CAG Competition FAQ

What is the application deadline for 2020?

The earlybird deadline is March 31, 2020 (save $40 on the application fee).
The final deadline is April 15, 2020.

What is the age limit?

The age limit for solo instrumentalists is 28, and for solo singers is 30.

The age limit for ensembles is an average of 30, and no member of an ensemble may be aged over 35. Ensembles should have been in existence with the same membership since at least April 15, 2019 (12 months prior to the competition deadline).

Can I enter if I’m over the age limit?

Yes, but you must upload a statement in the Supplemental Materials section of the application explaining why you are in the early stages of your professional career.

Are you open to my instrument?

The 2020 competition is open to all instruments, voice, and chamber ensembles. We encourage unique chamber ensemble combinations.

How much does it cost to apply?

The application fee is $90 (if paid by March 31) or $130 (if paid after March 31).

How does CAG work with Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT)?

CAG and YCAT have announced a new partnership. Winners of the CAG Competition will receive international management (Americas and Europe) jointly with CAG and YCAT, guaranteed performances at both Merkin Concert Hall in New York and Wigmore Hall in London, and professional career development and coaching.

Can I apply for both the CAG Competition and YCAT Auditions?

You cannot apply for both in the same year.

When will I hear back about my application?

Applicants will be notified by email by June 30 about whether or not they have been accepted to the semifinals.

When are the competition live rounds?

The semifinals will be held on October 8 and 9.

The finals will be held on Tuesday, October 13.

All live rounds are held in New York City.

How many applicants are accepted to the semifinal and final rounds?

This is at the discretion of the juries and depends on who they decide is ready for management and a performing career.

In 2019, 30 applicants were accepted to the semifinal round and 8 to the final round. Please note that this is only a small percentage of applicants and it is a very competitive process.

Winners of the competition must be ready to start a performance career and at the point where they can make a high-impact impression in the industry.

What are the video submission guidelines?

You’ll submit a YouTube or Vimeo link to a single video containing your full audition, or a playlist of separate works. You must include 30-40 minutes of music and list the works, composers, and durations in the application.

The video must be live and unedited. It does not have to be from a concert performance.

The video must have been shot no earlier than April 15, 2019 (12 months before the application deadline).

Can my video submission consist of separate videos?

Yes, if these are combined into a playlist. Make sure each of your videos fulfills the requirements set out in the guidelines and that they add up to 30-40 minutes of music in total.

Can I repeat repertoire in the prelim, semifinal and final rounds?

Yes, you can repeat repertoire at any stage.

What are the repertoire requirements?

Your repertoire for all rounds of the competition should reflect your personal programming sensibility. No specific works or composers are required.

Preliminary round (online application):
Include only complete movements or complete works (no excerpts). Concerti with piano accompaniment may be included, unless you are applying as a solo pianist.

Solo singers must include songs in at least three languages, one of which must be English. Arias can be included, but the primary focus of the repertoire should be songs.

Live semifinal round:
Solo instrumentalists and chamber ensembles will prepare 90 minutes of music.

Solo singers and vocal ensembles will prepare 60 minutes of music, including songs in three languages, one of which must be English. Arias can be included, but the primary focus of the repertoire should be songs.

Include complete works only, unless it is common practice to perform selected movements of the work (for example, the Bach Chaconne or a selection of Chopin Preludes).

All semifinalists must include at least one work composed since 2000.

Solo instrumentalists except pianists must include a concerto, to be performed with piano accompaniment.

Solo instrumentalists must include at least two major works such as sonatas, concerti, or other works of similar content and breadth. At least one major work must be performed from memory.

Optional: all applicants may include a work that is unique to your culture or heritage, represents your values, or with which you have a personal connection.

You may be asked to introduce some of your repertoire as you would in various concert settings.

Live final round (public performance):
The final round will consist of an uninterrupted recital program up to 20 minutes in length,

Your program can include complete works or movements from larger works.

Although there will be a printed program, you must speak briefly about your program to the audience.

Can I apply if I specialize in period performance?

Yes. However we do not have access to a harpsichord in our live audition venues. If you feel your application is still strong enough and that you would be able to provide your own continuo backing, then you are free to apply.

Can I apply if I specialize in new or non-traditional music?

Yes, both soloists and ensembles that specialize in new and non-traditional music are welcome to apply. CAG encourages unique chamber ensemble combinations. You need to be able to easily bring all your required instruments with you to our live audition venues.

Is there a maximum size for my ensemble?

Contact us if you’d like to apply and your ensemble has more than 8 members.