2020 Steinway Society of Massachusetts Piano Competition

(updated 4/27/2020)

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

The 2020 Steinway Society of Massachusetts Piano Competition will consist of three divisions. For the Preliminary Round ALL divisions will compete at M. Steinert & Sons virtually.  All participants must compete in the division corresponding to their age by April 1, 2020.

Participants must complete and submit the full application https://steinwaysocietymass.org/registration-2020/. Virtual registration opens April 27, 2020 and the deadline for video recording submissions is June 20, 2020 at 11:59pm ET. The Winners of the Competition for all three Divisions will be announced on the evening of June 30th.

A NON-REFUNDABLE application fee of $75 USD must be paid at the time of application submission. 

Application questions will include student, parent/guardian, and teacher information.  

 

A confirmation message will be sent once the application and payment have been received. Ms. Christina Dietrich will contact participants with further instructions regarding the submission of video recordings for the Competition.

 

We are simulating the environment and requirements of a live competition: One Recording – both pieces performed during the same video session.

REPERTOIRE REQUIREMENTS & REGULATIONS 

Each participant is required to perform two pieces and will be allotted the following amount of time for the combined performance of both pieces: 

 

  • Division I: Ages 10 and under max. 9 minutes 
  • Division II: Ages 11-14 max. 12 minutes  
  • Division III: Ages 15-18 max. 15 minutes  

 

Your recording of two contrasting piano works – one from the Baroque or Classical and the second from the Romantic or Twentieth/Twenty-first century – must be performed from memory and in their entirety. Original compositions and improvisations are not permitted. Repeats may be played at the discretion of the performer but are not required.  Please consider this a performance so you should be in concert dress and include appropriate concert etiquette. From these videos, we will select the winners!

 

The 2020 Competition Winners Concert will be presented live at a time and place to be announced once the Covid-19 guidelines for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts permit such events.

 

For the competition, ALL applicants should scan and send original scores of their sheet music with minimal markings for the judges. If a published score of a piece is not available in the United States an IMSLP score will be allowed. Please notify Ms. Dietrich in such cases. All scanned scores should be sent to Ms. Dietrich.

Contestants will be graded on the following criteria equally: 

Musicality and artistry: 

Students who score well will not simply play their selected pieces cleanly but will demonstrate an appropriate understanding of aspects of performance including artistic and stylistic interpretation. Judges will look for students who exhibit attention to details of musicality such as phrasing, dynamics, touch, and shaping, and who can elevate their performance from merely playing the written notes, to giving a dynamic and engaging performance. 

Technical mastery: 

Students who score well will demonstrate that they can meet the technical requirements of their selected pieces. They should be able to comfortably navigate the technical challenges of the literature. Their performance should be free of major note or fingering errors. Students should look to utilize an appropriate tempo and when required, clean pedaling.

Adherence to the score: 

Students who score well will demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the composers’ intent in both pieces they perform. Their performances should reflect instructions given by the composer in the score including (but not limited to) tempo, style, pedaling, dynamic markings, etc., as well as customs of the period in which their selected piece was written. 

Stage presence:

Students should demonstrate a high level of professionalism throughout their audition. Students who score well will display both confidence and charisma, whether it is their first time participating in a competition, or they are more experienced. Students should keep in mind that if they should receive an award, they will be expected to perform in front of their peers and guests. This includes appropriate performance attire.  

Memory: 

Students are expected to perform their selected pieces without referring to the score. The judges may, in the case of a memory slip, choose to prompt a student at their discretion; however, such instances will detract from the student’s overall score. 

Other Requirements/Rules:

Age requirements apply to the applicant’s age as of April 1, 2020. Open to applicants from the New England region. Students who have participated and won first place in the competition last year may not enter again in the same division. 

 

Judges will be announced on the Steinway Society website. If a change is made, it will be announced prior to the competition. 

 

Students, teachers, and parents, should not contact the judges for any reason before or during the competition. 

Students who study or have studied with any of the announced judges should notify Ms. Dietrich. In such a case an alternate judge will adjudicate the competition performance. 

Competitors are responsible for their own expenses to participate in the competition.

Contestants should wear their best performance attire in their video recording. Gentlemen should be in suits/tuxedos and Ladies in formal dresses/gowns. 

Evaluations for the competition made by the jury committee are final. 

M. Steinert & Sons reserves the right to photograph, record, or video the performances of contestants and winners and to use these documents in promoting the competition. No extra fee will be paid to the contestants.

Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s) and paying any expenses associated with any prizes, which are not specifically provided for in the official rules. 

Each winner must provide M. Steinert & Sons with valid identification and a valid taxpayer identification number or social security number before any prize will be awarded. Any person winning over $600 in prizes from M. Steinert & Sons will receive an IRS form 1099 at the end of the calendar year and a copy of such form will be filed with the IRS.

M. Steinert & Sons reserves the right to the interpretation of the Terms and Conditions of the Regulations.