I cant tell you how fun this competition has been! The idea to hold an online piano competition came to us one day when Daniel and Catherine Fletcher were in the studio filming a piece on one of our Steinways. We were discussing how horrible the pandemic is for everyone but especially all the children who have been working so hard on their pieces and have had their recitals/competitions canceled. We thought "hey, we are sitting in a film room, and we have two seasoned piano competition judges sitting right here! Why not set up an online competition for these kids?!
To be honest, we were nervous when we decided to do it simply because we were not sure enough people would compete. Boy were we wrong... About 3 days after announcing the competition we were getting at least 3-5 submissions a day with a daily submission rate of around 15 right before the deadline... We were blow away! And the talent was astonishing...
As you may know, I am not a pianist so I had nothing to do with the judging but I did watch all the videos and let me tell you, every single one was incredible.. Every single one blew me away and I work in a piano store for a living! I have never seen this much talent all at once... I am so proud of all of you performers but also all you parents for encouraging your children in the arts. Music was an enormous part of my childhood and its so nice seeing it passed onto other young children.
Thank you all for participating! Please read the judges comments below. We will be contacting the winners to distribute the prize money as soon as possible (by the end of this week but hopefully sooner).
The participants in the Ralph Stilwell Online Piano Competition were fun to hear. Many showed fine technique and a few had deep natural musical and pianistic talent. We listened carefully to each performer.
First prize of the Advanced category goes to Nathan Chi. He played difficult literature with solid musicality and poise. He has fine potential.
Second prize of the Advanced category goes to Tejas Shivaraman. His playing exhibits musicality, grace, and a beautiful tone.
First prize of the Intermediate category goes to Kaden Lee. Kaden plays the piano at a level uncommon for his age. He shows a high degree of artistry with great musicality and brilliant technical facility.
Second prize of the Intermediate category goes to Qiao Zhang. Qiao is a poised and musical young man that shows a true natural talent. His performances exhibited a thorough understanding of each piece.
Honorable Mention of the Intermediate category goes to Elisa Xu. She shows a natural talent with interesting ideas. She shows an affinity for contemporary piano music which she presented effectively.
Honorable Mention of the Intermediate category is awarded to Oliver Corro. Oliver’s technique is remarkable and he shows an affinity for complex rhythms.
Judges' decisions are final.
Uploaded materials become the property of competition for their use.
By submitting your performance, you agree to competition rules and regulations.
Intermediate Players (ages 8-14)
1st Place Price- $700
2ndPlace Price- $400
Two pieces are required with the first piecebeing the contestants choice and the second piece being one of the following;
Sonatina In F Major, Op. 36 No. 4, 1st mvmt., by Muzio Clementi First Loss, Op. 68 No. 16, by Robert Schumann
Advanced Players (ages 15 -19)
1st Place Price- $850
2nd Place Price- $600
Two pieces are required with the first piece being the contestants choice and the second piece being one of the following;
Arabesque No. 1, by Claude Debussy Waltz in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64 No. 2, by Frédéric Chopin
Daniel Fletcher and his wife Catherine Scarbrough Fletcher have both enjoyed very successful careers as educators, concert pianists and competition judges.
Daniel, a retired University of Memphis Professor Emeritus holds the coveted Performers Certificate from Indiana University as well as a Masters Degree in Piano Performance. He has sat as a judge on the MTNA National Competition board as well as the preliminary round of the Bosendorfer and Schimmel USASU International Piano Competitions.
Catherine Scarbrough Fletcher holds a Masters degree in piano performance and was in charge of creating the Arizona State University Herberger Institute Community School for Design and the Arts. The program offered non-credit classes and lessons from 2005-2010 and served over 2000 students annually. Additionally, she served as the founding executive director of the Bosendorfer and Schimmel USASU International Piano Competition.