"Porgy and Bess was absolutely breathtaking … words fail me…."
– Toby Grace, Out In Jersey

» 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

2012 Piano Competition

Adjudicators:      Mark Pakman, Manhattan School of Music and Montclair State University
     Golda Vainberg-Tatz, Manhattan School of Music


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

Congratulations to the 2012 Winners:

Preliminary Rounds (held in one room):

Final Round:

All rounds of the competition are open to the public. There is no charge to attend the preliminary rounds; the final round is a ticketed event.

Final Round Tickets: $30 Buy Tickets
Event seating is General Admission.

» Prizes & Awards
» Repertoire
» Eligibility
» General Information & Rules

Prizes & Awards

Elementary Artists (ages 6-9)

Intermediate Artists (ages 10-12)

Junior Artists (ages 13-15)

Senior Artists (ages 16-18)

Piano Four-Hands (under 25)

Open Class (under 25)

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.

» Back to top


Contestants must play one selection from the pieces specified for that category.
Suggested source for purchasing sheet music – www.burtnco.com.

Elementary Artists (ages 6-9)
     Chaminade              Élégie from Album des Enfants, Book 2, Op. 126  (ABSRM)
     Grieg                      Poetic Tone-Pictures, Op. 3, No. 6: Allegro scherzando (IMSLP)    
     Schumann               Knecht Ruprecht from Album für die Jugend, Op. 68

Intermediate Artists (ages 10-12)
     Chopin                    Nocturne in B major, Op. 32, No. 1  (ABSRM)
     Mendelssohn           Song Without Words, Op. 53, No. 3
     Schumann               Abschied from Waldszenen, Op. 82, No. 9

Junior Artists (ages 13-15)
     Brahms                  Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79, No. 2
     Dvorak                   At the Old Castle from Poetic Tone Pictures, Op. 85, B. 161, No. 3  (IMSLP)
     MacDowell              Praeludium from First Modern Suite, Op. 10, No. 1  (IMSLP)

Senior Artists (ages 16-18)
     Chopin                   Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47, CT. 4
     Liszt                      Cantique D'amour from Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses
     Mussorgsky            Baba-Yaga and The Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition

Piano Four-Hands (under 25)
     Brahms                  Hungarian Dance for Piano, Four Hands in G minor, Vol. 1, No. 1
     Grieg                     In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1  (IMSLP)
     Khachaturian          Sabre Dance  (Khachaturian-Kobajashi arrangement found here)
     Rachmaninoff         Romance from Six Morceaux Op. 11, No. 5
     Schubert               Andante in A minor from Sonatine D. 968  (IMSLP)

Open Class (under 25)
The contestant may choose any solo work not longer than 10 minutes from the list of composers below.
Important notes for Open Class: The contestant must email pianocompetition@princetonfestival.org no later than on Saturday, May 26, 2012 (two weeks prior to the preliminaries) to specify the piece they will be playing. No repertoire changes will be permitted once the choice is submitted. Performance of the piece must be completed in 10 minutes or less or else the contestant will be disqualified from the Open Class competition.
Clarification added on 5/1/12: No test piece from another category may be performed in the Open Class.

» Back to top


  1. The Princeton Festival Piano Competition is open to pianists of any nationality or state of residence.
  2. A private teacher must present a contestant to be admitted to the competition.
  3. Pianists must enter their appropriate age category according to their age on June 24, 2012:
  1. Any pianist under the age of 25 on June 24, 2012 may enter the Open and/or the Four-Hands categories.
  2. 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 2012 Princeton Festival Piano Competition preliminaries will be held on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10, 2012, with the finals at 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 24, 2012. Three performers in each category will advance to the final round.
  2. The preliminary rounds on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10, 2012 will take place at the Clark Music Center at the Lawrenceville School, Route 206, Lawrenceville, NJ. The finals will take place at the same location.
  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 9 or Sunday, June 10, 2012 for the preliminary round and finalists must be available at 1:00 pm on Sunday, June 24, 2012. Depending on the number of applicants to the competition, 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 10, 2012. 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.
  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 10, 2012 deadline without specifying a piece. However, the contestant must specify the piece they will be playing no later than on Saturday, May 26, 2012 (two weeks prior to the preliminaries). 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 in each 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 24, 2012. 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' teachers following the preliminary round of the competition.
  9. The adjudicators' decisions are final and may not be challenged.


  1. The piano used for all rounds of the competition is a Steinway model 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 Princeton, New Jersey.
  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. Failure to comply will result in disqualification.
  6. The competition reserves the right to make necessary changes as circumstances dictate.
  7. 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.

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

Application Deadline

  1. The Festival will begin accepting applications on or about November 1, 2011.
  2. The deadline for online applications AND electronic submission of supporting materials is 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Late applications will not be considered.
  3. Acknowledgment of the application will be sent to the parent and to the teacher by e-mail, so please be sure the e-mail addresses on the online registration form are correct. Please allow ten working days after submitting all materials to receive an email acknowledging that all three parts of your application have been received. If you do not hear from us in that time, please check your spam folders then contact us immediately at pianocompetition@princetonfestival.org.
  4. In the event of an overwhelming number of applicants to the competition, The Princeton Festival reserves the right to limit the total number of applicants to a number that can be reasonably accommodated at the preliminaries on June 9 and 10, 2012. Therefore we strongly encourage you to apply early.

FOUR Steps to the Application

  1. Step 1 – Pay entry fee online
    Applications must be submitted online and the $40 application fee for each category may be paid by MasterCard or Visa. (Discover and American Express are not accepted.) This fee is non-refundable even if the contestant withdraws from the competition. Your confirmation email for Step 1 will provide links to Steps 2 and 3.
  2. Step 2 – Submit online Registration Form
    Please note:  You will need the Teacher's contact information (email, phone and address) to complete this form. A confirmation will be sent both to the Teacher with a link for Step 3 - Teacher Endorsement Form and to the Parent with a reminder to complete Step 4 by the deadline of May 10, 2012.
  3. Step 3 – Teacher submits online Teacher Endorsement Form
    This online form is required by the deadline of May 10, 2012 in order for the application to be considered complete.
  4. Step 4 – Submit supporting materials
    Please submit these items by email to pianocompetition@princetonfestival.org with the contestant's name in the Subject field:
    • Proof of age – e.g., scan of birth certificate, passport or driver's license. Important: Do not mail originals!
    • Biography of the contestant (not more than one page)

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

Thank you for your interest!

» Back to top