2022/2023 Ross McKee Piano Competition

The Foundation’s annual Competition has recognized and rewarded the Bay Area’s most talented young pianists for more than two decades.

The Ross McKee Foundation Piano Competition is open to Northern California high school students who are 18 years of age or younger. Before applying, potential applicants should view videos of previous Ross McKee finalists here to make sure that the Competition is appropriate for them.

The Competition’s online application can be found below or at this link; the submission deadline is October 1. Applicants upload 15 minutes (maximum) of self-selected repertoire as mp3 files; these recordings will be used to determine advancement to the second round. A $50, non-refundable application fee is due with the application.

Applicants will be notified regarding advancement on October 15. Contestants who have advanced to the second round will perform live for a jury in early January 2023. For this performance, each contestant is encouraged to select repertoire that demonstrates a breadth of musical knowledge, technique, and sensitivity. Second-round contestants will also perform a short, newly-composed work which they will receive with their advancement notification on October 15. The length of the memorized jury performance, which includes the required piece, should not exceed 25 minutes.

The jury will select up to four pianists as McKee Laureates; they will perform at a public McKee Laureate Concert in early February. Each Laureate receives a monetary award of $1,500 and additional opportunities.

Additional Awards

There will be an award for the best performance of the required composition, selected by the composer of the work from recordings of the second-round performances.

The McKee Board of Directors will select one pianist from the Laureates for the John Cron Career Development/Advancement Program, which will offer a package for further performance, studio recording, and education.

All applicants are eligible to submit a proposal for the McKee Social Impact Award. Applicants are invited to propose a project which uses their artistry to address a social or environmental issue facing citizens of Northern California. The board will prioritize proposals that emerge from a community-identified need. Winning projects will receive grants of up to $2,000 as well as creative support and mentorship from the board. The proposal, submitted with a Competition application, should be limited to 500 words and include activities, timeline, budget, and required resources.

For questions related to the Competition, please contact Nicholas Pavkovic at executivedirector@rossmckeefoundation.org

The 2022-2023 Ross McKee Piano Competition is made possible by a generous grant from The Moca Foundation, given in honor of Dr. Patricia Taylor Lee.

The Ross McKee Piano Competition is fiscally sponsored by Intermusic SF.

Subscribe for Piano Competition updates