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Application opens: 15 May 2024
Application closing deadline: 30 June 2024
HOW TO APPLY: Under the "Start an Application" sidebar, click "Select Program"  and choose the desired application.

Formerly known as Gurwitz Youth Ambassadors, this program offers a selected number of exceptional local students an opportunity to perform in a variety of venues, representing Musical Bridges Around the World. Since 1999, Musical Bridges Around the World has had the mission to celebrate our shared humanity by providing access to global arts for all!

Youth Ambassadors will be involved in Musical Bridges Around the World Community Engagement efforts in the greater San Antonio area, showcasing INSPIRATION that music brings to people of all ages. Ambassadors performances will include:  playing in schools, attending or participating in masterclasses with visiting world-class musicians, performing for community groups, or speaking with students about how and why they chose to play the instrument. These engagement opportunities will range from small to large crowds. 

Applicants must be Bexar County (Texas) residents, advanced music students 18 years old or younger (as of September 1, 2024), and i
nvited to apply based on the recommendation of their teacher.

Application opens: 15 May 2024
Application closing deadline: 30 June 2024

HOW TO APPLY: Under the "Start an Application" sidebar, click "Select Program"  and choose the desired application.

The Colburn-Pledge Scholarship is for students pursuing the studies of a bowed string instrument (specifically violin, viola, cello, or double bass) in classical music at any nationally recognized music school, college, or university, or be studying with any nationally recognized music teacher, and have the intention of becoming a professional performing musician. Applicants must be bona fide residents of Greater San Antonio (counties include Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina, Wilson)


Next Competition to take place in January 2028, with application deadline to be announced.
Application closing deadline: 1 July 2023 (for The Gurwitz 2024)
HOW TO APPLY: Under the "Start an Application" sidebar, click "Select Program"  and choose the Competition. All application rules & requirements are there. 

In the spirit of piano artistry, The Gurwitz International Piano Competition presents public competition to discover the next generation of top young pianists from around the world while bridging the art of classical piano with World Music that celebrates cultural diversity. Performers ages 18 to 32 (inclusive) as of 26 January 2024 are eligible to apply. SHIGERU KAWAI is the exclusive piano of The Gurwitz 2024 International Piano Competition. The Gurwitz is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions and the Alink-Argerich Foundation.

Applicant Selection: A preliminary jury will select a total of t
welve (12) contestants from all applicants, who will then participate in the live competition live in San Antonio, TX, USA from 26 January - 4 February 2024. (A small number of backup contestants will also be chosen as a precautionary measure if any of the 12 contestants are unable to perform.)

Gold Medal  - $30,000 USD
Silver Medal - $20,000 USD
Bronze Medal - $10,000 USD
Junior Jury Award - $2,500 USD
Best Performance of a Work by Latin or Spanish Composer - $5,000 USD
Audience Favorite Award - $5,000 USD

Competition Schedule & Round Details:

  • Round I - Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 January 
    • 12 contestants compete over the course of two days with 50-minute recital programs chosen by the contestant.
    • Award: Junior Jury Award winner selected at end of round.
  • Round II - Tuesday 30 January
    • 6 semifinalists compete with 45-minute recital programs chosen by the contestant.
    • Program requirement:
      1. Work(s) by composer(s) of the participant’s country of origin.
      2. Must feature a work(s) from composer(s) of Latin-American or Spanish origin. (In the case a participant performs a work by a Spanish or Latin-American composer as their ‘country of origin’ piece, this participant must choose another Spanish/Latin-American composer for this work(s).
    • Award: Best Performance of a Work by Latin or Spanish Composer winner selected at end of the round.
  • Round III - Thursday 1 February
    • 3 finalists perform solo and with a Latin-American ensemble.
    • Program Requirement:
      1. Work written after 1950 (not to exceed 12 minutes).
      2. Commissioned work for piano and Latin-American ensemble by Aaron Prado, DMA.
    • All 12 selected contestants will be sent work by September 2023 for preparation.
    • Award: Audience Favorite Award winner selected at end of the round.
  • Round IV - Saturday 3 February
    • 3 finalists perform with the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Scott Yoo.
    • Program Requirement: Must be one of the following piano concertos-
      • Tchaikovsky, Piotr Ilyich No.1, op.23, TH 55, B-flat minor
      • Grieg, Edvard op.16, A minor
      • Schumann, Robert op.54, A minor
      • Prokofiev, Sergey No.3, op.26, C major
      • Rachmaninoff, Sergei No.2, op.18, C minor
      • Liszt, Franz No.1, S.124, E-flat major
      • Beethoven, Ludwig van No.4, op.58, G major
      • Beethoven, Ludwig van No.5, op.73, E-flat major (Emperor)
      • Ravel, Maurice G major
    • Award: Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals winners selected at the end of the round.
  • Awards Brunch - Sunday 4 February
    • Awards are presented along with performances by the three medalists and recognition of competition jury, committees, sponsors, and partners.

Competition Rules and Regulations

  • Competitors are expected to arrive by 3:00 pm, 25 January 2024. Any Medalist must remain in San Antonio and take part/perform in the Closing Ceremony during the Gurwitz Awards Brunch on 4 February 2024 in order to receive his or her monetary prize. Other Competitors are welcome but not required to stay through the remainder of the Competition.
  • A mandatory meeting of all Competitors will take on 25 January 2024 (exact time to be announced)
Transportation & Expenses:
  • All transportation to and from San Antonio, TX, USA will be the responsibility of The Gurwitz, as well as the competitor’s visa expenses if any. Lodging for the Competitor will be arranged by The Gurwitz with a host family, who will also provide the Competitor with food, local transportation, and use of a grand piano.
  • The Gurwitz will not provide for expenses for lodging, food or transportation incurred prior to 24 January 2024 or after 4 February 2024.
  • No lodging will be provided for a Competitor’s family or other traveling companions.
Contestant Performing Order/Time:
  • The order of performance during Competition rounds will be determined by random drawing. No changes will be made in the order of performance except at the direction of The Gurwitz Artistic Director.
  • Due to the possibility of unpredictable events during the Competition, Competitors must be willing to perform at any time other than their assigned time, as determined by The Gurwitz Artistic Director.
Rehearsal Times:
  • One time slot will be allotted for each Competitor before the First Round for rehearsal in the Competition concert hall, another one before the Third Round with the chamber ensemble members, and another one with the symphony before the Final Round.
  • Individual rehearsal time slots will be scheduled according to the random drawing competition order.
  • Competitors must notify The Gurwitz of any program changes for each Competition Round no later than 15 October 2023. Email communication is preferred.  The Gurwitz Artistic Staff will have final approval of programs for each round.  In the event that any repertoire is unacceptable, the Competitor will be notified immediately. For questions email No repertoire changes will be allowed after 15 October 2023.
  • Compositions recorded for the auditions may be performed during the Competition Rounds.  No piece performed during a Competition Round may be repeated during any other Competition Round.
  • All works except the Commissioned Work must be performed from memory, both during the Audition Round and during the Competition Rounds.
  • For the Competition Rounds, each Competitor might be asked to provide copies of scores of the performed repertoire to the jury.
  • All competitors must be dressed in professional or performance attire when at the Competition venue or at Competition-related events.
  • Competitors are not permitted to make contact or speak with any member of the Jury during the competition. Failure to abide by this rule may result in disqualification.
  • Jury voting in all three rounds will be by confidential ballot based on a predetermined scoring system. All decisions of the Jury are final and not subject to appeal.
Winners' Performance Location Clause:
  • No Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal winner of The Gurwitz may perform a solo recital within a 50 mile radius of San Antonio prior to January 26, 2026 without permission of The Gurwitz unless he or she first performs a solo recital for the benefit of The Gurwitz within the same area.

Musical Bridges Around the World is a multicultural arts nonprofit organization formed in 1998 with the mission to celebrate our shared humanity by providing access to global arts for all! All MBAW's public and community programs and events are FREE thanks to the support of sponsorships, grants, and donations. The Gurwitz International Piano Competition, Gurwitz Youth Ambassadors, and Colburn-Pledge are just some of its current programs.

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