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The Claudette Sorel Piano Competition & Fellows Program

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2020 Claudette Sorel Piano Competition & Fellows Program

The Claudette Sorel Piano Competition, now in its fifth year, and Piano Fellows Program are open to talented young pianists, ages 15-18, of all nationalities, and we are unique. 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.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, the Final Round of the competition will be held online.  Nothing will change for the First Round of the competition (submit your video by September 15).  Our Top 10 Finalists will be selected and notified by October 1, and asked to submit a new video for the Final Round.  These videos will be streamed on Sunday, November 8 at noon, and prizes will be announced at the end of the viewing.  We are excited to bring this opportunity to young pianists at a time when so many opportunities and performances are being cancelled.  Keep practicing ... we look forward to hearing from you by September 15!

Competition Final Round: Sunday, November 8, 2020
ONLINE Video Streaming from the Juliet J. Rosch Recital HallState University of New York at Fredonia

  • FIRST PRIZE:  $2,500 cash award and copy of judges' written notes
  • Up to $1,250 additional cash awards will be awarded at the discretion of judges. (Past awards have included: Artistic Excellence Award, Best Chopin Award, Best Bach Award). All Finalists will receive a recording of the live performance, and a copy of the judges' written notes.

    Now in its fifth year, 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. For the Final Round, competitors will submit a NEW video of their fifteen-minute recital. 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, such as a favorite composer, period, thematic connection, etc. For details, please see Resources.

COMPETITION JUDGES: Dr. Eliran Avni, Fr. Sean Duggan, Dr. Anne Kissel, and Nick Weiser.

Saturday, November 7 - Sunday, November 8, 2020
**All events will be held online.
Invited Fellows will attend on full scholarship 

We are excited to offer the Piano Fellows program in an ONLINE format this year, held in conjunction with the piano competition and is designed for talented 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 participants will have online workshops, receive feedback from judges about their submitted video auditions, and more. There is NO FEE to participate as a Piano Fellow.


  • a high-quality video of a performance of a piece you are passionate about (7-10 minutes). Video and audio quality matters; please submit the highest quality video possible. All music must be performed from memory. Competitors are strongly encouraged to submit two contrasting works (style, tempi, mood, etc).
  • Top 10 Finalists must submit a NEW video (15 minute recital, from memory) for the Final Round
  • a short biography (100 word limit), which may be used in competition promotions and/or printed program.
  • answers to three short questions: Why are you passionate about the piano? Why did you choose this recital program? What composers do you like to perform?
  • Headshot (does not need to be professional, but WILL be used in publicity materials)
  • Photo/video release form
  • one-time $30 application fee

Application Deadline: September 15, 2020

Additional details and requirements may be found under Resources.
Questions? Email Dr. Eliran Avni, competition director (

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, as are those individuals with professional management and active performance careers.

Additional details and requirements may be found under Resources.
Questions? Email Dr. Eliran Avni, competition director ( 

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