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Steinway Virtual Piano Competition

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The 2020 Steinway Virtual Piano Competition, open to pianists ages 17 and under who are residents in the United States and Canada, is an extension of our unwavering commitment to the pursuit of superior artistic expression through piano performance during these unprecedented times.

View panel of judges here.


  • October 1, 2020 - Registration opens. A NON-REFUNDABLE $35 USD registration fee will be required.
  • November 1 - Registration closes.
  • November 15 - Winners announced.


All participants will receive a certificate of participation and constructive feedback from world-renowned Steinway Artists. Additionally, First, Second, and Third place winners will receive a commemorative medal, national recognition on, and the opportunity to be featured on Steinway’s global social media (videos selected at the discretion of the Steinway Marketing Team).
First Place Prizes:Division I - $400Division II - $600Division III - $800Division IV - $1000


  • Students are required to perform two contrasting pieces for solo piano from different eras of Western classical music including Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Twentieth Century.
  • Students will be required to upload a video(s) performing both audition pieces on a piano (electric/digital or acoustic) through their application in Acceptd. The video must be filmed with both the pianist’s face and hands in the frame at all times. Video recordings may be paused between each repertoire selection or applicants may submit two separate videos for each piece. Each work on the video must be a continuous and unedited performance. Videos must not be filmed more than six months prior to submission. Any recording over the allotted time will not be penalized, but will not be judged. 
  • Each will be allotted the following amount of time for the performance of both pieces (age requirements apply to applicant’s age as of October 1, 2020):
    • Division I: Ages 9 and under max. 8 minutes
    • Division II: Ages 10-12 max. 10 minutes
    • Division III: Ages 13-15 max. 12 minutes
    • Division IV: Ages 16-17 max. 14 minutes
  • Original compositions and improvisations are not permitted. Repeats may be played at the discretion of the performer, but are not required. Students may perform with or without sheet music. Performing from memory is encouraged, but not required.
  • Contestants should wear their best performance attire.
  • All applicants should upload copies of their sheet music with minimal markings for the judges in the application.


  • A panel of judges, 3 per division, will be announced in the application for the competition.
  • Evaluations for each round of the competition made by the jury committees are final.
  • Close relatives or students who study or have studied with any of the announced judges or Steinway/Steinway-authorized showroom employees are not eligible to compete. A refund will be issued to these students.
  • Contestants will be graded on the following criteria, using a rating scale of 1-5:
    • Musicality and artistry: Students who score well will not simply play their selected pieces cleanly, but will demonstrate an appropriate understanding of aspects of performance including artistic and stylistic interpretation. Judges will look for students who exhibit attention to details of musicality such as phrasing, dynamics, touch, and shaping, and who can elevate their performance from merely playing the written notes, to giving a dynamic and engaging performance.
    • Technical mastery: Students who score well will demonstrate that they can meet the technical requirements of their selected pieces. They should be able to comfortably navigate the technical challenges of the literature. Their performance should be free of major note or fingering errors. Students should look to utilize an appropriate tempo and, when required, clean pedaling.
    • Adherence to the score: Students who score well will demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the composers’ intent in both pieces they perform. Their performances should reflect instructions given by the composer in the score including (but not limited to) tempo, style, pedaling, dynamic markings, etc., as well as customs of the period in which their selected piece was written.
    • Stage presence: Students should demonstrate a high level of professionalism throughout their video recording. Students who score well will display both confidence and charisma, whether it is their first time participating in a competition, or they are more experienced. This includes appropriate performance attire.
  • Steinway & Sons and Steinway showrooms reserve the rights to use the video recordings submitted for marketing purposes. No extra fee will be paid to the contestants.
  • Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s) and paying any expenses associated with any prizes, which are not specifically provided for in the official rules. Each winner must provide the Company with valid identification and a valid taxpayer identification number or social security number before any prize will be awarded.
  • Steinway & Sons reserves the right to the interpretation of the Terms and Conditions of the Regulations.

If you experience technical issues with Acceptd, please check out their Help Desk for frequently asked questions. For general questions related to the competition, please email