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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

These are actual questions that have been asked by those interested in participating in the competition. You may ask a question by clicking here.


Q: How many minutes should my audition be?

A: Your audition recording can be short or long, there is no time minimum. You will be contacted if AmateurPianists has questions, or more samples are necessary. Please provide a few samples of your best playing.

Q: May I be permitted to record my audition on a keyboard instead of a piano?

A: Yes, you may record on a keyboard.

Q: Can the pieces I submit for the audition be the same as those I intend on performing at the competition?

A: Yes, you may submit the same pieces you intend to perform at the competition (you can also submit different pieces).

Q: Are applicants competing with each other to be accepted into the competition?

A: No, as long as applicants meet the eligibility requirements and demonstrate their skills through the audition recordings, they will be accepted, so it’s best to apply as early as possible, even before the deadline of May 31.

Q: Can we play the same piece in any subsequent round?

A: Pieces performed in the Preliminary round cannot be played again in the Semi-final or Final round. Each round should have different music (however, there will be a concert on Sunday morning which is open to all competitors who do not advance past the Preliminary round. You can repeat pieces from the Preliminary round at this concert).

Q: May an applicant change their proposed program after their application is approved?

A: Yes. Program repertoire may be changed, but must still remain within the time limits.

Q: What happens if we perform past the time limit?

A: It is the judge’s discretion to cut short pieces if you go beyond the time limits of each round. All applicants are strongly encouraged to stay within the time requirements. There is no disqualification if a competitor goes beyond their time limit, but exceeding the allotted time could be considered in the jury’s decision-making, so it is recommended to stay within the time parameters. 

Q: Can spectators take pictures or video during the competition?

A: Yes, but recording devices must be on silent mode, and no flash photography is permitted.

Q: What is the “Competitors’ Recital” on Sunday morning?

A: Pianists who do not proceed past the first round are welcome to perform again at our Competitors’ Recital. They may choose any piece from any round, up to 10 minutes, based on first-come, first-serve sign-up sheet that will be provided in the foyer.

Q: What piano will be used for the competition?

A: We have arranged for a brand-new 2016 Steinway D Concert Grand 9′ Piano.

Q: May pianists warm up on the actual piano to be used for the competition?

A: Unfortunately, there will not be an opportunity to practice on the competition piano. However, there are over 12 practice rooms that you may use to practice at Cooper Music Building.

Q: Are you looking for volunteers?

A: Yes! Thank you for your volunteer spirit. We can match your interest to our various volunteer opportunities. Please send an email to our committee chair, Lulu Hsu, by clicking here. It is amazing what can be accomplished with your support.