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Congratulations to the Winners of the First
San Diego International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs!

First Place: Robert Berkowitz

Second Place: Yiran Wang

Third Place: Zachary Weiner

Best Baroque Period Award: Thomas Maurice

Best Classical Period Award: Robin Stephenson

Best Romantic Period Award: Yue Qi

Best Modern/Contemporary Period Award: Andy Liao

Best Programming: Yvonne Tsai

Press Favorite Award: Zachary Weiner

Audience Favorite Award: Zachary Weiner

Spirit of the Competition Award: Philip Mandel

Visit our Meetup page for more competition event details.


The San Diego International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs is a piano competition for amateurs of various levels of proficiency where the focus is about performing one’s best in front of a supportive and appreciative audience.


  • Applicant must be at least 25 years of age by July 15, 2016.

  • Applicant must not previously have entered a professional piano competition in the past ten years.

  • Applicants must not make their living primarily through piano performance.

  • AmateurPianists reserves the right to approve or decline an application on a case-by-case basis.


Located at the beautiful and oceanfront setting of Point Loma Nazarene University, the competition takes place inside the 378-seat Crill Performance Hall, the centerpiece of Cooper Music Center on campus. This state-of-the-art performance hall, noted as one of the finest performance venues of San Diego, consists of a full stage with a 9-foot concert grand piano, stage support area, and orchestra pit. Point Loma Nazarene University is located at 3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego, CA 92106.


  • Day 1—Preliminary Round: 30 competitors,  up to 10 minutes each

  • Day 2—Semi-final Round: 12 competitors, up to 15 minutes each, followed by an evening concert by celebrated pianist Paul Romero, saxophonist Brock Summers, and vocalist Miki Yamashita

  • Day 3—Final Round: 6 competitors, up to 25 minutes each, preceded by a Competitors’ Recital (applicants who do not advance past the preliminary round who wish to perform), and followed by a Celebration Reception


  • Competitors may choose their work, but must be published composers and length must meet time guidelines

  • Memorization not mandatory

  • Pieces cannot be repeated in subsequent rounds

  • Page turners are allowed, but must be arranged by competitor


Panel of 4 distinguished international and local pianists and professors of music.


Cash Awards:

  • 1st prize: $2,000

  • 2nd prize: $1,000

  • 3rd prize: $500

Additional Awards:

  • Press Favorite Award

  • Audience Award, voted by attendees of the finals

  • Best Baroque Piece

  • Best Classical Piece

  • Best Romantic Piece

  • Best Modern/Contemporary Piece

  • Best Programming

  • “Spirit of the Competition” Award


  • Application deadline is May 31, 2016.

  • Application is fully refundable until May 31, 2016.

  • Notification of acceptance will be within 2 weeks of receipt of online or mailed application.

  • $100 application fee, refundable if application is not accepted. Fee includes two tickets to the Welcome Reception, two tickets for Saturday night’s concert, two tickets the finals (and reception), and all other competition sessions. 

  • Applicants may be asked to provide sheet music for their competition repertoire.

  • Applicants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation.

  • Piano practice rooms on site will be available.


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Visit our FAQ page for commonly asked questions and answers.