2016 Young Artists Audition Information

This year, we had almost 200 applications. Thanks to all who entered. We selected 60 applicants (about 15 in each division) to move on the the finals held over 2 weekends on October 1 and October 8. Congratulations to all the WINNERS - See the List of Winners.

All cash awards, judges comment sheets, and certificates have been mailed out to finalists and winners. If you have not received this mail-out, please let us know.

The winner's concert will be held May 28, 2017 in Thayer Hall at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

See a list of ALL the FINALISTS.

Steinway Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA
     8801 Wilshire Blvd
     Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Division A and Division B - October 8, 2016
    Division C and Division D - October 1, 2016

Below was the schedule of the Category start times for the Division A and B auditions.

October 8, Division A and B
Division Group Time
A Ensemble 9:40 AM
A Plucked Instruments 10:15 AM
A Piano 11:00 AM
  Lunch 11:45 AM
A Strings 12:45 PM
A Woodwind and Brass 1:30 PM
Division Group Time
B Strings 2:45 PM
B Woodwind and Brass 3:40 PM
B Plucked Instruments 4:25 PM
B Piano 4:50 PM


Our Judges for the 2016 Auditions.

Alan Louis Smith is a pianist, composer, and poet who enjoys a reputation as one of the most highly regarded figures in the field of collaborative artistry. His expertise and experience in song literature, chamber music, and opera make him much sought after as a collaborator, coach, faculty colleague, teacher of master classes, and adjudicator of area and international competitions. A teacher of renown at the USC Thornton School of Music, Professor Smith serves as the chair of Keyboard Studies and serves as the director of the Keyboard Collaborative Arts Program - one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind the country. Among his awards are the Virginia Ramo Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Inaugural Mellon Award Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Mentoring. Dr. Smith has had articles on various aspects of collaborative artistry published in Piano and Keyboard, and The American Music Teacher. He is President of the Eta Chapter of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

Karen Dreyfus is an acclaimed orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and pedagogue, ranking high among the violists of her era. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and a prizewinner at such prestigious competitions as the Washington International Competition, the Lionel Tertis Competition, and the Naumburg Viola Competition. Ms. Dreyfus has been a regular performer over many years with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Music From Marlboro, among many others. Her wide discography includes the aptly named Romanze, a recital with the pianist Robert McDonald, recordings of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (with violinist Glenn Dicterow) and William Walton’s Viola Concerto, Chick Corea’s chamber-music-meets-jazz, Grammy Award-nominated Lyric Suite for Sextet, and numerous works written expressly for Dreyfus, some included in her recording of contemporary viola concertos, American Journeys.

Gillian Smith has been teaching piano and composition to students of all ages in the Los Angeles area for more than thirty years. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Theory and Composition from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Music degree from California State University, Northridge. Her principal teachers were Paul Reale and Walter Scharf for composition, and Li Minq Qiang, Leonid Hambro, Mark Richman and Erika Zador for piano. She was an accompanist in the UCLA Dance Department for many years, composed music for various dance projects around Los Angeles and for films at the American Film Institute.

Tomasz Golka won 1st Prize at the 2003 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition. He has appeared with the Warsaw Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, as well as the symphony orchestras of Fort Worth, Seattle, Louisville, Buffalo, and Spoleto Festival USA. In Mexico he has appeared with virtually all of the country’s top orchestras, including UNAM, Xalapa, Queretaro, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, and Yucatán. Since 2010 he has been the Music Director of Riverside County Philharmonic, a virtuoso orchestra comprised of the top Hollywood studio musicians. Golka has served as Cover Conductor for Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Frank Fetta had an early passion for music which led him to the piano and organ. He still coaches, accompanies, and guides the careers of vocalists and instrumentalists, and serves as organist at Corpus Christi Church in Pacific Palisades. But his great love is conducting. In addition to his work with the San Bernardino Symphony, Maestro Fetta has been the conductor and artistic advisor of the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival since 1985. He is also the music director/conductor for the Culver City Symphony, the Torrance Symphony, and the Marina Del Rey Summer Symphony. He is also the principal conductor of the Nevada Opera Theatre, and he continues in his position as the conductor for the prestigious Zachary Foundation International Vocal Competition.

Winners of the Classics Alive Young Artists Auditions are selected based on exceptional musicianship, technique, ability to communicate as a performer, and future potential. The jury is given the flexibility to select multiple winners.

2016 Audition Prizes Include:

  • Up to $4000 in total cash prizes
  • Inclusion on the Roster of Classics Alive Young Artists
  • Evaluator’s comment sheets
  • Other performance and outreach opportunities
  • In addition, the Grand Prize Winner of Division A will be awarded:
  • An Artist Management Contract for 2 years or more which may bring concert engagements throughout the U.S.
  • Solo concerto performance with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra in Colorado
  • Other Solo Concerto Performances with participating orchestras in the Emerging Artists Partnership Program. See a list of participating orchestras
  • Solo performance on a Classics Alive Presents Concert
  • Career guidance regarding publicity and promotional materials

Young musicians must reside in the Southwestern United States or who study with a teacher in the Southwestern United States (i.e., California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Utah) and meet the age requirements for their respective divisions as of June 30, 2016. Applicants cannot be under U.S. management, but may have management abroad. Students who have previously won a Grand Prize in the Division they are entering are not eligible.

Classics Alive Young Artists Auditions are open for the following instruments:
Piano, Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Plucked Instruments (guitar, harp, etc) and Ensembles

Applications and video links deadline – June 30, 2016
    Finalist Information Sheet deadlind - September 1, 2016

Steinway Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA 8801 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Division A and Division B - October 8, 2016
    Division C and Division D - October 1, 2016

Exact times of auditions will be emailed to finalists by mid-September. Winners will be announced immediately following the competition.

Age Categories
Division A – Ages 18 to 30...rules and procedures
Division B – Ages 14-17...rules and procedures
Division C – Ages 10-13...rules and procedures
Division D – Ages 9 and under...rules and procedures

Video Preliminaries
Preliminary Auditions will be judged via uploaded performances to YouTube. Be sure to record and upload your audition performances (one performance per link) before filling out your application because you will need to provide the link on the Application Form.

Please read the rules for your category before filling out the application.

An application fee is required when submitting the application. Payment is via Pay Pal or credit card.