Schulich School of Music Concerto Competitions

The 2022-2023 competition categories include: Classical | All Instruments and Voice, Romantic/Contemporary | Piano, Strings, Harp, and Guitar

Overview and prizes

The first prize winner of each competition will be offered an opportunity to perform with the McGill Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of Maestro Hauser. 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.

2023-2024 competition categories:

  • Classical Concerto (all instruments and voice)
  • Romantic/Contemporary Concerto (Brass, Woodwind and Percussion)

To apply, select the "Information for applicants" section, then scroll down to "Application procedures" at the bottom of that section.

Fall 2023

Classical Concerto Competition (all instruments and voice)

Application Deadline:

  • Woodwind, Brass | Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Piano, Strings, Voice | Wednesday, November 1, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.

Preliminary Rounds:

  • Piano |  Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 7:00 p.m., Clara Lichtenstein Hall
  • Strings | Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 7:00 p.m., Tanna Schulich Hall
  • Voice |  Friday, November 10, 2023 at 5:30 p.m., Pollack Hall
  • Woodwind/Brass | Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at 6:30 p.m., Tanna Schulich Hall (open to public)

Final Round (open to the public and webcast)

  • Classical Concerto Competition (all instruments + voice) :  Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 7:00 p.m., Pollack Hall

Winter 2024

Romantic/Contemporary Concerto Competition (Piano)

Application Deadline: Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.
Preliminary Round:

  • Monday, February 12, 2024 at 7:00 p.m., Clara Lichtenstein Hall

Finals (open to the public and webcast)

  • Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 7:00 p.m., Pollack Hall

Romantic/Contemporary Concerto Competition (Brass, Woodwind and Percussion)

Application Deadline: Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.
Preliminary Round:

  • Woodwind & Brass | Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 6:30 p.m., Tanna Schulich Hall
  • Percussion | TBA

Finals (open to the public and webcast):

  • Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 7:00 p.m., Pollack Hall

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.
  • 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 all instruments and voice):

  • 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 Romantic/Contemporary competitions

Romantic/Contemporary Concerto Competition (Brass, Woodwind 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

Please use the link below for ALL competitions

Questions: Contact ilya.poletaev [at] (subject: Concerto%20Competition%20Inquiry) (Prof. Ilya Poletaev)

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