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The American Pianists Awards is the premiere piano competition for American pianists ages 18–32. Through its competitions, the American Pianists Association aims to discover, promote, and advance the careers of young, American, world-class classical and jazz pianists. Each competition produces five finalists from whom one winner emerges. The winner’s prize package is valued at more than $200,000. The other finalists will each receive $25,000 cash.

The biennial American Pianists Awards alternates between classical and jazz: The 2025 Awards will be a classical competition. The next jazz competition will conclude in 2027. The following timeline is for the 2025 classical competition:

FALL 2023: The American Pianists Association will solicit nominations from distinguished music professors, teachers and industry professionals.

DECEMBER 2023: American Pianists Association will invite nominated pianists to apply. Application requirements include submitted recordings and proof of age and citizenship. ONLY NOMINATED PIANISTS WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR THE AMERICAN PIANISTS AWARDS.

FEBRUARY 2024: Applications close. Applications must be submitted via Acceptd by the deadline in order to be considered.

MARCH 2024: A five-member jury will select five finalists from the applicants via blind review of submitted recordings. Once selected, the finalists will be informed, followed by a media announcement of the finalists who will compete in the live part of the competition the following fall.

MAY 2024: The five finalists are introduced to the media at an event and unadjudicated concert in New York City.

SEPTEMBER 2024: Opening kick-off concert and reception in Indianapolis, IN (unadjudicated).

PREMIERE SERIES, OCTOBER 2024 – FEBRUARY 2025: Each of the five finalists will appear separately for a week in Indianapolis for adjudicated performances, a three-day residency with a local high school and other community engagement activities. The adjudicated performances include solo works and a concerto with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and are heard by a new five-member jury. This same jury hears all five concerts.

  1. October 13, 2024: Finalist 1
  2. November 10, 2024: Finalist 2
  3. December 8, 2024: Finalist 3
  4. January 26, 2025: Finalist 4
  5. February 23, 2025: Finalist 5

DISCOVERY WEEK, APRIL 2025 - All five finalists return to Indianapolis for a series of adjudicated concerts:

  • Chamber Recital: Each finalist performs a 60 minute recital of solo works and a piano quintet with a professional string quartet (provided by APA).
  • New Music Recital: A concert featuring all five finalists performing a commissioned work and additional solo works by an American composer.
  • Gala Finals: Over the course of two nights, all five finalists perform a concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, with the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the second night.
At the conclusion of night two of the Gala Finals, the jury will combine the results of the Premiere Series and Discovery Week performances to determine the winner.

For questions about the American Pianists Awards, contact Ryan Frick, Artistic Assistant, at 317.940.8445 or

For technical questions, please visit the Acceptd Help Desk.