"I have performed at two of America's A-1 opera houses, and yet my experiences there did not compare to the amazing experience I had at the Princeton Festival."
– Cheryl Warfield, Strawberry Woman/Lily in Porgy and Bess

» Read all reviews

Mark your calendars!

2015 Gala & Auction:
Fandango in a Spanish Garden

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Greenacres Country Club
Lawrenceville NJ

Quick Links

2015 Piano Competition
(deadline: May 4)
   » Application Form

2015 Conducting Master Class
(June 20-27, rolling admission)
   » Application Form

Behind the Scenes video
2014 Videos

Porgy and Bess Workshop Q&A
(June 29, 2014)

Porgy and Bess Audience Reviews
(June 22, 2014)

West Side 5 (June 17, 2014)

Stay Connected

Join our Email List!
Sign Up



Contact Us

The Princeton Festival
P.O. Box 2063
Princeton, NJ 08543

Search our Site

Piano Competition


Svetlana Smolina, DMA Michigan University, concert pianist
J.Y. Song, DMA The Juilliard School, Mannes College faculty

Application Deadline: The May 5th deadline has now passed.


pianoPreliminary Rounds: Saturday June 7 and Sunday June 8
Free and open to the public

Final Round: Sunday June 15 at 3pm
Tickets required

Clark Music Center
The Lawrenceville School
Lawrenceville, NJ
» View Map

Final Round Tickets:  $25
General admission seating
Approximate end time:  6pm

» Prizes & Awards
» Repertoire
» Eligibility
» General Information & Rules
» Application Procedure
» FAQsplease read before contacting us!

Prizes & Awards

Elementary Artists (ages 6-9)

Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $100

Intermediate Artists (ages 10-12)     

Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $150

Junior Artists (ages 13-15)

Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $200

Senior Artists (ages 16-18)

Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $500

Piano Four-Hands (under 25)

Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $400

Open Class (under 25)

Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $1000

Special Award: The Richard L. Tang Yuk Award will be presented to the Most Outstanding Performer in the competition. It is awarded by the adjudicators to a winner of a category and carries no cash prize.

Jacobs MusicJacobs Music Company is the area's exclusive representative for New Steinway & Yamaha Pianos.

Jacobs Music Company is a Proud Supporter and Partner of The Princeton Festival!

» Back to top


Contestants must play one selection from the pieces specified for that category.

Optional sources for purchasing sheet music:
     Burt & Company  www.burtnco.com.
     Plainfield Music Store www.plainfieldmusicstore.com

Note: The Princeton Festival does not encourage or endorse the use of photocopied music. It is the contestant's responsibility to ensure that any music downloaded from internet sources is in the public domain in the USA.

Elementary Artists (ages 6-9)

  Amy Beach


 Polka from Children's Album. Op.36 #5



 Sonata in G minor (without repeats) (ABRSM Grade 4



 Six Pieces for Children Op.72 #2 in Eb major 


Intermediate Artists (ages 10-12)



 Scotch Poem Op.31 #2



 Mazurka in Ab, Op. posth., KK IVb No. 4 (ABRSM Grade 6)



 Prelude from Ten PIeces Op.12 #7  

Junior Artists (ages 13-15)



 The Cat & the Mouse - Scherzo Humorestique 



 Danza de la moza donosa, No. 2 from Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2 (ABRSM Grade 7



 Impromptu #2 in F minor Op.31

Senior Artists (ages 16-18)



 Excursions Op.20 #1



 Polichinelle: No. 4 from Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3 (ABRSM Grade 8)



 Au Bord d'une Source from Annees de pelerinage Bk.1  

Piano Four-Hands (under 25)



 Prelude #1 in Bb major from Three Preludes (Alfred edition, edited by Gregory Stone) 



 Legends Op.59 #10 in Bb



 New Spanish Dances - Habanera Op.65 #6

Open Class (under 25)

The contestant may choose any solo work (not concerti) not longer than 12 minutes from the list of composers below, but not a test piece from another category –

Amy Beach, Barber, Chopin, Copland, Debussy, Ginastera, MacDowell, Villa-Lobos

Important note: Performance of the piece should be completed within 12 minutes or less; If your performance goes over 12 minutes you may be stopped by the adjudicators, but you will not be penalized. 12 minutes is the maximum time allotted, not the goal. Contestants in the Open Category may also enter another age-specific class with payment of the application fee for each class entered.

The contestant must email pianocompetition@princetonfestival.org no later than on Saturday, May 17, 2014 (three weeks prior to the preliminaries) to specify their piece. No repertoire changes will be permitted once the choice is submitted. 

The Open Category is designed to allow outstanding emerging professional performers to compete outside of an age restricted class. The level of performance expected in the Open Category is at or above the ABRSM Diploma level. Parents and teachers are advised to consider whether entering this class is appropriate for their child/student. Due to the wide choice of repertoire, the Open Category is one of the most competitive classes in the competition. 

One or more movements of a sonata, or a suite may be performed in this category as long as it falls within the time limit of 12 minutes. Movements of concerti are not eligible for this class.

» Back to top


  1. The Princeton Festival Piano Competition is open to pianists of any nationality or state of residence.
  2. Pianists may enter more than one category but only according to their age on June 15, 2014.
  3. Contestants who are students or relatives of the adjudicators may not enter the competition.

» Back to top

General Information and Rules

Schedule and Location

  1. The 2014 Princeton Festival Piano Competition preliminaries will be held on Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8, 2014, with the finals at 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Three performers in each category will advance to the final round.
  2. The competition will take place at the Clark Music Center at the Lawrenceville School on Route 206 in Lawrenceville, NJ.
  3. By applying to the competition, performers, teachers and parents understand that the student must be available to perform at his or her scheduled time on Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8, 2014 for the preliminary round and finalists must be available at 2:00 pm on Sunday, June 15, 2014. The preliminary round may take all day; therefore applicants must keep the entire day on both dates open until you receive your scheduled time.
  4. An official of The Princeton Festival will set all schedules. Scheduling of specific time slots will take place after the deadline for applications, May 5, 2014. Contestants may not choose their performance time slot.
  5. Once scheduled for the preliminary round, no changes in the date and time may be made. Contestants may not swap times with other performers. The competition manager reserves the right to arrange times within Categories. Competitors are required to arrive and register 20 minutes before their scheduled start time. It is the responsibility of the competitor to allow adequate travel time.
  6. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated.
  7. All rounds of the competition will be open to the public. There is no charge to attend the preliminary rounds; the final round is a ticketed event.


  1. Contestants in the Open Class may submit an application on or before the May 5, 2014 deadline without specifying a piece. However, the contestant must specify the piece they will be playing no later than on Saturday, May 17, 2014 (three weeks prior to the preliminaries). The piece may not be a test piece from another category. No repertoire changes will be permitted once the choice is submitted.
  2. Contestants of all age categories other than the Open Class need not specify which piece they will play until the day of the competition preliminaries.
  3. No repertoire exceptions are allowed. Each competitor must prepare one piece from the list provided for that age category.
  4. The test piece must be performed from memory and in its entirety, with the exception of the Four-Hands category where using music is permitted.


  1. The competition will be judged by two professional pianists/teachers appointed by the Artistic Director of The Princeton Festival. The identity of the adjudicators will not be revealed to the applicants prior to the competition.
  2. The adjudicators will only know the contestants by a randomly selected number until the results of the finals are announced.
  3. Contestants, teachers, parents and relatives are not permitted to have any contact with the adjudicators by any means until after the end of the finals.
  4. Contestants, teachers, parents and relatives may not reveal the name of a contestant's teacher to the Adjudication Panel until after winners are announced at the finals on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Failure to comply with this may result in disqualification.
  5. In the event that there are too few applicants in a particular age group, the adjudicators may advance those applicants directly to the finals.
  6. The adjudicators reserve the right to declare no winner in any category, as they deem appropriate.
  7. The adjudicators may provide a few general oral comments after the preliminary round of each age category, before the finalists for that category are announced.
  8. Written comments from the adjudicators will be mailed to all contestants following the preliminary round of the competition. 
  9. The adjudicators' decisions are final and may not be challenged.


  1. The pianos used for all rounds of the competition is a Steinway model B or D.
  2. No practice/warm up rooms are available for the competition.
  3. Practice on the piano used for the competition is not possible, as it is impractical to provide equal practice time to all contestants on the instrument. However, on the day of the finals, if requested, finalists will be scheduled for a strictly enforced period of 5 minutes to get a feel for the instrument prior to the start of the final round of the competition.

Additional Rules & Regulations

  1. All contestants must give credit for all awards/prizes won at The Princeton Festival Piano Competition in all future publicity.
  2. The competition reserves the right, without payment of fees, to record and distribute recordings for media and other purposes, including via the Internet, and to televise, broadcast, film, record, videotape, photograph or live stream all stages of the competition.
  3. Contestants are financially responsible for their travel to and from the competition.
  4. Housing is not provided.
  5. By applying to the competition, performers agree to abide by all the rules and regulations of The Princeton Festival Piano Competition. Applicants will be disqualified at any phase of the competition when non-compliance with any part of the rules and regulations occurs or is discovered.
  6. The competition reserves the right to make necessary changes as circumstances dictate.

Questions regarding any aspect of the competition should be addressed to pianocompetition@princetonfestival.org and should be submitted by the teacher.

» Back to top

Application Procedure

We will begin accepting applications for the 2014 Piano Competition from November 1st, 2013.

Application Deadline

  1. The deadline for online applications, including electronic submission of supporting materials, is 11:59 pm on Monday, May 5, 2014. The deadline has now passed and late applications will not be considered.
  2. You will receive an auto e-mail response acknowledging receipt of your application.

Application Fee

The application fee for each category is $40, including Four-Hands.

Application Form – including payment and submission of supporting materials

Applications must be submitted online . Applicants wishing to enter more than one category may do so on a single form. The fee for each category must be paid through PayPal, which also accepts MasterCard, VISA, Discover or American Express; no PayPal account is required. This fee is non-refundable even if the contestant withdraws from the competition.

You will need the following information at hand in order to submit the Application: Acknowledgment of receipt of the Application Form will be sent to the parent by e-mail.

Please read these rules carefully before emailing pianocompetition@princetonfestival.org with any further questions.

Thank you for your interest!

» Back to top