Piano playing in Rosch

The Claudette Sorel Piano Competition & Piano Fellows Program

2020 Application is now CLOSED.
Thank you for your submissions; invited Finalists and Fellows will be notified by October 1.

The Claudette Sorel Piano Competition and Piano Fellows Program are open to talented young pianists, ages 15-18, of all nationalities. We are looking for talented young pianists with great artistic vision who are passionate about piano performance and repertoire ... is that you? This is your time to shine.


**COVID-19 Update: Everyone's safety is our top priority, which is why we are taking the 2020 Competition and Fellows Program fully online. Apply by September 15, 2020.  Stay safe, and keep practicing!

  • Apply online by September 15, 2020
  • Top Ten Finalists will be notified by October 1
  • Finalists will submit a new video for the Final Round
  • Final Round Competition videos will be streamed on November 8, with winners announced LIVE!

 You've lost out on a lot due to COVID-19 ...  here's a great opportunity to focus on something positive, create beautiful music, and have an opportunity to win $2,500 cash,  from the comfort of your own home!


  • $2,500 cash award
  • copy of judges' written notes
An additional $1,250 cash awards will be awarded at the discretion of judges. (Past awards have included: Artistic Excellence Award, Best Chopin Award, Best Programming Award, Best Contemporary Piece Performance Award).

Now in its 5th year, we have intentionally designed our competition to be a uniquely positive and welcoming experience, creating a space for participants to present their creative passion and vision in a nurturing environment.

COMPETITION JUDGES: Dr. Eliran Avni, Fr. Sean Duggan, Dr. Anne Kissel, Dr. Nick Weiser.  Additional judges may be added.

Application Deadline: September 15, 2020

Saturday, November 7 - Sunday, November 8, 2020

State University of New York at Fredonia
*All activities will take place online.

Now in its second year, the Piano Fellows program is designed for talented pianists (ages 15-18) who are serious about their craft and are looking for an intensive musical experience, but who may not yet be ready for the competition circuit. It is also an excellent way to prepare for college/conservatory auditions. 

  • virtual, one-on-one sessions with judges giving feedback about your video aplication
  • virtual special topic sessions with Fredonia piano faculty
  • behind-the-scenes competition experience
  • and more


  • a high-quality video of a performance of a piece you are passionate about (7-10 minutes). Video and audio quality matters; please submit the highest quality video possible. All music must be performed from memory. Competitors are strongly encouraged to submit two contrasting works (style, tempi, mood, etc).  [NOTE: If selected as a Finalist, competitors will submit a second video, no longer than 15 minutes, from memory. The repertoire for this stage, as in previous competitions, is left to the discretion of the competitors but should show a thematic connection or idea, such as a favorite composer, period, thematic connection, etc.]
  • a short biography (100 word limit), which may be used in competition promotions and/or printed program.
  • answers to three short questions: Why are you passionate about the piano? Why did you choose this recital program? What composers do you like to perform?
  • Headshot (does not need to be professional, but WILL be used in publicity materials)
    Photo/video release form


  • Students currently enrolled at the State University of New York at Fredonia are ineligible to apply.
  • Previous Claudette Sorel Piano Competition First Prize Winners are ineligible to apply.
  • The Fredonia School of Music reserves the right to alter the competition for safety reasons, if necessary.

Application Deadline: September 15, 2020


(note: applications are processed through GetAcceptd.com)
Questions? Email Dr. Eliran Avni, competition director (eliran.avni@fredonia.edu


Claudette Sorel

The competition is named for pianist and SUNY Distinguished Professor Claudette Sorel and is supported by a foundation she founded. The Sorel Organization intends to create opportunities for women in composition, conducting, piano, voice and film scoring and to keep musical excellence alive while expanding the boundaries for women in music.


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