Steinway Junior Piano Competition

Application Procedure & Regulations



  • All participants must complete and submit the full Steinway Junior Piano Competition application at Registration opens January 15, 2020 and the deadline is April 1, 2020.
  • Participants must participate at their local authorized Steinway showroom, unless the showroom is not participating in the competition. In this case, participants may choose to participate at a showroom which is most conveniently located for them.
  • A NON-REFUNDABLE application fee of $75 must be paid at the time of application submission.
  • A confirmation message will be sent once a student’s complete application has been received. The message will also include further instructions regarding the audition procedure and scheduling.
  • Application questions will include student information, parent/guardian information, and teacher information.
  • All applicants will be provided with an opportunity to play on the competition instrument before their audition day should they choose. To schedule a rehearsal time, applicants must contact the competition manager directly.
  • As a result of the high volume of participants in various regions, some showrooms will require a video prescreening round. Showrooms that will require this prescreening round will notify participants in the application. Please see more details in Prescreening Round section below.



Two contrasting pieces for solo piano from two different eras of Western classical music including Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Twentieth Century must be performed memorized. Original compositions and improvisations are not permitted. Repeats may be played at the discretion of the performer, but are not required.  In some regions, the judges may need to cut performances off during the audition period.

Division I: Ages 9 and under (max 8 minutes)
Division II: Ages 10-13 (max 10 minutes)
Division III: Ages 14-18 (max 15 minutes)


  • Contestants will be graded on the following criteria, using a rating scale of 1-10:

Musicality and artistry

Students who score well will not simply play their selected pieces cleanly, but will demonstrate an appropriate understanding of aspects of performance including artistic and stylistic interpretation. Judges will look for students who exhibit attention to details of musicality such as phrasing, dynamics, touch, and shaping, and who can elevate their performance from merely playing the written notes, to giving a dynamic and engaging performance.

Technical mastery

Students who score well will demonstrate that they can meet the technical requirements of their selected pieces. They should be able to comfortably navigate the technical challenges of the literature. Their performance should be free of major note or fingering errors. Students should look to utilize an appropriate tempo and, when required, clean pedaling.

Adherence to the score

Students who score well will demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the composers’ intent in both pieces they perform. Their performances should reflect instructions given by the composer in the score including (but not limited to) tempo, style, pedaling, dynamic markings, etc., as well as customs of the period in which their selected piece was written.

Stage presence

Students should demonstrate a high level of professionalism throughout their audition. Students who score well will display both confidence and charisma, whether it is their first time participating in a competition, or they are more experienced. Students should keep in mind that if they should receive an award, they will be expected to perform in front of their peers and guests. This includes appropriate performance attire.


Students are expected to perform their selected pieces without referring to the score. The judges may, in the case of a memory slip, choose to prompt a student at their discretion; however, such instances will detract from the student’s overall score.

  • Age requirements apply to applicant’s age as of April 1, 2020. Applicants must reside in the United States or Canada.
  • Students who have participated and won first place in the competition last year may not enter again in the same division.
  • Students, teachers, parents, and audience members should not approach the judges for any reason during the competition.
  • Assigned audition slots are final. Rescheduling requests are left to individual showroom’s discretion. If a competitor misses their turn, they will have forfeited their chance to participate (no refunds will be offered).
  • Judges will be announced in the application for the competition. If a change is made, this will be announced by the Steinway showroom prior to the competition.
  • Close relatives or students who study or have studied with any of the announced judges or Steinway/Steinway-authorized showroom employees are not eligible to compete. A refund will be issued to these students.
  • Students are only allowed to participate at one audition location. If the student’s local authorized Steinway showroom is not participating, the student may choose to participate at another participating showroom of their choosing.
  • Competitors are responsible for their own expenses to participate in the competition, including the cost of their travel.
  • Contestants should wear their best performance attire.
  • Qualifying competitors must perform live in order to be considered.
  • Judges reserve the right to cut off a performance at their discretion.
  • Evaluations for each round of the competition made by the jury committees are final. Participants and their families and teachers are not allowed to communicate with the judges.
  • Steinway & Sons and Steinway showrooms reserve the rights to photograph, record, or video the auditions of contestants and winners and to use these documents for marketing purposes. No extra fee will be paid to the contestants.
  • Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s) and paying any expenses associated with any prizes, which are not specifically provided for in the official rules. Each winner must provide the Company with valid identification and a valid taxpayer identification number or social security number before any prize will be awarded. Any person winning over $600 in prizes from the Company will receive an IRS form 1099 at the end of the calendar year and a copy of such form will be filed with the IRS.
  • Steinway & Sons reserves the right to the interpretation of the Terms and Conditions of the Regulations.



As a result of the high volume of participants in various regions, some showrooms will require a video prescreening round. Showrooms that will require this prescreening round will notify participants in the application. For this round, students will be required to upload a video(s) performing both audition pieces on an acoustic piano through their application in Acceptd. These pieces do not have to be memorized for the prescreening round. The same works performed in the prescreening videos must be performed during the competition rounds. The video must be filmed with both the pianist's face and hands in the frame at all times. Recordings may be paused between each repertoire selection. Each work on the video must be a continuous and unedited performance. Videos must not be filmed more than six months prior to submission.

Judges will review the videos and provide feedback for all students, regardless of whether they are chosen to proceed to Round 1. Students who are chosen to proceed to Round 1 will be notified between April 2- 4, 2020, and will receive their Round 1 competition audition slot.

Questions? Please email


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