James Yannatos Concerto Competition

About: The James Yannatos Concerto Competition, named in honor of HRO’s Music Director Emeritus, is held annually to select a soloist to perform a concerto with the orchestra in one of its concerts.  The competition is only open to members of HRO; however, musicians outside of HRO who play non-orchestral instruments (piano, saxophone, guitar, etc.) are also welcome and encouraged to apply. 

Concerto performance:  The winner of the James Yannatos Concerto Competition will play with HRO in one concert that season (typically HRO’s February concert), in Sanders Theatre. Any piece for soloist and orchestra is permitted, although HRO reserves the right to disqualify any concerto for logistical reasons (e.g. length of the piece or instrumentation). The winner is obligated to attend all HRO rehearsals in the concert cycle in which they will perform. HRO is not obligated to offer any prize other than the title of “Winner of the James Yannatos Concerto Competition in YEAR” and the opportunity to perform in one regular season concert. Other historical benefits have occasionally included the opportunity to be featured in one of HRO’s international tours, some number of complimentary concert tickets for friends and family, free audio recording, and (much more rarely) free video recording. Those benefits or others may be offered at the discretion of the HRO Executive Board. Applicants are welcome to inquire prior to participating in the competition about which benefits will be offered in that particular season. 

What to prepare: All candidates must be prepared to play the entire concerto of their choosing. Judges may ask candidates to play any portion of their selected concerto.

Application procedure: All candidates must submit the linked application to HRO by 5 pm on DATE TBD. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Applications must be filled out completely and accurately; changes to the proposed audition repertoire must be communicated in writing to the HRO and its music director no later than a week prior to the competition date.

Auditions: Once all of the applications have been received, candidates will be notified of their audition time on DATE TBD. Audition times are difficult to reschedule, but if you are unable to make your audition time please reach out to the HRO as soon as possible to work out a solution. All pianists will use the same piano. For all candidates, an accompanist is advisable but not required; each candidate is responsible for arranging their own accompanist for their audition if desired. Music must be memorized, and each soloist is required to provide three scores of their concerto for the judges. 

Fee: There may be a fee associated with participating in the concerto competition that may vary from year to year, but would generally be between $20 and $50. 

Please contact hro@hrorchestra.org with any questions or concerns about the concerto competition.

The James Yannatos Concerto Competition is typically held in early to mid September. More details regarding the exact date and time of the 2023-2024 competition will be posted in late August.

Past Winners:
2022/23 - Lucas Amory, piano
2021/22 - Kevin Miura, violin
2020/21 - Cancelled due to COVID
2019/20 - Cancelled due to COVID
2018/19 - Alex Zhou, violin
2017/18 - Brian Zhao, cello
2016/17 - Audrey Chen, cello
2015/16 - Jacob Tilton, saxophone

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