Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition

The Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition is an annual competition open to instrumentalists, singers, and chamber ensembles performing classical and non-traditional repertoire.

The 2016 Competition has now concluded. See the new Winners here!

Information about the 2017 Competition will be posted in the new year. Click here to join our mailing list and receive updates about the 2017 Competition.

Final Round
9:30am – 4:30pm, Thursday October 27
Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th Street, New York
Free and open to the public


Session I: 9:30 AM
Aileen Gozali, piano
Manuel Vioque-Judde, viola
Jiyeon Kim, guitar
Omer Quartet, string quartet


Session II: 11:25 AM
Kevin Ahfat, piano
John-Henry Crawford, cello
Yoonah Kim, clarinet
Laura Strickling, soprano


Session III: 2:15 PM
Claudia Lucia Lamanna, harp
Ji Won Song, violin
Sam Suggs, double bass
Made in Trio, flute/clarinet/piano

Final Round Jury

Michael Barrett, Conductor and Pianist, Artistic Director of New York Festival of Song and Moab Music Festival
Derek Bermel, Composer and Clarinetist, Artistic Director, American Composers Orchestra
Samuel C. Dixon, Executive and Artistic Director, Spivey Hall, Clayton State University, Morrow, GA
Anne-Marie McDermott, Pianist, Artistic Director, Bravo! Vail Festival
Gerard Schwarz, Conductor, Music Director, All-Star Orchestra
Seth Soloway, Interim Director, The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, NY
Paul Watkins, Cellist, Emerson String Quartet
Carol Wincenc, Flutist, Faculty, The Juilliard School

If you have further questions about the application process, please contact

Prizes and Awards

All winners receive:

  • Management Contract with CAG
  • A New York Recital

Additional prizes include:


details are subject to change.

THE SUGGESTED AGE LIMIT FOR INDIVIDUALS is 30, and 35 for singers. Instrumentalists over 30 and singers over 35 must include a statement explaining why they consider themselves to be in the early stages of a professional career.

THE SUGGESTED AVERAGE AGE LIMIT FOR ENSEMBLES is 30 (including ensembles with one singer), and 35 for vocal ensembles. Ensembles with an average age higher than suggested must include a statement explaining why they consider themselves to be in the early stages of a professional career.

ENSEMBLES SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN EXISTENCE with the same membership for at least 12 months prior to the Competition.

NON-TRADITIONAL ENSEMBLES AND INSTRUMENTS are invited to apply. CAG  welcomes a statement of purpose and information on repertoire and technical requirements, if appropriate.

SINGERS are invited to apply. CAG welcomes singers with a special interest in concert repertoire.

THE 2016 COMPETITION IS CLOSED TO THE FOLLOWING INSTRUMENTS/ENSEMBLES: solo harpischord, early music fortepiano, organ, and two-piano duo. Four-hand piano duos may apply.

DUOS CONSISTING OF A SOLO INSTRUMENT WITH PIANO (such as violin and piano) will be placed in the category of the solo instrument. Applicants may choose their own collaborative artists for all rounds of the Competition.

INSTRUMENTALISTS WITH NORTH AMERICAN MANAGEMENT are not eligible. However, CAG is glad to work with existing managers who are handling engagements outside the US. Applicants with such management must arrange to have their managers submit a letter to CAG including the following statement: “[applicant] will be under management with [name of management] for the following territories: [list territories]. We understand that should [applicant] win the Concert Artists Guild Competition, CAG will have exclusive management rights for the US.”

SINGERS WITH NORTH AMERICAN MANAGEMENT who wish to perform recitals, chamber music, and orchestral engagements through CAG are eligible to apply if the application is accompanied by a letter from the management to CAG with the following statement: “I hereby give permission and approval for [singer’s name] to enter the Concert Artists Guild Competition and agree, without reservation, that should [singer’s name] be selected as a winner of the Competition, he/she would be represented exclusively by CAG for concert engagements.”

Repertoire Requirements & additional Information


Repertoire should include music in a variety of styles and periods. No specific works or composers are required. Selections should demonstrate the applicant’s breadth of technical and artistic abilities. Applicants may repeat repertoire in subsequent rounds. Specialists in either contemporary, early, or non-traditional music may apply. Repertoire for these musicians must show programmatic diversity and technical scope.


  • Applicant must submit 30-45 minutes of music showing the range and scope of the applicant’s artistry. Audio recordings only.
  • Include only complete movements (no excerpts) or complete works.
  • Concerti and other works with orchestra may be included; these works may also be performed with piano accompaniment, except for solo pianists.
  • Singers should include songs in at least three languages. Singers may include up to two arias, but the primary focus of the repertoire should be songs.


  • Semifinalists will prepare 60-70 minutes of music and will be asked to perform selections from this.
  • Please include complete works only, unless it is common and accepted practice to perform selected movements of the work (e.g., the Bach Chaconne or a selection of Chopin Preludes).
  • All applicants must include at least one selection composed since 1990.
  • Solo instrumentalists (except pianists) may include concertos, to be performed with piano accompaniment.
  • It is recommended that all solo instrumentalists include at least two major works — sonatas, concertos or other works of similar content and breadth. At least one major work must be performed from memory.
  • Upon acceptance into the Semifinal Round, applicants will receive a Repertoire Sheet with detailed requirements to submit for that round.
  • Repertoire from the Preliminary Round may be repeated in the Semifinal Round.


The Final Round will consist of an uninterrupted recital program approximately 20 minutes in length. The program may include complete works or movements from larger works. Repertoire from the Preliminary and Semifinal Rounds may be repeated in the Final Round. Finalists will also be asked to submit two or three sample concert programs and a concerto repertoire list, if appropriate. Although there will be a printed program, applicants are encouraged to speak briefly about their program to the audience.


Applicants are accepted to the Semifinal Round of the Competition on the basis of blind evaluations of the submitted recordings by independent judges. All applicants will receive written notification on advancement to the Semifinal Round in summer of 2016.

Winners or Finalists of other major competitions may request to proceed directly to the Semifinal Round. If you feel your competition record warrants such consideration, please include a statement of request in your application. Requests will be granted at the discretion of CAG staff.


Soloists must provide their own pianists, make all rehearsal arrangements, and pay fees. CAG can recommend qualified pianists and spaces for rehearsal in New York.


Competitors are responsible for their own and their accompanist’s travel and accommodation expenses.

Please contact if you have questions about the application process.