UW-Madison School of Music Sponsors High School Piano Competition

Piano Extravaganza!

UW School of Music
Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

The UW-Madison Piano Program announces a piano competition for emerging regional pianists, to be held at the School of Music, Feb. 28 to March 1, 2014.  In addition to a competition, the event will include masterclasses, workshops and performances hosted by UW faculty and students. This year’s Piano Extravaganza will feature piano works influenced by jazz and blues.

On Friday, Feb 28 at 8 pm, the school will present a free concert in Mills Hall with Prof. Christopher Taylor. Click here to read a recent concert review.

Competition Information:

Prizes: First prize: $1500. Second prize: $1000. Third prize: $500.

Eligibility: Auditions are open to pianists from Wisconsin and Minnesota between the ages of 15-19 who are not yet in college at the time of the competition.

Entrance Requirements: Application materials must be received at the following address no later than 5:00 pm Friday, January 31, 2014.

Professor Jess Johnson/Piano Extravaganza Competition
UW-Madison School of Music
455 N. Park Street, 5418 Mosse Humanities
Madison, WI 53706-1483

 All applications for the preliminary round must include:

1. Completed application form (download PDF) Piano Extravaganza form

2. Recording of two memorized, contrasting pieces from different historical/style periods.

3. A biographical paragraph.

Recording Guidelines for Preliminary Round

The preliminary round audition recording may be submitted in two ways:

1. Mail a CD (not a DVD) OR mp3s

2. Email your mp3s as attachments to Sara Giusti

Sara Giusti <giusti@wisc.edu>

Include your name and the tag #Piano Extravaganza in the subject line.

Technically poor recordings will be rejected. The submission should consist of an unedited recording of two contrasting works from different historical/style periods. Please label recording with your name and titles of compositions/composer/estimated timing.

Preliminary Round

Each pianist will submit an unedited recording of two memorized, contrasting pieces from different historical/style periods. Four judges will evaluate the recordings and choose 10 finalists. Competitors will be notified by e-mail and letter no later than February 14, 2014.

Final Stage

Each pianist will perform two memorized, contrasting works from different historical/style periods. Each contestant will be allotted a maximum of 10 minutes of performance time.  The final round of the competition will be open to the public and take place on Saturday, March 1, 2014, 8:00 -11:00 a.m., at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, Morphy Recital Hall, during the UW-Madison Piano Extravaganza, (George Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St.) before a panel of four judges.

All finalists must provide two copies of the works to be performed at the competition finals. Photocopies are not acceptable.

The prizes will be presented at the end of Prof. Johannes Wallmann’s Jazz Improvisation Workshop, 12:00 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall. Winners of the competition will be invited to perform in a masterclass led by UW Piano Faculty. All students are invited to attend all Piano Extravaganza Events.


Contestants will be responsible for their own travel and food expenses.

All finalists are invited to attend all other Piano Extravaganza Events.

For more information, contact Sara Giusti at giusti@wisc.edu.

UW School of Music Piano Faculty:

Collaborative Piano and Piano Pedagogy:  Prof. Martha Fischer

Professor of Piano and Collaborative Piano: Prof. Jessica Johnson

Professor of Piano: Christopher Taylor

Director of Jazz Studies: Assistant Professor Johannes Wallmann

Professor of Piano, Director of Graduate Studies, Keyboard Area Chair: Prof. Todd Welbourne.

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