Schulich School of Music Concerto Competitions

Schulich School of Music Concerto Competitions

The 2020-21 competition categories include: Classical Concerto, Piano, Woodwind, Brass, Percussion.

2020-2021 Competition dates

Application deadlines

  • Strings:Romantic/Contemporary Concerto Competition, Winter 2021 (registration due March 21, 2021 - see Information for applicants below)
  • Classical Concerto Competition (all instruments and voice): Not offered in 2020-21
  • McGill Concerto Competition (piano): Not offered in 2020-21
  • McGill Concerto Competition (woodwind, brass, percussion): Not offered in 2020-21

Preliminary rounds

  • McGill Concerto Competition (piano): N/A
  • McGill Concerto Competition (woodwind, brass, percussion): N/A

Finals (open to the public):

Overview and prizes

The first prize winner of each competition will be offered an opportunity to perform with the MGSO under the leadership of Maestro Hauser and will receive a monetary award. The classical concerto competition winner typically performs in the same season, while the winter competition winners perform the following academic year. In the case of graduating students, they must make themselves available to come back to fulfill the engagement. At its discretion, the jury may designate a runner-up, who may be offered the opportunity if the first prize winner is unable to perform.

Jeunesses Musicales Canada and Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur: Special prizes

Representatives of Jeunesses Musicales Canada and Chapelle historique du Bon Pasteur will attend the final round of each competition. At their discretion, they may each award a special prize to one performer. This could be an invitation perform in their series or an opportunity to receive support for the development of their artistic endeavours.

Information for applicants


All students registered in a degree program at the Schulich School of Music (including Marianopolis students) are eligible to participate.

  • Non-performance majors can apply at the discretion of their instrumental teacher.
  • Marianopolis students are only eligible for the monetary portion of the prize if they enter the Schulich School of Music the following year, in which case it will be added to their scholarship.
  • No previous first-prize winners are eligible to participate.
  • First-prize winners of any other Schulich School Concerto Competition are eligible to participate.

Competition rounds

The preliminary rounds are organized by each department. Contestants must prepare and memorize the entire concerto and perform it with piano in front of a jury consisting of department members. The jury may stop the contestants in case of time constraints. Public admission is at the discretion of the area chair. An announcement will be posted shortly before the competition.

  • Contestants must procure their own piano accompaniment for their performance. Please consult the accompaniment list and make arrangements well in advance.

The final round consists of a public performance of the entire concerto with piano accompaniment in Pollack Hall in front of an intra- or inter-departmental jury, which will include Maestro Hauser, and an external jury member.

Repertoire requirements

Classical Concerto Competition (open to voice, wind, brass, and piano): 

  • A complete concerto, or a comparable work (for example, concert aria) written between 1750 and 1800, performed in its entirety from memory with piano accompaniment.
  • No Baroque repertoire (J.S. Bach, Handel, Telemann etc) is allowed.
  • Works written after 1800 can sometimes be allowed if they stylistically firmly belong to the Classical era (e.g. Hummel Trumpet Concerto, both in the original key and in E flat). Beethoven’s Piano Concerti 4-5 and Violin Concerto are not eligible due to length. They are, however, appropriate for the winter competitions.

McGill Concerto Competition (open to piano): 

  • A complete concerto written after 1800, performed in its entirely with piano accompaniment. Memorization is required, except when otherwise approved by the area.

McGill Concerto Competition (open to woodwind, brass, and percussion): 

  • A complete concerto written after 1800, performed in its entirely with piano accompaniment. Memorization is required, except when otherwise approved by the area.

Application procedures

Applying for the Strings - Romantic/Contemporary Concerto Competition, Winter 2021

  1. Register by submitting this online form (due March 21, 2021): Apply here
  2. Submit Video Recording for Prelims (due April 10, 2021)
    - Submit a video recording of your complete concerto, with piano accompaniment
    - State your name and the date at the beginning of your recording
    - You may submit an older recording if it was recorded after April 10, 2020, however, sending a more recent recording is strongly encouraged
    - You may record individual movements as separate takes, but each take must be unedited and uninterrupted.
    - Upload your video to OneDrive or Google Drive (an unlisted YouTube link is also acceptable) and email the link to both:
      axel.strauss [at] (subject: Romantic%2FContemporary%20Concerto%20Competition) and ilya.poletaev [at] (subject: Romantic%2FContemporary%20Concerto%20Competition)
    Please make sure the link can be accessed by anyone. It will be shared with the panel.
  3. The Finals will be held live on Sun, Apr 18 at 2PM in Redpath
    - Make sure you and your accompanist are available on that date!
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