I am very pleased to announce the continuation of the Annual Steinway Young Artist’s Competition in the Chicago area.

The new owners of The Beautiful Sound , Schmitt Music of Minneapolis, MN and Jordan Kitt’s Music of Washington, D.C., are a partnership of the two largest and most respected piano retailers in America. They are strongly committed to the ongoing support of the competition.

The competition will be held on Tuesday, November 29th, Thursday, December 1st and Saturday, December 3rd in the Artists Recital Hall at The Beautiful Sound which is located in County Line Square, 120 Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge, IL. The telephone number for requests and information is 630/325-9999 or 800/660-1683.

Entrants must be residents of northern Illinois or northwest Indiana, and/or must be studying with a piano teacher whose studio is in those geographic areas.

The competition offers students valuable performance and educational opportunities, as well as scholarship awards to the top 8 winners. For the year of 2005, scholarships will be awarded as follows: Concerto winner - $1,500.00; 1st Place in solo piano competition - $1,000.00; 2nd place - $750.00; 3rd place - $500.00; and, $100.00 each from 4th to 8th place.

The 8 winners will receive a framed award certificate for Outstanding Piano Performance. The top 3 winners will be expected to perform at a special concert on Thursday evening, December 8th at 7:00 pm at the Oak Brook Bath & Tennis Clubhouse which is located at 800 Oak Brook Road (off of 31st Street, between Route 83 and York Road) in Oak Brook, IL. Scholarship awards will be presented during the concert program.

Those entering the concerto competition segment of the auditions must be prepared to perform the entire concerto, not just a movement. To avoid orchestra repetition within a three year period, the Liszt Concerto No. 1 is temporarily removed from the concerto competition acceptance list.

The winner will have the opportunity to perform with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra , Alan Heatherington, Conductor, on Sunday, May 7, 2006 at 4:00 pm AND on Monday, May 8, 2006 at 7:30 pm at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts in Skokie, IL. The Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra consists of members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra. To enter this competition, please check “CONCERTO” on the nomination card. You must also have someone prepared to play the orchestral reduction on the second piano at the audition.

In the preliminary auditions on November 29, December 1, and December 3, 2005, the concerto participants will be given a 20 minute segment in which the judges may ask for all or part of any movement. A further 10 minute segment will be given for their solo selection if the student also desires to enter the solo piano competition.

The recording session for the 98.7 WFMT broadcast of the top 8 winners, along with personal interviews, will be Saturday, December 10, 2005. On Wednesday evening, December 14, 2005 at 7:00 pm, the three top concerto contestants will be asked to perform the entire concerto with second piano orchestral reduction and the winner chosen at that time. Mr. Heatherington will participate in this final audition.

The first place winner of the solo piano competition and/or concerto competition will NOT be eligible to compete again for the same award in subsequent competitions.

1. If you are a Music Educator who has not received the student nomination cards for this contest by the end of August, 2005, please contact Steve Marcus at 630/325-9999 or 800/660-1683, or email your request to SMarcus@beautifulsound.com. To register students, please send in the nomination cards (maximum of 4 per music educator). Thereafter, you, the parent, or the student should call Arlo Deibler or Barbara Schunk to schedule an appointment for the student’s audition. Dates and times follow:

a. Tuesday, November 29, 2005 3:00pm to 8:00pm at Burr Ridge

b. Thursday, December 1, 2005 1:00pm to 8:00pm at Burr Ridge

c. Saturday, December 3, 2005 9:00am to 6:00pm at Burr Ridge

Judging will be done by competent university music educators under the auspices of The Beautiful Sound. Winners will be notified by Monday, December 5, 2005 and audition results will be available, upon request, to all participants thereafter.

2. The winner’s recording session for later broadcasts will take place Saturday, December 10, 2005 at 1:00 pm. The taping will be a recital format. Music educators, as well as relatives and friends of the students, are invited to attend this event at the WFMT studios, 5400 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL.

3. There is no minimum age requirement. The maximum age is high school senior.

4. Each student should be prepared to play selections not to exceed 10 minutes.

5. PLEASE consider that this is a COMPETITION and NOT an evaluation. Selections performed should indicate a relatively acknowledged degree of proficiency. Simplified arrangements and works directly from lower-graded study books, i.e. Bastien, Aaron, Schaum, Glover, Palmer, Thompson, etc. will not be accepted for judging.

6. The $10.00 student entry fee covers the increased costs of judges, postage, recording fees, etc. This fee will need to be sent along with the nomination cards. Checks are to be made payable to “The Beautiful Sound.”

During the WFMT broadcasts, The Beautiful Sound will feature the importance of the guidance and education of a good Piano Educator. Also, an offer will be made to refer listeners to member Music Educators in their local area upon inquiry. We look forward to receiving your 2005 nominations, accompanied by the $10.00 fee, as soon as possible. Requests for times and dates should be arranged not later than Tuesday, November 22, 2005. Best wishes to you!
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Steve Marcus, Manager of Sales
PianoForte Chicago, Inc.
Fazioli, Feurich, Grotrian, Kawai Acoustic and Digital, Mason & Hamlin, Schimmel, Shigeru Kawai, and Yamaha Digital Dealer