Danbury Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition 2019

Application Deadline: February 1, 2019

Click here to apply now!

About the Competition:

Since its inception, the Danbury Music Centre has prioritized music education as a cornerstone of its mission to bring music to the greater Danbury area. Building on this long-held value, the Danbury Symphony Orchestra Student Concert Competition launched in 2002 with the intention of giving aspiring musicians in high school or younger the opportunity to gain valuable solo orchestral experience.                                     

Competition Guidelines:

  • One First Prize Winner will be invited to give a solo performance with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, May 11, 2019.
  • The Winner will perform one movement of a standard concerto or vocal selection with the orchestra.
  • Selected finalists will compete on Saturday, March 16 at 2 pm at the Marian Anderson Recital Hall at the Danbury Music Centre (more information below).


  • The competition is open to wind, brass, percussion, strings, pianists, and vocalists who are seniors in high school or younger in the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • Applicants must be available to perform on Saturday, May 11, 2019.
  • Previous first place winners in this competition are not eligible. Finalists in previous years are eligible.

Competition Process:

The competition has two rounds, the pre-screening round and the live-audition round, both of which are adjudicated by Danbury Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Ariel Rudiakov, and Danbury Community Orchestra Music Director, Stephen Michael Smith.

Part I: Pre-screening round

  • Applicants should submit a video or audio recording that best exemplifies their playing/singing. This does not have to be the concerto or vocal selection the applicant intends to prepare for the competition.
  • Instrumental applicants should submit an audio or video recording of at least one excerpt of a work that showcases their highest level of performance.
  • Vocal applicants should submit an audio or video recording of two contrasting arias or songs from the standard repertoire.
  • On the application, applicants must submit the name (and selected movement if applicable) of the work they would perform with the DSO  for advance approval. We recommend seeking advance approval before submitting your application, but it is not mandatory.
  • Applicants will be notified on or before Friday, February 15th as to whether they have advanced as finalists to the live audition and performance.
  • Applicants have the option to submit one letter of recommendation from a private teacher or music professional.

Part II: Live audition round  

  • Finalists will give a public performance as part of the Concerto Competition for the adjudication panel on Saturday, March 16th at 2 PM at Marian Anderson Recital Hall.
  • Finalists must perform the pre-approved work they would play with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra should they be selected as the winner.
  • While finalists must provide their own piano accompanists, please contact us for a list of recommended piano accompanists if you require assistance in finding one.
  • The 1st Prize Winner along with two runners-up will be announced at the conclusion of the Showcase.

Performance with the Orchestra:

  • The winner will rehearse with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra on dates to be mutually determined, and perform on the DSO Young People’s Concert on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 7:30pm at at the WCSU Visual and Performing Arts Center with Maestro Ariel Rudiakov.
  • The winner will be asked to submit a short bio and a headshot for promotional purposes and for the program.

How to Apply:

Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, February 1st, 2019:

  •  Fill out and submit an application form.
  • When prompted on the application form, submit a link to an online audio or video of the applicant’s performance. This may be a link directly to a Youtube video or to downloadable video on a file-sharing service such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • Pay the $45 application fee via the PayPal button below:

DSO Concerto Competition Application Fee


Click here to begin the online application


Note: Recommendation letters should be sent in a separate e-mail to dmc@danburymusiccentre.org with the following subject line: (Your name) Concerto Competition Recommendation Letter. Letters may be sent directly from recommender or by the applicant.


If applying by mail, postmark the following no later than Friday, February 1st, 2019.

  • A completed application form.
  • $45 application fee (non-refundable) paid by check made out to the Danbury Music Centre.
  • A CD, DVD, or Flash drive representing the applicant’s highest skill level.
  • Letters of recommendation may be included in the applicant’s mailing or they may arrive under separate cover via hard copy or via e-mail to dmc@danburymusiccentre.org

Hard copy materials should be sent to:

Danbury Music Centre

256 Main Street

Danbury, CT 06810


*Please call (203) 748-1716 with any questions or e-mail us at dmc@danburymusiccentre.org*