The American Pianists Awards are held every four years to discover the best aspiring young American jazz pianists. The unique and innovative competitions span 13 months and provide a platform to deeply engage musical artists in a variety of creative formats and settings. The competition takes place in three parts: Preliminary Round, Premiere Series and Discovery Week.
The first juried stage of the American Pianists Awards, the Preliminary Round is an anonymous adjudication of nominees by a distinguished panel of musicians. In March 2018, five finalists were chosen based upon exceptional technical ability and unique musical personality demonstrated in the nominees' submitted recordings.
The Premiere Series provides the first live juried performances of the five American Pianists Awards finalists. Over the course of five months, each finalist makes an initial appearance on stage in Indianapolis for solo and ensemble performance and completes a three day residency at an Indianapolis-area high school. See the Premiere Series calendar.
The culmination of the American Pianists Awards, Discovery Week brings all five finalists together for the adjudicated Club Finals and Gala Finals, in addition to other activities. The variety of events replicates nearly every kind of performance situation a professional pianist will encounter and offers opportunities to perform with celebrated collaborative artists.
The winner of the American Pianists Awards receives the Cole Porter Jazz Fellowship, cash and two-years of career advancement and support valued at over $100,000, making this one of the most coveted prizes in the music world and the largest for American jazz pianists.