their own pianist.
    • All applicants must perform the work for solo, unaccompanied instrument as indicated on the application. Due to time restrictions, applicants will be cut off after five (5) minutes.
    • Repertoire must be memorized.
  • Final Round – Live
    • All applicants must perform the Concerto or solo instrument and orchestra work, or appropriate movements as applicable, from the pre-approved list. This must be the same work performed during the live semi-final round.
    • Applicants will perform the Concerto or solo instrument and orchestra work, or appropriate movements as applicable, in its entirety as indicated on the pre-approved list.
    • All applicants must perform the work for solo, unaccompanied instrument indicated on the application. This must be the same work performed during the live semi-final round.
    • Repertoire must be memorized.

Click here to view all approved repertoire!

Application Process

    • All applicants must submit a complete, signed application form, either online or by mail, before 11:59PM on January 31, 2020.
    • In addition to the complete, signed application form, applications must include:
      • A $75.00 non-refundable application fee (financial aid available*) payable by check. Checks should be made payable to Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Inc. (No money orders or cashier’s checks please.)
      • A pre-screening audio recording, either online or by mail. Please the pre-screening audio recording details in the Repertoire section.  Online submissions should be in .mp3 format.  Mailed submissions should be in either USB or CD format.
      • All mailed materials, including the application fee should be post-marked by January 31, 2020 and sent to:
Hartford Symphony Orchestra
ATTN: Young Artists Competition
166 Capitol Avenue 
Hartford, CT 06106
 
  • The application submission period is November 4, 2019 – January 31, 2020. No submissions will be accepted after 11:59PM on January 31, 2020.
  • Judges will review the submitted pre-screening audio recordings and select applicants to be invited to the live semi-final round. Applicants will be notified by March 1, 2020 whether they have been invited to the live rounds.
  • In all rounds the judges’ decisions are FINAL.

Click Here to Apply Online

Click Here to Download Hard Copy Application Form

*For questions and inquiries on financial aid opportunities, please contact YAC@hartfordsymphony.org.

Semi-Final Round

  • The live semi-final round for the invited students is on Friday, May 29, 2020 at the Greater Hartford Arts Academy in Hartford, Connecticut and is closed to the public.
  • Students will perform the concerto or solo instrument and orchestra work they have prepared from the pre-approved repertoire list. This work must be accompanied by live piano reduction.  Due to time restrictions, the judges will stop the contestants after ten (10) minutes. 
  • Students will then perform the unaccompanied solo piece that they submitted with their pre-screening audio recordings. The judges will cut off the contestants after five (5) minutes.
  • Students are responsible for making arrangements for their own pianist.
  • Repertoire must be memorized.
  • Following deliberation, the judges will choose up to five (5) of the top candidates to return the following day for the final round.

Final Concert

  • The final round will be a live performance in concert with the Hartford Symphony on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the Theater for the Performing Arts at the Greater Hartford Arts Academy in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • Up to five (5) semi-finalists will be advanced to the final round on Saturday, May 30, 2020, which includes rehearsal with the orchestra from 2:00-4:30PM and then performance in the public concert at 7:30PM.
  • Students will each perform both the concerto or solo instrument and orchestra work prepared from the pre-approved repertoire list AND their unaccompanied solo selection. These must be the same works performed during the semi-final round.
  • At the end of the concert, there will be a short break for final deliberation by the official judges, after which the three (3) winners will be announced.

Awards

1st Place Prize
Winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a pair of tickets to a Masterworks concert of his or her choice, as well as the possibility of performing at an additional HSO event.
2nd Place Prize
Winner will receive a $750 cash prize and a pair of tickets to a Masterworks concert of his or her choice.
3rd Place Prize
Winner will receive a $500 cash prize and a pair of tickets to a Masterworks concert of his or her choice.

Additional Information

All questions regarding the application process, competition schedule, required repertoire, or other areas of interest should be sent to YAC@hartfordsymphony.org.

Please do not make inquiries by phone.

Competition is sponsored in part by the
 Jean Sterling McRae Fund.

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Phone

Single & Flex Cards: 860.987.5900
Subscriptions: 860.244.2999

Box Office

The Bushnell
166 Capitol Ave
Hartford, CT 06106

©2018 Hartford Symphony Orchestra
The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106