2016 Competition Rules


Open to piano, violin, cello, and instrumental ensemble



The competition will be held at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church 3605 84th Ave. SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 on December 3rd, 2016.

The competition will last all day. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your assigned performance time. No special scheduling requests; please be available all day.

You may observe other contestants as you wish, but please be courteous and only enter or leave a room between performances.

The Festival Artist Concert will be held at Frye Art Museum on December 2nd, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

The Winners’ Concert will be December 4th at 2:00 p.m. at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church.

Residents of the U.S. and all other countries. Contestants must compete in their own age group. Contestants from Concerto group or one of the Chamber Music groups may also participate in a solo group and a Rachmaninoff Elite group. Performers above age 18 and chamber music group are not required to be currently studying with a teacher. Categories are listed below:

***Please note the new category divisions***

Solo Piano:

Piano A – up to 5 years – Fee $55
Piano B – up to 7 years (up to 4 minutes) – Fee $60
Piano C – 8-10 years (up to 5 minutes) – Fee $65
Piano D – 11-12 years (up to 7 minutes) – Fee $70
Piano E – 13-15 years (up to 7 minutes) – Fee $75
Piano F – 16-18 years (up to 10 minutes) – Fee $80
Piano G – 19-26 years (up to 13 minutes) – Fee $85
Piano H – 27 years and older (up to 13 minutes) Fee $85

Rachmaninoff Elite
(Only Rachmaninoff pieces, one piece or movement for solo piano)

Rachmaninoff A – 11-12 years (up to 7 minutes) – Fee $70
Rachmaninoff B – 13-15 years (up to 7 minutes) – Fee $75
Rachmaninoff C – 16-18 years (up to 10 minutes) – Fee $80


Concerto A – Concerto, piano, age 14-18 (one movement, up to 13 minutes) – Fee $80
Concerto B – Concerto, piano, up to age 13 (one movement, up to 13 minutes) – Fee $80
Concerto C – Concerto, violin or cello, pre-college students up to age 18 (one movement, up to 13 minutes) – Fee $80
Ensemble A – Chamber Music, average age 14 and up (up to 13 minutes) – Fees $80 per member
Ensemble B – chamber music, average age 13 and under (up to 13 minutes) – Fees $80 per member

Solo Violin:

Violin A – Age 9-12 (up to 7 minutes) – Fee $65
Violin B – Age 13-15 (up to 7 minutes) – Fee $75
Violin C – Age 16-18 (up to 10 minutes) – Fee $80
Violin D – Age 19-26 (up to 13 minutes) – Fee $85
Violin E – Age 27 and up (up to 13 minutes) – Fee $85

Solo Cello:

Cello A – Age 9-12 (up to 7 minutes) – Fee $65
Cello B – Age 13-15 (up to 7 minutes) – Fee $75
Cello C – Age 16-18 (up to 10 minutes) – Fee $80
Cello D – Age 19-26 (up to 13 minutes) – Fee $85
Cello E – Age 27 and up (up to 13 minutes) – Fee $85

First place winners will receive a trophy, second place and third place will receive a medal, and honorable mentions will receive a certificate. In the Rachmaninoff Elite category, up to three equal winners will be chosen to receive medals. Up to four performers will be selected to receive $250 Scholarships. These winners will be announced at the Winter Nights concert on February 19th, 2017.

If there are fewer than three competitors registered for a category, the judge may elect not to award a prize. In any category, the judges have the right to withhold any prize or award additional prizes. All judging decisions are final and may not be contested. If there are a high number of entrants in a given category, the competition coordinators may choose to divide the category into smaller groups that will be judged individually.

Winners Concerts at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church: first and second place winners from every category will perform.
Winter Nights Benaroya Pre-Concert (February 19, 2017): performers will be selected from the first prize winners by members of the RCMFS Artistic Advisory Board at the December 4th Winners Concert. Winners of the Rachmaninoff Elite categories not eligible for Winter Nights concert.
Chamber Music winners may be selected to play at our 2017 Concert in the Park.
King FM Northwest Focus: performers will be selected by members of the RCMFS Artistic Advisory Board from among the first prize winners at the December 4th Winners Concert. Winners of the Rachmaninoff Elite categories not eligible for King FM.

Benefit events during the 2016-2017 season: selected first prize winners.

New Event: Winners of the Rachmaninoff Elite category will perform at a special event in the spring, featuring winners’ performances alongside original visual artworks.

Winners with pieces requiring two pianos are not eligible for performances at Benaroya and King FM, but concerto performers will receive a recommendation letter for Seattle Symphony Young Artists Auditions.

Prizes and adjudications sheets will be available at the registration desk shortly after completion of judging for each category. All prizes and adjudication sheets must be picked up at the competition; no materials will be mailed to participants.

*Please note that there are admission fees for audience members, including teachers and parents, at the December 4th winners concert, the Benaroya Hall Pre-Concert, and the Rachmaninoff Elite performance. Ticket price TBA and tickets will be available at the door.

All music will be performed by memory, except chamber works. All selections will be works by Russian or Soviet composers in their original form. Some transcriptions are allowed, but must be approved by RCMFS prior to submission of entry form (contact Chelsea Bloomberg – cbloomberg@russianchambermusic.org). Pieces must not be edited (shortened) for any reason without prior approval of RCMFS. String participants may choose accompanied or unaccompanied pieces, and must provide their own accompanist.

No warm-up instruments will be available on the day of the competition.

Please time your selection(s) carefully – this will determine how much time you are assigned on the schedule.

Teachers and/or students are responsible for presenting the judge with an original music score (no photocopies) with measures marked in the margin. (Competitors who forget their music or only have a photocopied version may play if they wish, but will not receive a judge’s evaluation or be eligible for any prize.)

No changes will be possible in the program once the application is received.

Dress Code: Please dress professionally – no athletic shoes, cargo pants, or jeans.

Hand-held video cameras are permitted; no tripods, please. No flash photography. Recordings are only permitted of your own child; please do not record other parents’ children’s performances.

Chamber performers, please bring your music stands.

Application forms should be filled out and submitted online and payment made via PayPal using the “donate” button on the RCMFS homepage at www.russianchambermusic.org. Chamber groups may pay the entirety of the entry fee from one group member’s application or divide the entry equally between all members and pay individual portions with each member’s application form. Once you have submitted payment, there are no refunds for withdrawn entries. Do not mail entries!

The schedule and additional information will be posted at www.russianchambermusic.org approximately one week before the competition. The schedule will not be released by email this year.

Please submit applications online as early as possible after September 15. Applications will only be accepted between September 15th and November 15th. The application will be available online at www.russianchambermusic.org.