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Young Artist Competition 60th logo (1)

The FRIENDS of the Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition has been rewarding and encouraging the talents of young musicians since 1956. Competitors, up to the age of 25, are judged and critiqued by professional orchestra musicians through the preliminary and semi-final rounds. The Final round is judged by Maestro Osmo Vänskä, Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra.

First Prize is a solo performance opportunity with the Minnesota Orchestra and $7,500 in cash prizes. The Grand Prize, awarded at the discretion of the Music Director, elevates the first prize to a subscription series concert performance and $8,500 in cash prizes. Other prizes include performance opportunities, festivals, and monetary awards.

Listen to 1983 Young Artist Competition winner and longtime Minnesota Orchestra Violinist Pamela Arnstein talk about her impressions of this Competition.

Join Us for the Next Young Artist Competition

January 19, 2019!

2017 Young Artist Competition finalists and final-round judges (from left to right):

Peter McGuire (Minnesota Orchestra Principal Second Violin), Caroline Bembia (harp), Joanna Wu (flute), Bixby Kennedy (clarinet), Osmo Vänskä (Minnesota Orchestra Music Director), Zachary Brandon (violin), Dr. Paul Shaw (pianist and University of Minnesota faculty), Chelsea Lane (harp)

View all past winners.

How to Apply

Applications for the next Young Artist Competition are due October 1st, 2018.  To apply please follow this link, create an account and follow the steps. If you have any questions please email them to friendsmnorchyac@gmail.com.

Get Involved with our 2019 Competition!

  • Host a Competitor: Most of our competitors come from out of town, and so we offer host family housing to help them manage their travel expenses. Hosts are responsible for transportation to and from the airport and to the different rounds of the competition. Competitors will need to rehearse with their accompanists, so a piano in the home is preferred.
  • Volunteer: We have volunteer duties to prepare for the competition as well as on the days of the semi-finals and finals. Duties range from hospitality to day-of logistics (timers, runners, ushers, etc.)
  • Reserve Your Tickets: Come and hear the finalists as they perform for Osmo for a chance to win a solo performance with the Minnesota Orchestra!
  • Donate: We hope you will consider making a donation to help fund the prizes we provide to these talented competitors each year.

To get more information about any of these opportunities please contact us at: friendsmnorchyac@gmail.com 

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