Each year the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony & Classical Orchestra sponsors a piano concerto competition for local young pianists. The winner receives a $300 cash prize and performs with the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony at its winter concert.


Student pianists ages 15 to 21 are invited to compete. Specifically, a contestant:

  • Must be at least age 15 but not yet age 21 by January 1 of the performance year.
  • Must be between a high school sophomore and a college sophomore, inclusively, in the current school year.
  • Must have a residence in one of the following Michigan counties: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, and Van Buren.
    • May be attending college or university outside of these counties if the primary residence is in one of these counties.
    • OR: May be attending college at any public or private college or university based in one of these counties.
  • May win this competition only once.
  • Must submit a $40 application fee.
  • Note: There is no requirement for music club affiliation.


  • The choice of piece is up to the contestant, but it must be a work, or a movement of a work, for piano and orchestra.
  • The audition piece will be the piece performed if the contestant wins.
  • The piece’s total playing time must be at least 8 minutes and not more than 16 minutes long.
  • The work must be performed from memory at the audition.


  • Contestants do not need to be accompanied for the audition upload video.

Audition Process

  • Apply Online (registration has closed)
  • Application deadline: December 15, 2023
  • Application fee: $40.00
  • Audition upload deadline date: January 8, 2024


  • Winner: $300 plus the opportunity to perform with the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony at The DeVos Center for Arts and Music, (located on the campus of GR Christian HS) at its winter concert, typically in February.
  • Alternate: $50 and the opportunity to perform if the winner is unavailable.

More Information

Call the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony Piano Competition at 616-842-6566 or email the competition coordinator at competitions@grys.org.