The Colburn Music Academy Piano Festival

About the Festival
Calendar of Events
About the Colburn Music Academy
Tuition and Fees

About the Festival

July 5–19, 2016

The Music Academy's Piano Festival provides gifted, pre-college age pianists with two weeks of conservatory-level instruction each summer at the Colburn School. Thirty young pianists from around the world will have the opportunity to study with a roster of world-renowned artist faculty and visiting artists.

Highlighting Piano Sonatas
This year’s festival will feature the wide-ranging piano sonata literature as its centerpiece. One of the pillars of the classical music genre, the sonata form serves as the foundation for numerous compositions, including symphonies, chamber works, and instrumental sonatas.

During the festival, students will explore the defining characteristics of sonatas through private lessons, master classes, lectures, performances and theoretical studies. While the festival centers on piano sonata literature, students may also refine and explore other repertoire in lessons, master classes, and recitals.

The Steinway Sonata Competition
The Steinway Sonata Competition will take place July 17–18, and is open to all Piano Festival participants. Students may present any full sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert.

Six finalists will advance to the final round, following a preliminary round. The First Prize winner will receive the $2,000 Steinway Prize and will present a solo recital during the 2017 Music Academy Piano Festival.

Additional cash prizes for second and third place finalists will be sponsored by Metroplitan Associates through the generosity of Colburn School Board Member Alice Coulombe.


Alan Chow, Northwestern University
Gila Goldstein, Boston University
Myong-joo Lee, Colburn Music Academy
Yoshikazu Nagai, San Francisco Conservatory
Ory Shihor, Colburn Conservatory, Colburn Music Academy
Steven Spooner, University of Kansas
Sasha Starcevich, Music Fest Perugia
Chun-Chieh Yen, National Taiwan University
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, concert pianist and Colburn School Artist-in-Residence

Application and Eligibility

How to Apply
Applicants are required to complete an online application and submit an audition video online, in addition to submitting one letter of recommendation from a professional musician. Recommendation letters may be submitted directly by the recommender, by indicating name and email address in the Video Submission portion of the application.

A limited number of spots are still available; complete the application and video submission below to apply. Note: the audition video requirement is waived for students who are currently enrolled in the Music Academy.

Application Form
Video Submission

Audition Repertoire
Two pieces, solo and/or concerto, representing different styles. There are no time limits on submissions. Applicants may submit more than two pieces, if desired.

Open to pianists ages 10–19, elementary through high school, including graduating high school seniors who have not yet entered college.

Parents are welcome to accompany their children in the residence hall, and may freely attend all master classes, concerts, and lectures, as well as attend applied lessons with the approval of the instructor. Students 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent in the residence hall for the festival's duration.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition, room, and board: $3,600
Commuter (tuition only): $2,100
Parent room and board: $1,300
Application fee: $80

Colburn Music Academy does not provide financial assistance for the Music Academy Piano Festival. Families are encouraged to seek financial assistance from local sources, such as school music organizations; county, state, or national music education organizations; youth orchestras and bands; music clubs service clubs; businesses; churches; and foundations.

About the Colburn Music Academy

The Colburn Music Academy is an intensive music program designed to nurture pre-college age musicians, and to refine, enhance and develop their performance skills and musicianship at the highest of levels. Music Academy students receive instruction and guidance from the distinguished faculty of the Colburn School, and are provided with numerous performance and enrichment opportunities throughout the year. For more information about the academy, contact

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