41st 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?


  • Contestants must be Connecticut residents in grades 9-12 during the 2018-19 academic year.
  • Previous first-place winners of HSO’s Young Artists Competition are not eligible.
  • Contestants must perform on one of the following instruments:
    • Violin
    • Viola
    • Cello
    • Bass
    • Flute
    • Clarinet
    • Oboe
    • Bassoon
    • Trumpet
    • French horn
    • Trombone
    • Tuba
    • Piano
    • Harp


Applicants will prepare repertoire for a pre-screening recorded round and up to two live rounds as listed below. For questions regarding required repertoire, please contact YAC@hartfordsymphony.org.

  • Up to three solo pieces, or movements from larger works will be submitted as pre-screening audio recordings.  Works should include a variety of styles, and at least one must be performed with piano accompaniment.  One of these three solo pieces will also be performed during the live rounds.
  • Concerto movement(s) or work for solo instrument and orchestra, to be selected from the list of pre-approved repertoire below, to be performed during the live rounds.

Click here to view all approved repertoire!

*Horn repertoire added November 9, 2018!*

Application Process

  • With a $75 nonrefundable application fee (financial aid available*), students are required to submit an application, either online or by mail, as well as pre-screening audio recordings of up to three solo pieces in a variety of styles, of which at least one will be performed with piano accompaniment.
  • Registration will be open from the week of October 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018. No submissions will be accepted after 11:59PM on December 31, 2018.
  • Judges will review the submitted pre-screening audio recordings and choose the semi-finalists who will be invited to the live rounds. Candidates will be notified by March 1 whether they have been invited to the live rounds.
  • In all rounds (pre-screening audio recordings, semi-finals, and finals), the judges’ decisions are final.

To apply online, click here.

To download a printable version of application, click here.

*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 17, 2019 (location and time TBD) and is closed to the public.
  • Students will perform one of the unaccompanied solo pieces that they had chosen to submit with their pre-screening audio recordings. The judges will cut off the contestants after 5 minutes.
  • Students will then perform the single work they have prepared from the pre-approved repertoire list. The judges will cut off the contestants after 10 minutes.
  • Repertoire must be memorized.
  • Students must bring their own accompanists, performing the orchestral accompaniment of the students’ chosen work in a piano reduction.
  • Following deliberation, the judges will choose up to five of the top candidates to return the following day for the final round.

Final Concert

  • The final round will be a chamber orchestra concert featuring up to five of the top candidates with the Hartford Symphony on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in the Maxwell M. & Ruth R. Belding Theater.
  • The finalists will rehearse with the orchestra from 2:00-4:30 PM and then perform in a public concert at 7:30 PM.
  • Students will each perform both their concerto movement and their unaccompanied solo piece.
  • At the end of the concert, there will be a short break for final deliberation by the official judges, after which the three winners will be announced.


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, 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
Richard P. Garmany Fund at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Jean Sterling McRae Fund

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