• First Annual Festival of Solo repertoire by Underrepresented Composers

    Sunday, March 7, 2021

    Live Streamed from Bailey Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


    To take part please complete the application form by December 11, 2020.


    Link to the application form

  • Application Information

    First Annual Festival of Solo Repertoire by Underrepresented Composers

    The 17th Annual Cornell Concerto Competition will take a different form this year. Due to the COVID pandemic, many things are up in the air--including the ability for the orchestra to meet in person and rehearse and perform together as an orchestra. We hope to be in in-person mode in the spring semester. In the meantime, we have had many important conversations about orchestral and classical music. One of the ways we would like to engage in a different way with the repertoire is to encourage a sense of discovery in the solo instrumental and vocal repertoire that is studied and performed by our musical community. We have been inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and would like to change the status quo and will no longer sit on the sidelines. In small steps, we hope to encourage all of us to discover and champion composers and repertoire that have been lost or ignored.


    Instead of one winner who plays with the orchestra in the spring, we would like to invite student soloists to take part in a festival of solo repertoire by underrepresented composers, historical or contemporary.


    Three international artists who have been our guests with the Cornell Orchestras this fall semester, addressing the issue of inequities and racism in classical music and orchestra, will join us in this effort international artists TBC will guide, coach, and give feedback to each of our student participants.


    Our student participants will work closely with their applied faculty in the preparation of repertoire by Underrepresented composers through February of 2021. During the month of February, student participants will send a video of their rehearsal to our internationally-renowned artists for feedback and coaching.


    Each student participant will also prepare 1-2 minute video introductions to be played before the final performance on March 7, 2021.


    Once each participant has received feedback and coaching from these three acclaimed artists, they will record a final performance incorporating the feedback and coaching they have received. The final recording will be submitted by March 1, 2021.


    A live stream of the assembled video performances will be presented in an online festival on March 7, 2021.


    If students need help with funds to purchase the music, they can apply for financial help.

    There is no cost to take part in the festival, but all deadlines must be adhered to.


    General Information

    The 17th Annual Cornell Festival of Solo Repertoire by Underrepresented Composers will be held Sunday, March 7, 2021. In the event we can be in-person, a live stream will be filmed from Bailey Hall. The festival is free and open to the public. If you're interested in participating, please read the information on this page and complete this form.


    Festival Guidelines

    All participants who meet each of the deadlines will be able to take part in the festival.



    All currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from any Cornell college and in any major may participate. Must be studying privately with a Cornell music faculty member or Cornell visiting lecturer.


    Instrument and voice

    The competition is open to all orchestral instruments, as well as guitar, saxophone, piano, and voice.



    It is important that the studio teacher and the student know ahead of time what the goal or goals of the student's participation will be.


    The festival is an opportunity to receive feedback and coaching from a distinguished panel of professional musicians. To fulfill this purpose, the student and teacher are free to select a piece best suited to the student's education in the long run, provided the piece adheres to the rules of the festival, that it be a work by an underrepresented composer.



    A selection should not exceed 15 minutes. Memorization is NOT mandatory.


    You must provide your own accompanist.



    Please complete the application form online (link).



    Note: It is mandatory that the applicant's current private teacher provide a written permission for the applicant to participate in the concerto competition. No application will be accepted with the approval of the student's private teacher.


    There is no entry fee.


    Intent to participate in the festival

    Please complete the application form by Friday, December 11, 2020

    You must decide on the repertoire, have permission from your applied faculty member to participate in the festival.


    All participants must submit a short (100 word) biography (emailed in plain text) and a jpeg photo of themselves as part of the application.

    Please e-mail this bio and photo to Chris Kim by the given deadline. No other forms will be accepted. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.


    Submission of YouTube video of rehearsal session of the piece. Please put together a 10-15 minute video of your rehearsal session to submit to the panel to receive feedback and coaching. This video link must be submitted by February 1, 2021.


    The judges will view the video and send feedback by February 25, 2021.


    Please make a final performance video incorporating this feedback by March 1, 2021, and submit a YouTube link. Please include a 1 minute introduction to the piece, to be placed before the beginning of the final performance video. You will have the option of introducing the piece in person during the live stream, if you prefer.


    The video editor will need at least a week to produce the final compilation video of all the performances to be live streamed on March 7, 2021.


    Contact Chris Kim at cyk8@cornell.edu


    Past Participants



    16th Annual Cornell Concerto winner

    Joy Zhang, human biology, health and society, ‘21 Georges Hüe’s Fantaisie for Flute and Piano




    with 15th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner, Aditya Deshpande

    LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major with Aditya Deshpande ’22, piano




    L. van BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4, mvt 1

    with 14th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner, Andy Sheng




    DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1 (mvt 1, 2)

    with 13th Annual Cornell Concerto Competition Winner Irene Jeong




    12th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner Yujin Stacy Joo

    SERGEI PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26, Mvt. 1




    11th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner, Paul Huang, violin

    EDUARDO LALO Symphonie Espagnole, 1st Movement




    ERICH KORNGOLD Violin Concerto with Ji Min Yang

    ANTONIN DVORAK Cello Concerto with Daniel Cho



    2012-2013 Vikram Potdar, Barber Piano Concerto



    2011-2012 Eric Tan, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4



    2010-2011 Emily Choi, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto



    2009-2010 Aaron Wexler, Pablo de Sarasate's "Zigeunerweisen."



    2008-2009 Adrianne Ngam, Ginastera Pampeana No. 2 for cello and orchestra



    2007-2008 Jian Liu, Prokofiev violin concerto No. 1


    2006-2007 Charlene Kluegel, Sibelius Violin concerto



    2005-2006 Sarah Rice, Lalo Cello concerto



    2004-2005 Julie Moon, Grieg Piano concerto

  • International Panel

    Introducing our three Internationally Renowned Panel for this year's Festival.

    Rachel Barton Pine

    With the release of “Music by Black Composers, Violin Volume I,” the first in a series of pedagogical books of sheet music exclusively by Black classical composers, with additional orchestral instruments to be covered in future volumes. Early in her career, Pine noted that young people learning classical music seldom have the opportunity to study and perform music written by Black composers. Over the past 15 years, the RBP Foundation’s Music by Black Composers initiative has collected more than 900 works by more than 350 Black composers from the 18th-21st Centuries, representing North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Also published are “The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation Coloring Book of Black Composers” and an illustrated timeline poster of 300+ Black classical composers from around the world, and many additional resources on MBC’s website. Coinciding with these publications, Pine released Blues Dialogues: Violin Works by Black Composers (Cedille Records), featuring classical works with a very strong blues flavor written by 20th and 21st Century composers of African descent.

    Daniel Bernard Roumain

    Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) is a prolific and endlessly collaborative composer, performer, educator, and social entrepreneur. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR has worked with artists from Philip Glass to Bill T. Jones to Lady Gaga; appeared on NPR, American Idol, and ESPN; and has collaborated with the Sydney Opera House and the City of Burlington, Vermont. Acclaimed as a violinist and activist, DBR’s career spans more than two decades, earning commissions by venerable artists and institutions worldwide.

    Aaron Dworkin

    Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts and Governor Snyder’s appointment to the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Aaron P. Dworkin served as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), which is ranked among the top-performing arts schools in the nation. He is currently a tenured full professor of arts leadership and entrepreneurship at SMTD as well as serving as a Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. In addition, Aaron is a successful social entrepreneur having founded The Sphinx Organization, the leading arts organization with the mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. He is also co-founder of SonoGrub.com, a weekly blog pairing great food and music. As a successful writer, Aaron has authored The Entrepreneurial Artist: Lessons from Highly Successful Creatives published by Rowman & Littlefield, a science-fiction novel, Ethos: Rise of Malcolm published by MorganJames, as well as his memoir titled Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee’s Journey to Leadership released through Aquarius Press.

  • Results of the 17th Annual

    Cornell Concerto Competition

    Flautist Joy Zhang, '21, won the 17th annual Cornell Concerto Competition on December 15th

    for her performance of Georges Hüe's Fantasie for Flute and Orchestra.

    Congratulations, Joy!!

    Link to the Cornell News coverage


    Other finalists include Julie Choe, '20 and Sarah Sun, '23.

    Joy Zhang is a Human Biology, Health and Society major who is also an accomplished flautist studying with Elizabeth Shuhan at Cornell. She has been selected as the winner of the Hochstein School of Music Merit Scholarship Competition and the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. She has performed as a soloist with the RPYO, on a live radio broadcast for WXXI-FM, and in Carnegie Hall. She has also played as the principal flautist in the Boston College Symphony Orchestra and the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, which she performed with in Taiwan on tour last winter.