The New England Piano Teachers’ Association, wishing to encourage excellence in piano performance, offers annual prize competitions. Any teacher who has been a member in good standing since September of the current school year may enter two students in each of the high school divisions and two students per teacher in the Middle School Competition.

Due to the evolving situation surrounding the recent Corona virus outbreak, we will NOT be conducting this year’s Student Competitions at M. Steinert & Sons but instead will do it online by video submission. We do this out of an abundance of caution for everyone involved as we do not wish to cancel this event. Please download new requirements for the Mildred Freiberg Competition (grades 6-8), Ruth Davidson Competition (grades 9-10) and Alice Hamlet Competition (grades 11-12) for participation in the competition.

The competitions will NOT be held at M. Steinert & Sons, 28 Damrell St, South Boston, MA 02127.

All competition winners are required to perform in a recital at the Annual Meeting of NEPTA which will take place on Monday, May 18, 2020, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm at the First Parish of Watertown, 35 Church Street, Watertown. Awards will be presented at that time. (Award money will be forfeited if the student winner cannot perform at this recital.)

NEPTA also wishes to encourage the efforts of its members’ students through awards in the areas of original composition and jazz improvisation.

Please note competitors and teachers may not request the time of the audition. No exceptions.


Mildred Freiberg Middle School Competition


Congratulations go to the following winners of the Mildred Freiberg Competition held on April 5, 2020. The competition was adjudicated by Evan Hirsch, Lois Shapiro and Esther Ning Yau.

1st Prize: Roxane Park, student of Mila Filatova
2nd Prize: Ben Wolfson, student of Natalia Harlap
3rd Prize: Emily Zhou, a student of Niva Fried

Honorable Mention: Richard Liu, student of Valerie Henkin
Honorable Mention: Ella Li, student of Veda Kogan
Honorable Mention: Anna Yang, student of Nilly Epstein Shilo

Sunday, April 5, 2020 (application deadline: March 5, 2020)

Open to students in grades 6, 7 and 8. Two entrants per teacher. Registration fee is $90.

Eligibility: entrant must have studied piano since September of the current academic year with a member of NEPTA in good standing (dues received by Sept 30th ) and must play in a recital of the current year as follows:

Grade 6: Junior II, Intermediate I or 20th/21st Century
Grade 7 and 8: Intermediate I, Intermediate II or 20th /21st Century

Competition playing time: 15 min.

Requirements: repertoire must be performed by memory and must include one work, or group of works from three of the following five periods (no concerti). One of these selections must be from either the Baroque or the Classical period:

1. Baroque (written before 1750)
2. Classical: the Classical period for these purposes is defined as a movement of sonata, a set of theme and variations, or a rondo by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven; or a sonata movement by Schubert. (Other works by Schubert should be considered for the Romantic period.)
3. Romantic
4. Impressionist
5. 20th/21st Century

First Prize: $150 – Second: $125 – Third: $100.


Ruth Davidson Competition


Congratulations go to the following winners of the Ruth Davidson Competition held on April 19, 2020. The competition was adjudicated by Leslie Amper, David Deveau and Alex Poliykov.

First Place: Elizabeth Zhang, student of Natalia Harlap
Second Place: Michael Karshis, student of Tanya Schwartzman
Third Place: Eric Zhang, student of Helena Vesterman

Honorable Mention: Gaeun Lee, student of Niva Fried
Honorable Mention: Justin Wang, student of Helena Vesterman

Sunday, April 19, 2020 (application deadline: March 21, 2020)

Open to students in grades 9 and 10. Two entrants per teacher. Registration fee is $110.

Eligibility: entrant must have studied since September of the current year with a NEPTA member in good standing (dues received by Sept. 30th) and is required to play in the Intermediate II, Senior, or 20th/21st Century recital.

Competition playing time: 20 min.

Requirements: repertoire must be performed by memory and must include one work, or group of works, from three of the following five periods (no concerti). One of these selections must be from either the Baroque or Classical period.

1. Baroque (written before 1750)
2. Classical: The Classical period for these purposes is defined as a movement of a sonata, a set of theme and variations, or a rondo by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven; or a sonata movement by Schubert. (Other works by Schubert should be considered for the Romantic period.)
3. Romantic
4. Impressionist
5. 20th/21st Century

One additional required work, selected by the “Post-1950 Repertoire” committee (memorization of this work is optional): Henri Lazarof’s Prelude no. 3. The score is in the public domain, and therefore available at no cost here.

First Prize: $200; Second: $175; Third: $150


Alice Hamlet Competition


Congratulations go to the following winners of the Alice Hamlet Competition held on April 19, 2020. The competition was adjudicated by Leslie Amper, David Deveau and Alex Poliykov.

First Place: Danika Dai , student of Nilly Epstein Shilo
Second Place: Charmaine Liu, student of Natalia Harlap
Third Place: Emma Illidge, student of Niva Fried

Honorable Mention: Alyssa Guo, student of Faina Kofman
Honorable Mention: Meghan Tan, student of Natalia Harlap

Sunday, April 19, 2020 (application deadline: March 21, 2020)

Open to students in grades 11 and 12. Two entrants per teacher. Registration fee is $110.

Eligibility: entrant must have studied since September of the current year with a NEPTA member in good standing (dues received by Sept. 30th) and is required to play in the Intermediate II, Senior or 20th/21st Century recital.

Competition playing time: 20 min.

Requirements: repertoire must be performed by memory and must include one work, or group of works from three of the following five periods (no concerti). One of these selections must be from either the Baroque or Classical period:

1. Baroque (written before 1750)
2. Classical: The Classical period for these purposes is defined as a movement of a sonata, a set of theme and variations, or a rondo by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven; or a sonata movement by Schubert. (Other works by Schubert should be considered for the Romantic period.)
3. Romantic
4. Impressionist
5. 20th/21st Century

One additional required work, selected by the “Post-1950 Repertoire” committee (memorization of this work is optional): James Romig “Transparencies” is available here. “Transparencies” may be purchased individually ($15) or as part of a collection of three pieces (“Transparencies,” “Plastic Structures,” “A Single Generous Totality”) offered to NEPTA competition students and offered at a discounted price of $20 (for all three).  To purchase the collection, type “NEPTA Collection” into the “Which score(s) would you like to purchase” field on the website.

First Prize: $250; Second: $225; Third: $200

Please note: PREVIOUS FIRST PLACE WINNERS ARE INELIGIBLE FOR THE SAME COMPETITION.


A. Ramón Rivera Contemporary Music Awards

$100 for the best performance of the required contemporary piece in the Ruth Davidson Competition.
$150 for the best performance of the required contemporary piece in the Alice Hamlet Competition

Ruth Davidson: Justin Wang, student of Helena Vesterman
Alice Hamlet: Jessie Liu, student of Faina Kofman


Margaret C. Bachelder Romantic Music Award

Established in memory of NEPTA past president Peg Bachelder, who passed away in 2012.
A $500 award will be given for the best performance of a Romantic work in either the Ruth Davidson Competition or the Alice Hamlet Competition.

Ruth Davidson Competition: Elizabeth Zhang, student of Natalia Harlap

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