The Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies at Cornell University

announces its First Annual

International Keyboard Competition and Summer Academy

 2011: Fortepiano

In planning for 2012: Harpsichord; for 2013: Organ


Schedule | Announcement | Rules | Repertoire List | Summer Academy | Videos |
Prize Winners


The Westfield Fortepiano Competition, August 2011

To be held on the Cornell University Campus, Ithaca, NY August 1-6, 2011 (competition) and 7-13, 2011 (summer academy).



Starting with the landmark recordings of all the Mozart symphonies in the late 70s, virtually all the important repertoire of the 18th and 19th centuries has been played and recorded by period instrument orchestras, some of it even many times. And by 2010 many of these ‘historically informed’ concepts (principles of bowing, articulation, tempo, vibrato, etc.) have trickled down to important modern instrument orchestras everywhere. More recently, in the piano world we see a similar development, as many important performers have proven in concerts and on recordings.

Yet much still remains to be rediscovered and revitalized. This competition and summer academy wishes to encourage and help promote the best young pianists seeking a deeper understanding and more profound realization of this core repertoire through the avenue of instruments, sources and performance practices familiar to the composer. To this end we have sought out an international jury from both sides of the Atlantic for the competition, and established prizes that include important and visible concert engagements in addition to cash awards.  A Summer Academy just after the competition will be taught by two of the most important teachers and players from America and Europe.

General Information on the Competition

Open to musicians of all nationalities born after August 1, 1976.
The repertoire, with a great deal of choice in each round, will comprise works composed roughly from 1780-1830 for 5-, 6- or 6 ½ octave pianos, both Viennese and English.  Several pianos in each category will be offered with sufficient practice time available.
Audition will be on DVD of an unedited performance of a single important work written between 1760 and 1840, on an appropriate instrument, original or modern replica; deadline for submission is May 1, 2011. 
There will be 30 candidates admitted.
10 candidates will advance to the second round, 5 to the final round.
Candidates may play from a score or by memory.
The order of the candidates in all rounds will be alphabetical, the beginning letter to be chosen randomly.
All rounds are open to the public.
Full information, with complete repertoire list and application details will be available after November 30 here.


The Competition Jury

Penelope Crawford, University of Michigan (USA)
Pierre Goy, Conservatoire de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Tuija Hakkila, Sibelius Academy (Finland)
Christopher Hogwood, Cambridge (England)
Robert Levin, Harvard University (USA)
György Vashegyi, conductor and artistic director, Orpheus Orchestra, Budapest (Hungary)
Andrew Willis, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (USA)

Malcolm Bilson (USA), President of the Competition and Summer Academy, Ex Officio


First Prize, $7,500
Second Prize,$3,500
Third Prize, $2,500 — Given by Ms. Percy Browning
Herbert J. Carlin Audience Prize, $1,000 *

In addition to these monetary prizes, solo concerts will be offered in several venues, and a concerto appearance with the Orpheus Orchestra in Budapest. NB: Maestro Vashegyi reserves the right to determine which of the three prize-winners he will choose for this engagement.

* The audience will choose its favorite using ballots distributed at the final round for this purpose


First Round (30 contestants)  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, August 1,2,3.
30 minute program on 5- + 5 ½ octave fortepiano. 

Second round (10 contestants)  Thursday,  August 4
40 minute program on 6- + 6 ½ octave fortepianos.

Free day, Friday, August 5.

Final Round: (5 contestants)  Saturday, August 6. 
60 minute program including one large work from the repertoire list not played previously on either 5-, 6- or 6 ½ octave fortepiano, and one Beethoven Trio from Opus 1 with period violin and cello.

Prizes to be announced publicly directly after the Final Round.

Schedule | Announcement | Rules | Repertoire List | Summer Academy | Videos |
Prize Winners