For Musicians

Y.A.C. Audition Rules

Young Artist Competition

Updated June 9, 2020 - Please read carefully, as some changes have been made.

Contestants will be auditioned on the piano or any symphonic instrument. Vocal soloists and past first place winners are excluded from this competition.

  1. Auditions will be held as follows: Preliminaries (Video submission only, due by 11:59pm on Friday, June 26) and Finals (Live on Sunday, July 12, from 1-5 pm). All contestants and their accompanists must be available for the finals time frame. 

  2. Finalists will be notified on July 3, 2020.

  3. The Finals competition on Sunday, July 12 will now be held at Piedmont Piano Company, 1728 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. It will no longer be held at Stanford University, Palo Alto.

  4. Two young artists will be chosen to perform with the CYS Senior Orchestra. In the case of a double or triple concerto, an “artist” is defined as the group of soloists.

  5. Auditions are open to all who have not attained their 19th birthday on or before July 12, 2020.

  6. Contestants are expected to have a COMPLETE approved concerto or concert work for solo instrument and orchestra ready to perform from memory. The concerto must be approved by the CYS Music Director before it can be accepted. If the concerto listed on the Application Form is unacceptable, CYS will contact the contestant. Refer to the page Approved Concerti for the 2020-21 Competition for more information.

  7. In the Preliminary round - by video submission - the contestant should select a 7-minute musically satisfying excerpt from the concerto. Material recorded beyond the 7-minute mark will not be reviewed.  For the Finals, which will be 10-20 minutes long, the judges will confer with the contestant and accompanist to select the excerpts for that round.

  8. Preliminary video submissions will be without piano accompaniment. For the Finals, each selected finalist is expected to perform with a piano accompanist; and, contestants are responsible for providing their own accompanist.

  9. Contestants will provide a PDF copy of their score to be submitted along with their video submission; Finalists must bring one physical copy of the score for the judges to use during the audition. 

  10. The link to upload your video and score will be emailed to the BEST Contact Email Address indicated on the application form.

  11. The competition winners must perform the same concerto with the orchestra that they performed at the competition. Competition winners agree to attend and perform with the orchestra for four Sunday rehearsals before the first scheduled performance. All competition winners must be available for rehearsals and performances. Competition winners also agree to send a biography and a photograph by July 15.

  12. Because of the economics of any public concert performance, we prefer that our contestants not have performed their audition concerto with another major Bay Area orchestra. If you are performing, or have performed, a concerto with another orchestra in the Bay Area under these circumstances, you cannot use this concerto for the CYS competition this concert season. If you win the CYS competition, you agree not to perform your concerto with another orchestra in the Bay Area until after you have performed it with the California Youth Symphony. The “Bay Area” means all the East Bay and West Bay cities between and including San Francisco and San Jose. Please call and direct any questions on concerto eligibility to the CYS Executive Director.

  13. Audition times will be emailed to all contestants one week prior to the competition date.

  14. Three judges will preside. The decision of the judges will be final.

  15. Winners will be announced at the end of the final round.

  16. A non-refundable fee of $55 must accompany your application submission in order to complete your registration. Payments are now only processed through PayPal.

  17. The application deadline for this competition is 11:59pm PST on May 17, 2020.

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