Piano Competition Guidelines


Initial application deadline is  October 1, 2018

  Cranbrook Music Guild Emerging Artists Competition

     2019 Piano Performance

Guidelines and Requirements

The Cranbrook Music Guild (CMG) invites talented pianists to apply for the 2019 Emerging Artists Piano Competition and Festival that will take place on April 5 and 6, 2019 at the Congregational Church of Birmingham, United Church of Christ, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  The competition is intended to offer an opportunity for emerging artists to compete and to perform. It will include a process involving the initial submission of an application, a submission of a video link from YouTube, and a final live competition.

The Cranbrook Music Guild is a 501(c}(3) organization, founded in 1951, governed by a board of trustees and sustained by generous support from its Patrons, Members, individuals and Sponsors.

General Information

The 2019 Emerging Artists Piano Competition and Festival will award up to $6,200 in prize money based on a Jury decision.  It will be held at the Congregational Church of Birmingham United Church of Christ under the auspices of the Cranbrook Music Guild.  Competitors will be accommodated individually in private homes with meals, practice facilities, and transportation provided during the time of the competition. Travel to the Detroit metropolitan area for the final live performance round will be the responsibility of the competitors.


The 2019 Emerging Artists Piano Competition and Festival is open to pianists of any nationality so long as they are currently studying or living in the United States or are U.S. citizens. Pianists must be 17 to 25 years old (as of April 5, 2019). Competitors must not be represented by a manager or agent.

Rules and Application Process

The competition will have three rounds.

 First Round

Each competitor must submit a completed application to the email address on the application form.
Each competitor must submit a curriculum vitae or resume, including four subheadings:
musical education (a list of institutions attended and teachers, in chronological order)
concerts performed
prizes and awards received
contact information for 2 musicians as references
Each competitor must submit proof of birth date (proof that the competitor is between ages 17 and 25 as of the date of the Competition), such as a copy of his or her driver’s license, government-issued photo identification card, passport, or birth certificate.
Each competitor must submit a color high resolution photograph, head and shoulders only, high resolution jpeg or PDF file suitable for publicity.
Each competitor must submit payment via PayPal in the amount of $75.00(USD) for the non-refundable application fee.
Completed certification and signature page
Applications must be emailed to CMG no later than October 1, 2018

15 competitors will be selected.
Judging in this initial round will be conducted by the music director of the Cranbrook Music Guild in consultation with its Competition Committee.
Competitors will be notified of the results of the First Round of the competition by November 1, 2018.

Second Round

Each competitor selected for the second round must provide a Video link uploaded to YouTube of his or her musical selections, including complete information about the composition and its composer. Only complete works will be accepted. The Video must be recorded with both of the pianist’s hands and face showing at all times. It should approximate 30 minutes of performance time.  The Video (high resolution jpeg or PDF) uploaded to YouTube should possess high resolution and excellent sound quality and must be recorded directly with no post-production editing.

Competitors should perform by memory 2 compositions of contrasting periods and musical styles.
The Video link from YouTube must be received by the Cranbrook Music Guild Competition email address no later than December 15, 2018.
A panel of judges will limit the field of competitors to three, based on review of the Video link from YouTube submitted. The evaluation will be based upon commonly accepted musical criteria.
Results of the second round will be announced no later than February 1, 2019.

Final Round

The three final competitors will participate in a final live performance round on Friday April 5, 2019 at the Congregational Church of Birmingham, United Church of Christ, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  The competitors’ draw sequence and publicity session will take place at 4pm the day of the performance.  Performances must be performed by memory, with a total elapsed time of approximately 30 minutes.  A copy of the scores to be performed must be provided to the Jurors’ Secretary on the day of the performance.
Each competitor will perform not more than 2 complete pieces by memory, reflecting contrasting styles for a total elapsed time not to exceed 30 minutes in length.
The three Jurors are distinguished musicians and pedagogues and will serve as judges in the final competition.
The Jurors will make their selection of the first place winner, who will receive a prize of $4,000.00.
The Jurors will make their selection of a second place winner, who will receive a prize of $700.00.
The Jurors will select a third place winner who will receive a prize of $500.00.
A Peoples’ Choice Award of $1,000 will be given to the performer who receives the most votes from the audience. Each admission ticket will have an attached ballot.  After the performance the audience will fill out their ballot and drop it into the ballot box.
The Competition Awards will be presented at the Festival that takes place the following day, Saturday, April 6th
Competitors must complete IRS Form W-9 and submit same to the Cranbrook Music Guild in order to receive their prize money. The Cranbrook Music Guild will issue at the end of calendar year 2018 an IRS Form 1099 MISC to the winners of cash prizes. No prize money will be awarded without a completed IRS Form W-9.