Piano Keys

Piano Competition

Application Deadline:  registration is now closed

Preliminary Rounds:
Saturday June 4 from 9:00am to 3:30pm
Sunday June 5 from 9:0
0am to 3:30pm
Free and open to the public

Final Round: Sunday June 12 at 3pm
Tickets required

Please join us immediately after the final round for a free reception

Clark Music Center
The Lawrenceville School
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Final Round Tickets:  $25

siblings of finalists free
General admission seating
Approximate end time:  6pm


FINALISTS (Winners in bold):

  • Elementary Artists – E7 Effie Li; E23 Isabella Florendo; E27 Thomas Chkuaselli
  • Intermediate Artists – I32 Yash Pazhianur; I50 Petrina Steimel; I54 Madeleine Hehn
  • Junior Artists – J71 Jicheol Ha; J78 Angeline Ma; J82 David Topchishvili
  • Senior Artists – S91 Quentin Pompliano; S92 Linsy Wang
  • Four Hands – F62 Eva Nye and Julianna Wong; F63 Mia Huang and Kyle Huang; F64 Aaron Newitt and Timothy Morrow
  • Open Class – O94 Rishubh Thaper, O108 Hudson Ragins, O122 Stephen Joven-Lee
2016 Piano Competition Winners

(l-r) Mia Huang, Petrina Steimel, Stephen Joven-Lee, Isabella Florendo, Kyle Huang, Angeline Ma, Linsy Wang

Prizes & Awards

  • Elementary Artists (ages 6-9) Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $100
  • Intermediate Artists (ages 10-12) Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $150
  • Junior Artists (ages 13-15) Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $200
  • Senior Artists (ages 16-18) Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $500
  • Piano Four-Hands (under 25) Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $400
  • Open Class (under 25) Certificate, challenge trophy, and cash prize of $1000

Special Award: The Richard L. Tang Yuk Award will be presented to the Most Outstanding Performer in the competition. It is awarded by the adjudicators to a winner of a category and carries no cash prize.

* NEW * Jacobs Music Company Steinway Award: Plaques will be awarded to the winners in each of the four age classes – Elementary, Intermediate, Junior, and Senior – and carry no cash prize.

Jacobs Music Company is the area’s exclusive representative for New Steinway & Yamaha Pianos.

Jacobs Music Company is a Proud Supporter and Partner of The Princeton Festival!



Contestants must play one selection from the pieces specified for that category.

Note: The Princeton Festival does not encourage or endorse the use of photocopied music. It is the contestant’s responsibility to ensure that any music downloaded from internet sources is in the public domain in the USA.

Elementary Artists (ages 6-9)

  • Handel: Keyboard Sonata in F Allegro HWV 488
  • Chopin: Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
  • Kabalevsky: Etude in F major Op. 27 #24

Intermediate Artists (ages 10-12)

  • Burgmuller:  L’orage ‘The Storm’ Op. 109 #13 (ABRSM)
  • Mozart:  Sonata in D major K 311 1st movement (no repeats)
  • Bartok:  Suite Op. 14 III. Allegro Molto

Junior Artists (ages 13-15)

  • Debussy: Book II Prelude #10. Canope (ABRSM)
  • Grieg: Preludien from Holberg Suite
  • Clementi:  Sonata in F sharp minor, Op.25 #5 1st movement

Senior Artists (ages 16-18)

  • Britten: Three Character Pieces (l930) #3. Poco Presto e Molto Capriccioso
  • Liszt: Concert Etude La Leggierezza S. 144
  • Albeniz: Navarra

Piano Four-Hands (under 25)

  • Schubert: Sonatine D. 969 Mvt.2. Andante
  • Massenet: Premiere Suite Op.11 #1. Andante
  • Rachmaninoff: Op.11 #2. Scherzo

Open Class (under 25)

The Open Class is designed to allow outstanding emerging artists to compete outside of an age restricted class. The level of performance expected in the Open Category is at or above the ABRSM Diploma level. Parents and teachers are advised to consider whether entering this class is appropriate for their child/student.

The contestant must choose one solo work (not concerti) under 10 minutes from the list of composers below, but not a test piece from another category.

J.S. Bach, Arnold Bax, Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, or any living (contemporary) composer.

10 minutes is the maximum time allotted, not the goal.

Contestants in the Open Category may also enter another age-specific class with payment of the application fee for each class entered.

The contestant must email [email protected] no later than on Saturday, May 14, 2016 (three weeks prior to the preliminaries) to specify their piece. No repertoire changes will be permitted once the choice is submitted. The contestant must provide two (2) copies of the piece they have selected for the adjudicators on the day of the competition.

One movement of a sonata, or a suite may be performed in this category as long as it falls within the time limit. Movements of concerti are not eligible for this class.


  1. The Princeton Festival Piano Competition is open to pianists of any nationality or state of residence.
  2. Pianists may enter more than one category according to their age on June 12, 2016.
  3. Contestants who are students or relatives of the adjudicators may not enter the competition.

General Information and Rules

Schedule and Location

  1. The 2016 Princeton Festival Piano Competition preliminaries will be held on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, 2016, with the finals at 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 12, 2016. Three performers in each category will advance to the final round.
  2. The competition will take place at the Clark Music Center at the Lawrenceville School on Route 206 in Lawrenceville, NJ.
  3. By applying to the competition, performers, teachers and parents understand that the student must be available to perform at his or her scheduled time on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, 2016 for the preliminary round, and finalists must be available at 2:00 pm on Sunday, June 12, 2016. The preliminary round may take all day; therefore applicants must keep the entire day on both dates open until you receive your scheduled time.
  4. An official of The Princeton Festival will set all schedules. Scheduling of specific time slots will take place after the deadline for applications, May 2, 2016. Contestants may not choose their performance time slot.
  5. Once scheduled for the preliminary round, no changes in the date and time may be made. Contestants may not swap times with other performers. The competition manager reserves the right to arrange times within Categories. Competitors are required to arrive and register 20 minutes before their scheduled start time. It is the responsibility of the competitor to allow adequate travel time.
  6. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated.
  7. All rounds of the competition will be open to the public. There is no charge to attend the preliminary rounds; the final round is a ticketed event.


  1. Contestants in the Open Class may submit an application on or before the May 2, 2016 deadline without specifying a piece. However, the contestant must specify the piece they will be playing no later than on Saturday, May 14, 2016 (three weeks prior to the preliminaries). The piece may not be a test piece from another category. No repertoire changes will be permitted once the choice is submitted.
  2. Contestants of all age categories other than the Open Class need not specify which piece they will play until the day of the competition preliminaries.
  3. No repertoire exceptions are allowed. Each competitor must prepare one piece from the list provided for that age category.
  4. The test piece must be performed from memory and in its entirety, with the exception of the Four-Hands category where using music is permitted.


  1. The competition will be judged by two professional pianists/teachers appointed by the Artistic Director of The Princeton Festival. The identity of the adjudicators will not be revealed to the applicants prior to the competition.
  2. The adjudicators will only know the contestants by a randomly selected number until the results of the finals are announced.
  3. Contestants, teachers, parents and relatives are not permitted to have any contact with the adjudicators by any means until after the end of the finals.
  4. Contestants, teachers, parents and relatives may not reveal the name of a contestant’s teacher to the Adjudication Panel until after winners are announced at the finals on Sunday, June 12, 2016. Failure to comply with this may result in disqualification.
  5. In the event that there are too few applicants in a particular age group, the adjudicators may advance those applicants directly to the finals.
  6. The adjudicators reserve the right to declare no winner in any category, as they deem appropriate.
  7. The adjudicators may provide a few general oral comments after the preliminary round of each age category, before the finalists for that category are announced.
  8. Written comments from the adjudicators will be mailed to all contestants following the preliminary round of the competition.
  9. The adjudicators’ decisions are final and may not be challenged.


  1. The pianos used for all rounds of the competition is a Steinway model B or D.
  2. Limited practice/warm up rooms are available for the competition on a first come-first served basis.
  3. Practice on the piano used for the competition is not possible, as it is impractical to provide equal practice time to all contestants on the instrument. However, on the day of the finals, if requested, finalists will be scheduled for a strictly enforced period of 5 minutes to get a feel for the instrument prior to the start of the final round of the competition.

Additional Rules & Regulations

  1. All contestants must give credit for all awards/prizes won at The Princeton Festival Piano Competition in all future publicity.
  2. The competition reserves the right, without payment of fees, to record and distribute recordings for media and other purposes, including via the Internet, and to televise, broadcast, film, record, videotape, photograph or live stream all stages of the competition.
  3. Contestants are financially responsible for their travel to and from the competition.
  4. Housing is not provided, however the Festival staff can assist with finding housing for out of town competitors.
  5. By applying to the competition, performers agree to abide by all the rules and regulations of The Princeton Festival Piano Competition. Applicants will be disqualified at any phase of the competition when non-compliance with any part of the rules and regulations occurs or is discovered.
  6. The competition reserves the right to make necessary changes as circumstances dictate.

Questions regarding any aspect of the competition should be addressed to [email protected] and should be submitted by the teacher.

Application Procedure

Applications for the 2016 Piano Competition are no longer being accepted.

Application Deadline

  1. The deadline for online applications, including electronic submission of supporting materials, is 11:59 pm on Monday, May 2, 2016.
  2. You will receive an auto e-mail response acknowledging receipt of your application.

Application Fee

The application fee for each category is $40 (for the four hands category it is one $40 fee)

Application Form – including payment and submission of supporting materials

Applications must be submitted online. Applicants wishing to enter more than one category may do so on a single form. The fee for each category must be paid through PayPal, which also accepts MasterCard, VISA, Discover or American Express; no PayPal account is required. This fee is non-refundable even if the contestant withdraws from the competition.

You will need the following information at hand in order to submit the Application: Acknowledgment of receipt of the Application Form will be sent to the parent by e-mail.

  • Teacher’s contact information – phone, email and address
  • Supporting materials – Digital files (DOC/DOCX, JPG/JPEG, PDF, XLS/XLSX) for proof of age and the biography of the artist are required attachments for the form to be submitted
  • Payment – through PayPal, which also accepts credit cards

Please read these rules carefully before emailing [email protected] with any further questions.

Thank you for your interest!