Claudette Sorel Piano competition registration deadline Sept. 15

Life is like a piano

The Fredonia School of Music has announced the second annual Claudette Sorel Piano Competition in November, an event designed to celebrate the creativity and excellence of young pianists. Named in honor of Fredonia piano professor emeritus, Claudette Sorel, the event is supported by the Sorel Organization, including a $2,500 cash first prize and $1,250 additional prize money.

The Claudette Sorel Piano Competition consists of two rounds and is open to young artists aged 15-18 who are passionate about piano performance and repertoire. The First Round is online; participants must submit the online entry form (there is no fee to apply), and provide a link to a high-quality video of a piece they are passionate about, approximately five to eight minutes in length. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15.

If selected as a finalist for the competition, participants are asked to prepare a program of no longer than 15 minutes that demonstrates their artistic vision, such as works of a specific composer, known or unknown, a thematic connection between works, an original way of presenting the music, etc.

The final round will begin at noon on Nov. 4. Each finalist will play a 15-minute recital in the acclaimed Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall in Mason Hall on the State University of New York at Fredonia campus. This performance will be open to the public. A reception will be held immediately following the performance, giving finalists the opportunity to receive feedback from the judges, and winners will be announced at the reception. Judges for the competition are Eliran Avni, Mary Marden Cobb, Fr. Sean Duggan, Anne Kissel and Phyllis East.

The Claudette Sorel First Prize is a $2,500 cash award, studio time with a sound recording technician, and final recording of their playing. An additional $1,250 in Sorel cash prizes will be awarded for special categories, at the discretion of the judges. All finalists will receive a recording of the competition.

Now in its second year, the concept for the competition came from Fredonia’s newest piano faculty member, Eliran Avni, who is also a member of the acclaimed chamber ensemble, SHUFFLE.

“When I was growing up and doing competitions, the understanding was that one’s job was to just go out there and play,” Avni said. “No one asked contestants ‘why’ or ‘for whom’ they were playing, and this is one of the reasons I am so proud of our competition. We are asking performers to think about and articulate what kind of artist they want to become, who they are playing for and why, and to share that in their recitals.”

The Fredonia School of Music believes in nurturing young talent and original voices. We are happy to partner with the Sorel Organization to honor Claudette’s contributions to the piano world, and to shine a light on young pianists who are passionate about performing, committed to creating original programming, and enthusiastic about finding new ways of communicating with their audience.

Claudette Sorel Piano Competition details and registration are online at Questions may be directed to Eliran Avni,

The Fredonia School of Music has been known and recognized for excellence in music and music education for over 100 years. Fredonia offers a broad range of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and countless opportunities for music exploration, and is among the best places to enter professional music training. Our reputation is built on a long history of excellence, consistency, trust, innovation, and insight from a faculty dedicated to teaching.