Renee B. Fisher Piano Competition

The Renée B. Fisher Competition aims to nurture the growth and development of young pianists, reward them for outstanding achievement in the classical repertoire and encourage them to acquaint themselves with, and to perform, contemporary music.
Eligibility

Applicants must currently live or study in Connecticut. Winners must commit to perform in the concert on Saturday, May 8, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. The Competition has two levels: Elementary/Middle School (through grade 8) and High School (through grade 12). An elementary/middle school student may compete in the high school division. Former first prize winners may not enter the same division again. All other former prize winners may re-enter the competition, but may not perform repertoire previously submitted.

Application Procedure

Download Application here.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Four items are required from each applicant:

1. Completed application form, including supplementary information sheet.
2. Non-refundable application fee of $50, by check, made payable to Neighborhood Music School. (Please note “Renée B. Fisher Competition” on the memo line.)
3. Letter of recommendation from applicant’s current piano teacher.
4. A working private link to a recording (for ex. SoundCloud) of unedited performances by applicant of two solo pieces from contrasting periods. These works need not be part of the repertoire for the Competition. Concerti are not acceptable. No video recording will be accepted. Make sure links to the audio recording will work for any member of the public. It is the responsibility of the applicant to be sure the link is playable.

Send one package with all four items postmarked no later than January 16, 2021 to:

Renée B. Fisher Piano Competition
Neighborhood Music School
100 Audubon St., New Haven, CT 06510

Postmark is required; hand deliveries will not be accepted. No application will be processed without the four listed items. Materials will not be returned. A committee, whose decision is final, will decide which applicants are accepted for live audition. Notification will be sent no later than February 8, 2021. All applicants accepted to the audition will be required to make a deposit which will be returned at the competition.

A committee, whose decisions are final, will decide which applicants are accepted for live audition. All applicants accepted to the audition will be required to make a deposit, which will be returned at the competition. 

Commissioned Work

A special feature of the Renée B. Fisher Competition is the commissioning of two works, one for each division. These works are written specifically for the competition and by composers chosen competitively by a special committee of the Competition. These are required pieces, designed to introduce students to living composers and their work and to be premiered at the Winners’ Concert. Scores are available upon request to the coordinator via e-mail or phone only after October 26, 2020. *Contact info below.

The Competition

The commissioned work may be played from the score. All other repertoire must be performed from memory. No transcriptions or concerti are permitted. Duration: elementary/middle school division, 15 minutes; high school division, 20 minutes. Competition Date: Sunday, April 11, 2021, at Neighborhood Music School.

Repertoire for elementary/middle school division:
1. Commissioned Work: Web and Wings by Kari Cruver Medina
2. Baroque work (e.g., Bach, Handel, Scarlatti) OR Classical work (e.g., Mozart, Clementi, Beethoven)
3. Romantic work (e.g., Chopin, Schumann, Brahms) OR Impressionistic work (e.g., Debussy, Ravel) OR 20th/21st century work

Repertoire for high school division:
1. Commissioned Work: Aer by Otto Wanke
2. Major work of Johann Sebastian Bach (e.g., Suites,Toccatas, a Prelude and Fugue from either book of the WTC)
3. One movement of a classical sonata (e.g., Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert)
4. Romantic work (e.g., Chopin, Brahms, Liszt) OR Impressionistic work (e.g., Ravel, Debussy) OR 20th/21st century work
No single piece may count for more than one category (e.g., Schubert cannot be counted as both a classical sonata and a Romantic work).

The Prizes
  • Elementary/middle school: first – $250, second – $150, third – $100, and honorable mentions
  • High school: first – $500, second – $300, third – $200, and honorable mentions
  • Both divisions: $100 for best performance of commissioned work
  • Teacher awards for winning performances

The winners concert and awards presentation will take place Saturday, May 8, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. at Neighborhood Music School.

If the COVID-19 pandemic persists into 2021, we will convert the auditions and Winners’ Concert into virtual events.

For More Information:


Renee B. Fisher Composer Awards

The purpose of the Renée B. Fisher Piano Competition is to nurture growth and development of young pianists, to reward them for outstanding achievement in the classical repertoire, and to encourage them to acquaint themselves with, and to perform, contemporary music. The piano competition consists of two separate divisions: Elementary/Middle School Division (Grade 8 & below) and High School Division (Grades 9-12).

The Renée B. Fisher Foundation and Neighborhood Music School have announced a call for scores for new piano works to be premiered in each division at its 2022 and 2023 piano competitions. The submissions must be written for this competition and must not have been published, recorded or publicly premiered prior to the competition. The pieces for the elementary & middle school division should have a duration of 3-4 minutes and pieces for the high school division should have a duration of 4-5 minutes.

Composers are welcome to apply for the commission in one or both divisions. A separate application and composition must be submitted for each division entered. Any applicant may be a winner in only one division; past winners are ineligible to enter again. The Composer Awards are administered bi-annually. We anticipate that four composers will be chosen; two for the competitions in 2022 and two for the competitions in 2023. Each chosen composer must commit to attend the piano competition Winners Concert in early May 2022 or 2023 in New Haven, Connecticut on which occasion payment of the $1500 award will be made; travel and lodging expenses up to $1000 for domestic travel and $1500 for international travel will be reimbursed. The composers are invited to attend the piano competition auditions also in New Haven in mid to late April 2022 or 2023 to serve as the judge of the performance of the composers’ own work; attendance at the auditions is optional and no renumeration or reimbursement for travel or lodging is available.

A complete application will include the following items:
  • Application form, completed, signed and dated.
  • One score with six anonymous copies of the work for solo piano reflecting the appropriate age and experience level (either Elementary/Middle School or High School) for the division entered; the title page of the score should include the title of the composition, the name of the composer, the division entered, and the year entered. The title page bearing the composer’s name should not be attached to the six copies which will be distributed to the judging committees. The name of the composer should not appear on any other pages of the composition. The score should not measure larger than 10 x 13 inches.
  • An audio CD (not a data CD) or a working private link to a recording (for ex. SoundCloud) of the same work. The recording should be marked with the title of the composition, but not with the name of the composer. Make sure links to the audio recording will work for any member of the public.
  • A one-page biographical sketch.

Entry to each division must contain all listed items. For return of materials, applicant should enclose a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) with correct postage affixed.

Applications must be postmarked no later than January 16, 2021.

DIRECT APPLICATIONS AND QUESTIONS TO:

E-mail: reneeb[email protected]
Phone: (203) 624-5189 ext. 41
Regular Mail:

Renée B. Fisher Competition
Neighborhood Music School
100 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510

To download the Renee B. Fisher Composer Award Application Click here.