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2015 American Pianists Awards

Lester Holt, Honorary Chair


The American Pianists Awards are held every four years by the American Pianists Association for American jazz pianists. The winner of the prestigious 13-month-long competition receives the Cole Porter Jazz Fellowhip (Aaron Diehl most recently won this distinguished title in 2011). The competition takes place in three parts including the Preliminary Round, Premiere Series and Discovery Week.

Preliminary Round
A distinguished panel of musicians adjudicates in an anonymous fashion the preliminary round and chooses five finalists from the recordings submitted by the nominees.
Premiere Series
The five finalists are invited to Indianapolis for outreach concerts, a high school residency and a fully-produced adjudicated public performance at The Jazz Kitchen, featuring the pianist in solo and trio formats. 

Discovery Week
All five finalists arrive in Indianapolis for a week of adjudicated events. Performances include the Semi-Final round of competition involving solo and trio performance and the Finals, which feature the finalists performing with a singer as well as specially-commissioned arrangements of jazz standards for piano and jazz orchestra.

The Award
The winner of the American Pianists Awards receives the Cole Porter Jazz Fellowship, worth $100,000, that includes a $50,000 cash award and two years of in-kind career assistance, publicity, professional fees and other opportunities worldwide - the largest award in the world for a young jazz pianist.


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