Heid Music
Heid Music Appleton • Heid Music Green Bay
Heid Music Appleton • Heid Music Green Bay

Together with Steinway & Sons, Heid Music is offering a unique opportunity for young pianists to showcase their skills.


By entering our 2020 Steinway Junior Piano Competition, students can: 

  • Showcase their skills in front of professional adjudicators
  • Compete in age divisions for a chance to win prizes up to $1,000
  • Receive national recognition by Steinway & Sons
  • Participate in a complimentary master class

Round one of the competition will be held on Sunday, April 26, 2020, at Heid Music Appleton, 308 E. College Ave.

Following round one, the top five finalists from each division will move on to the Finals on Saturday, May 9, 2020. 

Requirements and Regulations

Two contrasting pieces for solo piano from two different eras of Western classical music including Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Twentieth Century must be performed memorized. Original compositions and improvisations are not permitted. Repeats may be played at the discretion of the performer, but are not required.  In some regions, the judges may need to cut performances off during the audition period.

  • Division I: Ages 9 and under (max 8 minutes)
  • Division II: Ages 10-13 (max 10 minutes)
  • Division III: Ages 14-18 (max 15 minutes)

All participants will receive a certificate of participation and judges' comments. First, Second and Third-Place winners will receive commemorative medals and national recognition on the Steinway & Sons website. 

Plus, participating pianists will be eligible for grand prizes:

  • Division I | $400
  • Division II | $700
  • Division III | $1,000

First, second and third place winners will receive commemorative medals and national recognition on the Steinway & Sons website and through Heid Music social, digital and media channels.. All participants will receive a certificate of participation and judges' comments to help support ongoing performance opportunities.

Applications will be accepted January 15 - April 1, 2020


Apply here


Frequently Asked Questions

Will students be allowed practice time on the competition instrument? Yes. In the weeks prior to the final competition, contestants will be able to schedule 20 minutes of playing/practice time on the competition instrument at Heid Music Appleton (during normal business hours). Students must call or visit Heid Music Appleton to reserve a date and time.

Do contestants need to bring a judges copy? Yes. Each contestant must bring a clean score of their chosen repertoire for the judges' use.

Does the contestant need to play for the division's allotted time? No. The contestant's repertoire may be longer or shorter than the allotted times. Programs that are over the time limit will be cut short at the judges' discretion. Programs that are under the time limit will end early, at no penalty to the contestant. 

When should contestants arrive on the day of the competition? We recommend arriving 30 minutes before the contestant's assigned time, warmed up and ready to perform. There is a chance that judges will need to cut off performances. If a competitor misses a turn, he/she will have forfeited the chance to participate (no refunds).

What do contestants wear? Semi-formal attire.

May contestants talk with the judges? No. Participants and their families and teachers are not allowed to communicate with the judges.

Will the competition be photographed and recorded? Yes. Heid Music reserves the right to photograph, record and/or video participants during the competition and use these documents for marketing purposes.

Contestants will be graded on the following criteria, using a rating scale of 1-10:

Musicality and artistry: Students who score well will not simply play their selected pieces cleanly, but will demonstrate an appropriate understanding of aspects of performance including artistic and stylistic interpretation. Judges will look for students who exhibit attention to details of musicality such as phrasing, dynamics, touch, and shaping, and who can elevate their performance from merely playing the written notes, to giving a dynamic and engaging performance.

Technical mastery: Students who score well will demonstrate that they can meet the technical requirements of their selected pieces. They should be able to comfortably navigate the technical challenges of the literature. Their performance should be free of major note or fingering errors. Students should look to utilize an appropriate tempo and, when required, clean pedaling.

Adherence to the score: Students who score well will demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the composers’ intent in both pieces they perform. Their performances should reflect instructions given by the composer in the score including (but not limited to) tempo, style, pedaling, dynamic markings, etc., as well as customs of the period in which their selected piece was written.

Stage presence: Students should demonstrate a high level of professionalism throughout their audition. Students who score well will display both confidence and charisma, whether it is their first time participating in a competition, or they are more experienced. Students should keep in mind that if they should receive an award, they will be expected to perform in front of their peers and guests. This includes appropriate performance attire.

Memory: Students are expected to perform their selected pieces without referring to the score. The judges may, in the case of a memory slip, choose to prompt a student at their discretion; however, such instances will detract from the student’s overall score.

Additional Regulations:

Age requirements apply to applicant’s age as of April 1, 2019. Applicants must reside in the United States or Canada.

Students who have participated and won first place in the competition last year may not enter again in the same division.

Students, teachers, parents, and audience members should not approach the judges for any reason during the competition.

Assigned addition slots are final. Rescheduling requests are left to individual showroom’s discretion. If a competitor misses their turn, they will have forfeited their chance to participate (no refunds will be offered).

Judges will be announced in the application for the competition. If a change is made, this will be announced by the Steinway showroom prior to the competition.

Close relatives or students who study or have studied with any of the announced judges or Steinway/Steinway-authorized showroom employees are not eligible to compete. A refund will be issued to these students.

Students are only allowed to participate at one audition location. If the student’s local authorized Steinway showroom is not participating, the student may choose to participate at another participating showroom of their choosing.

Competitors are responsible for their own expenses to participate in the competition, including the cost of their travel.

Qualifying competitors must perform live in order to be considered.

Judges reserve the right to cut off a performance at their discretion.

Evaluations for each round of the competition made by the jury committees are final. Participants and their families and teachers are not allowed to communicate with the judges.

Steinway & Sons and Steinway showrooms reserve the rights to photograph, record, or video the auditions of contestants and winners and to use these documents for marketing purposes. No extra fee will be paid to the contestants.

Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s) and paying any expenses associated with any prizes, which are not specifically provided for in the official rules. Each winner must provide the Company with valid identification and a valid taxpayer identification number or social security number before any prize will be awarded. Any person winning over $600 in prizes from the Company will receive an IRS form 1099 at the end of the calendar year and a copy of such form will be filed with the IRS.

Steinway & Sons reserves the right to the interpretation of the Terms and Conditions of the Regulations.

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