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Claudette Sorel Piano Competition & Fellows Program

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2023 application will open June 15, 2023.

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Claudette Sorel Piano Competition & Fellows Program
$8,000 total cash awards available

Choose your own repertoire!

The Claudette Sorel Piano Competition and Piano Fellows Program is open to talented high school pianists, ages 15-18, of all nationalities. We are looking for talented young pianists with great artistic vision who are passionate about piano performance and repertoire ... is that you? This is your time to shine.

$4,000 cash award
Video recording of performance
Copy of judges' written notes

Plus, an additional $4,000 in smaller awards available, at judges' discretion
(Examples of past awards: Artistic Excellence Award, Best Bach Award, Best Programming, Best Performance of a Contemporary Piece)

We have intentionally designed our competition to be a uniquely positive and welcoming experience, creating a space for participants to present their creative passion and vision in a nurturing environment.

There are TWO rounds to the competition:

  • Preliminary Round takes place by video submission. Based on video submissions, judges will invite 10-12 finalists to compete in the LIVE Final Round. (scroll down for application requirements)
  • LIVE Final Round features in-person performances by finalists. The event is held on the SUNY Fredonia campus on November 6, 2022. Applicants will be notified by October 1 if they have been selected to move on to the LIVE Final Round. 

For the LIVE Final Round, competitors will perform a 15-minute (max) program of their choice, from memory. The repertoire for this stage, as in previous competitions, is left to the discretion of the competitors but should show a thematic connection or idea.
For example:
  • A favorite composer: All Chopin program, all Beethoven, all Clara Schuman, etc.
  • A favorite time period: present music from the Romantic era, 2nd Viennese School, etc.
  • A favorite musical form: you could pick the prelude, for example, and present a group of different preludes by different composers: Bach, Debussy, Gershwin, and Rachmaninoff.
  • Unknown treasures: pick music by less-known composers whose music you really love. For example the music of Louise Farrenc or George Walker.
These are just examples ... we invite you to be creative! You will be asked to describe the overarching theme of your selected work(s) in your application.

Eliran Avni, Steven Bianchi, Alison d'Amato, Xiting Yabg, Nick Weiser, Jiyong Kim

(Choose from In-Person or Online formats)
Saturday, November 5 - Sunday, November 6, 2022
State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music
Fredonia, NY

We are excited to again offer the Piano Fellows program in both an In-Person and Online format. Held in conjunction with the piano competition, the Fellows Program is designed for talented high school pianists (ages 15-18) who are serious about their craft and are looking for an intensive musical experience, but who may not yet be ready for the competition circuit. 

Invited Fellows will attend on full tuition scholarship; limited travel stipends are available for In-Person Fellows with demonstrated financial need.

View Fellows Schedule

In-Person Fellows
In-Person Fellows will have an individual lesson with a member of our faculty/judge panel, attend afternoon workshops and master classes, perform in a live Fellows Recital, have a behind-the-scenes experience at the Sorel Competition, and more.

Online Fellows
Online Fellows will attend afternoon workshops via Zoom, watch the Fellows Recital livestream, watch the Sorel Competition livestream, and be invited to be part of the ongoing online Fellows community.

(for both Competition AND Fellows Program):

  • Submit 7-10 minutes of high-quality video. Repertoire to be chosen by you. Competitors are strongly encouraged to submit two contrasting works (style, tempi, mood, etc). You can submit excerpt(s) of your chosen piece(s), for a total of 7-10 minutes
  • Video and audio quality matters; please submit the highest quality video possible.
  • All music must be performed from memory (an exemption MAY be granted for contemporary works; written advance notice from Dr. Eliran Avni is required)
  • A short biography (100 word limit), which may be used in competition promotions and/or printed program.
  • Explanation of your chosen program's theme: Why did you choose this recital program? 
  • Headshot (does not need to be professional, but WILL be used in publicity materials)
  • Photo/video release form
  • One-time application fee ($60 competition; $30 fellows)
Application Deadline: September 15, 2022

Please note:
  • Students currently enrolled at the State University of New York at Fredonia are ineligible to apply.
  • Previous Claudette Sorel Piano Competition First Prize Winners are ineligible to apply.
  • Individuals with professional management and active performance careers are ineligible to apply.
  • Anyone enrolled/attending conservatory/college/university is ineligible to apply (even if they meet age criteria).
  • As a state university, we are required to follow all SUNY requirements regarding safety during the pandemic; SUNY Fredonia requires COVID-19 vaccination for participation in campus events. Please contact us with questions.
  • For travel information regarding COVID-19, please refer to current CDC guidelines.

Additional details and requirements may be found under Resources.
Questions? Email us:

For technical questions please check out our Help Desk for frequently asked questions.