Each year outstanding young musicians from around the world receive the VSA International Young Musicians Award, $2,000, and the opportunity to participate in professional development and performance opportunities provided by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
This program is open to U.S. and international musicians and ensembles of any genre or instrument, including voice. Multiple winners will be selected by a panel of music professionals.
To be eligible to enter the VSA International Young Musicians Competition you must meet all of the following criteria:
- This competition is open to Domestic Applicants (U.S. citizens and legal residents of the U.S.); and International Applicants (non-U.S. citizens, including citizens of other countries living in the U.S. such as those on student visas.)
- Entries be either a Soloist (instrumental or vocal) or an Ensemble (instrumental or vocal) of two (2) to five (5) members, such as rock bands, chamber ensembles, and choral groups.
- For ensembles to be eligible, at least one musician must have a disability, and all members must be between the ages of 14-25.
- Entrants must be a musician with a disability.
- Entrants must be age 14-25. Applicants must not be younger than 14 or older than 25 at the time of the application deadline (January 18, 2023). All members of an ensemble must meet the age requirement in order to be eligible.
- Previous winners of the VSA International Young Soloists Competition may not apply. Applicants are welcome to apply every year until they win or age out of the competition.
- If selected, winners must be present for all workshops, rehearsals, and performances in order to accept the award (activities will occur July 19-23, 2023). Performance and professional development opportunities will take place virtually and/or in-person as conditions allow.
If selected as a finalist, applicants are required to provide proof of age and disability, and must be willing to publicly disclose that they have a disability for all materials and public appearances associated with the VSA International Young Musicians Competition.
Selection Process and Adjudication Criteria:
An advisory panel comprised of distinguished international music professionals and educators will assist with the selection process.
- Complete the online application form [NOTE: to request application materials in a different format, email email@example.com].
- Provide a narrative statement (up to 250 words) in the provided text box or as an audio or video clip. The narrative should include biographical information (i.e., educational background, past solo or ensemble experience, musical goals) and the reasons you feel you or your ensemble should be selected as a VSA International Young Musicians winner.
- Attach media files of three (3) musical selections (audio or video). [NOTE: If you have difficulty uploading your media files, email firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Media File Submission Guidelines:
- Each recording should be 10 minutes or less in length.
- Where indicated on the application form, please list the title and composer of each submission.
- Video files are suggested, but not required.
- Please note that while the quality of your media submissions should be high, it is not necessary to have your audio or video professionally recorded.
- Each uploaded file should be a recording of one piece only (multiple movements of a piece can be in one file).
- Please upload your most proficient piece into Selection #1.
- Selected pieces should represent your current musicianship and repertoire. Therefore, recordings should be recent (no more than one year old).
- The application accepts files in the following formats: Audio (MP3, MP4) and Video (MP4, YouTube, Vimeo).
- Before uploading your files, please re-name them in the following format:
- [last name or ensemble name] IYM Submission 1 [2, 3]
Awards Available: 4