Piano Competition Guidlines

Initial application deadline has been extended to November 1, 2017

Cranbrook Music Guild Emerging Artists Competition

2018 Piano Performance                                                                                                  Piano Comp Guidelines

Guidelines and Requirements

The Cranbrook Music Guild invites talented pianists to apply for the first Cranbrook Music Guild Emerging Artists Competition, 2018 Piano Performance that will take place on April 8, 2018 at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at Christ Church Cranbrook. 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.  Jurors will award prizes of up to $5,000.00 as well as awarding the top competitor with a contract to perform in a future Cranbrook Music Guild concert.  Funds for this competition come in part from the Betty Brewster Scholarship Fund. Betty Brewster was one of the founders of the Cranbrook Music Guild in 1951 and a stalwart supporter of young performing artists. The Cranbrook Music Guild Betty Brewster Scholarship has in the past been directed to musician scholars from the University of Michigan School of Music.

The Cranbrook Music Guild is a not-for-profit 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 2018 Cranbrook Music Guild Emerging Artists Competition will focus on piano performance.  It will be held at Christ Church Cranbrook under the auspices of the Cranbrook Music Guild.  Competitors will be accommodated individually in private homes to the extent possible with meals, practice facilities, and transportation provided during the time of the competition. Transportation to the area for the final live performance round will be the responsibility of the competitors.


The Cranbrook Music Guild Emerging Artists Competition is open to pianists of any nationality as 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 8, 2018). Competitors must not be represented by a manager or agent.  Winners will receive prize money and the first place winner will be awarded a contract to provide a solo performance in the Cranbrook Music Guild Concert Series for the following season.

Applicants who fall into one of the categories identified below will NOT be eligible for this

Category One
The applicant is related to any member of the 2018 Competition Jury
Category Two
The applicant has studied as a private student or student at a university or school of music in the past five years with any member of the 2018 Competition Jury as their primary teacher (excluding master classes, summer programs or festivals).
Category Three
The applicant has been coached by a member of the 2018 Competition Jury in preparation for the 2018 Cranbrook Music Guild Emerging Artists Piano Competition

Important Dates for the 2018 Cranbrook Music Guild Emerging Artists Competition

“Save the Date” Notification and internet posting            April 2017
Formal Piano Competition Announcement            August 1, 2017
On-line release of Competition Guidelines and Requirements
and the Application Form                        August 1, 2017
Deadline for Submission of First Round Application        October 1, 2017
Announcement of 15 Semi-Finalists                November 1, 2017
Deadline for Semi-Finalist’s Video link from YouTube
submission                            December 15, 2017
Announcement of 3 Finalists                    February 1, 2018
Final Round Piano Competition                    April 8, 2018

Rules and Application Process

The competition will have three rounds.

First Round

Each competitor must submit requested information and a completed application form to the Cranbrook Music Guild, P.O. Box 402, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48303, post marked no later than October 1, 2017

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 professional color high resolution photograph, head and shoulders only, high resolution jpeg file (at least 3 megabytes) for publicity purposes.
List of two most recent educational institutions attended.
List of five piano works that are ready for performance.
Each competitor must submit two letters of recommendation pertinent to this competition:
Recommendation from current professor/teacher
Recommendation from a currently performing concert artist
List recent recital history (school and public) including content, sponsoring entity, venue and date
Music review(s) from past two seasons
Each competitor must submit a cheque or money order in the amount of $75.00(USD) for the non-refundable application fee.
Completed certification and signature page

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, 2017.

Second Round

Each competitor selected for the second round must provide a Video link from YouTube of his or her musical selections, including the name of the composition and its composer. It should not exceed 45 minutes of performance time. Only complete works will be accepted. The Video link from YouTube must be filmed with both the pianist’s hands and face showing at all times.
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, P.O. Box 402, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48303 no later than December 15, 2017.
The Video link from YouTube must be recorded directly with no post-production editing.
A preliminary judge 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.
The Video link from YouTube will not be returned to the competitor.
Results of the second round will be announced no later than February 1, 2018.

Final Round

The three final competitors will participate in a final live performance round on April 8, 2018 at Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  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 no later than 10am 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 two Jurors are distinguished musicians and pedagogues and will serve as judges in the final competition. The audience will have the opportunity to vote for the winner using a ballot.
The Jurors will make their selection of the first place winner, who will receive a prize of $4,000.00 and will be awarded a contract to perform at the Cranbrook Music Guild during the following season, without additional compensation
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.

The audience (through a ballot) will make its selection of the winner. That competitor will receive $1,000.00.  That prize will be in addition to any prize awarded by the Jurors.
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.
All competitors in this round will agree to enter into a contract to perform a solo recital at the Cranbrook Music Guild Series for the 2018-2019 season without additional compensation beyond their prize money.