Support the Iowa Piano Competition

Competition Rules and Procedures


The 2017 Competition will offer $14,000 in prize money, including: $7,500 first; $2,750 second; $1,500 third; $1,000 fourth; $750 fifth; $500 sixth. All twelve competitors will also receive a $250 stipend for travel expenses.


Host families will be provided for all twelve competitors in Sioux City from Wednesday, March 8, through Monday, March 13, 2017. Ground transportation to and from the host family  and the Competition venue, practice rooms, and scheduled meals will be provided. Transportation to and from Sioux City for the Competition shall be the sole responsibility of each competitor.


The Iowa Piano Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities between the ages of 18 and 35 (including 35) at the time of the Competition, March 9-12, 2017. A photocopy of the applicant's birth certificate, valid driver's license, and a passport or equivalent proof of age must be submitted with the application support materials. All competitors must be onsite and available by 4:00PM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, through Sunday, March 12, 2017.


First Round - Thursday, March 9: The First Round consists of one, solo recital.

Repertoire will be selected by each competitor and should be composed for solo piano only. The program length must be no less than 25 minutes and no more than 30 minutes in length. The repertoire should include a variety of styles and must be memorized. No original compositions by competitors or prepared piano works will be accepted.

The First Round will be open to the public. At the conclusion of the round, the Jury will announce the six competitors that will advance as well as which movement/movements they will perform in the Semi-Final Round with members of the IPC Piano Trio.

Semi-Final Round - Saturday, March 11: The Semi-Final Round is divided in two phases.

Phase One: Each semi-finalist will performance of one or more assigned movements (approximately 15 - 20 minutes) from one of the following piano trios listed below with members of the IPC Piano Trio.
Phase Two: Each semi-finalist will return to stage and perform the IPC commissioned work for solo piano. (Duration 5 to 10 minutes - memorization is not required.)

The Semi-Final Round will be open to the public. At the conclusion of the round, the Jury will announce the 3 finalists that will advance as well as which movement they will perform in the Final Round with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra.

Applicants must select and prepare one of the following five Piano Trios.
Applicants shall select their Piano Trio by a composer that will NOT be performed in the First Round.

Phase two's newly commissioned work for solo piano will be distributed to each competitor upon acceptance to the 2017 Iowa Piano Competition.

Final Round - Sunday, March 12: Each competitor must select and prepare from memory one concerto in its entirety from the list below.

The movement to be performed by the three finalists in the Final Round with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra will be assigned by the Competition Jury from the concerto selected by the competitor in his/her application.

The Final Round with the Sioux City Symphony will be ticketed event on Sunday afternoon.


  1. A Preliminary Selection Panel will review all Audition CDs received with complete applications by the application deadline in a blind selection process. Twelve candidates will be selected from all valid entries according to the following procedures:
    1. The applicant's Audition CD will be identified by number only. The Preliminary Selection Panel will receive no personal information about the applicant.
    2. Each Audition CD will be evaluated and scored individually by each member of the Panel based on commonly accepted musical criteria, with a focus on the technical and musical abilities and the interpretive talents of each applicant.
    3. The twelve applicants with the highest cumulative scores will be invited to the Competition.
    4. An alternates list will be formed in case any of the twelve initially invited are unable to attend the Competition.
  2. A formal letter of invitation will be issued to all accepted candidates no later than November 21, 2016. Candidates will have until December 16, 2016, to formally accept the invitation to compete.
  3. The Competition will consist of one day for the First Round - Solo Recital Round, one day for the Semi-Final Round - Chamber & New Work Round, and one day for the Final Round - Concerto Round with the Sioux City Symphony, including:
    1. One hour of scheduled rehearsal time with the trio members prior to the Semi-Final Round performance
    2. A conductor's meeting and 45 minutes of scheduled rehearsal with the Sioux City Symphony prior to the Final Round
  4. The order of appearance of competitors for the First Round will be determined by a random drawing. The Competition Jury and Music Director of the Sioux City Symphony will determine the order of appearance for the Semi-Final and Final Rounds. Competitors may be required to perform earlier than their assigned time due to any cancellations or reassignments.
  5. All works must be performed from memory, except in the Semi-Final Chamber Music Round.
  6. While in the Competition, competitors shall not make contact nor speak with the Competition Jury. Violation of this rule may be grounds for disqualification from the Competition.
  7. Individual Competition Jurors will remove themselves from evaluating any candidate that presents a reasonable possibility of conflict of interest, such as a pre-existing relationship with the competitor, including being related to or is or has been a mentor/teacher/instructor of the competitor.
  8. All awards are subject to U.S. tax laws in effect at the time of the Competition.
  9. By submitting a completed and an electronically signed application to the IPC, competitors automatically accept all published rules and procedures of the Iowa Piano Competition.
  10. All decisions by the Preliminary Selection Panel and the Competition Jury are final.


  1. The official application form can be found on the Iowa Piano Competition website.
  2. Applications must be electronically submitted no later than November 7, 2016. Incomplete or partial applications will be considered invalid. The IPC will not accept applications that are mailed. All applications must be submitted online.
  3. Applications must be submitted in English.
  4. A completed Audition CD shall meet all of the following requirements:
    1. One CD, recorded within the last twelve months, un- edited
    2. The CD recording must be of sufficient quality so that the performance can be clearly evaluated
    3. The CD recording must contain no more than 30 minutes of music of the applicant's choice reflecting both contrasting styles and periods
    4. One or more selections must demonstrate the applicant's virtuosic and lyrical capabilities
    5. The CD recording must contain only solo work (no orchestral accompaniment)
    6. The CD recording (case and CD itself) must be properly labeled with:
      1. Applicant's repertoire
      2. Order in which they are recorded on the CD
      3. Timing of each selection
  5. *The applicant's name should NOT be labeled on the recording.*
  6. Applicant must provide proof of age (photocopy of the applicant's birth certificate, passport, driver's license or other similar proof)
  7. A non-refundable application fee of $50.00 (US dollars), by check or money order payable to Iowa Piano Competition.

The Audition CD, proof of age, and the application fee are to be mailed to the following address:

Iowa Piano Competition
518 Pierce Street
Sioux City, IA 51101

All online applications must be received by Monday, November 7, 2016.
Audition CD, Proof of Age, Application Fee must be postmarked by Monday, November 7, 2016
The Competition is not responsible for lost CDs or applications. Applicants should retain copies of all materials submitted. All application materials become the property of the Competition and will not be returned.


July 1, 2016 - Opening Date for Applications
November 7, 2016 - Online Application Deadline and Postmark Deadline (Audition CD, Proof of Age and Application Fee)
approx. December 12, 2016 - Notification of Acceptance
March 8, 2017 - Competition Orientation Meeting (registered by 4:00 p.m.)
March 9-12, 2017 - Competition



518 Pierce St
Sioux City, IA 51101

Fax: (712) 252-0224

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