Applications Open Apr. 1 - Jul. 31, 2019
Founded in 1972 by German-born pianist, teacher and philanthropist Heida Hermanns, the Heida Hermanns Competition is dedicated to advancing the careers of the most accomplished young pianists, string musicians, and vocalists around the world, and inspiring audiences and the community with their performances. This year, the competition will focus on piano and take place in partnership with the Westport Arts Center.
This year’s competition brings four of the world’s most talented young pianists to Westport to compete over the course of four days for cash prizes and professional opportunities. Open to international pianists between the ages of 18 and 30, the competition features two rounds: a preliminary open round of video submissions, judged by a panel of preeminent pianists including former Heida Hermanns Competition winners, resulting in the selection of four finalists; and a final round in Westport, Connecticut. The final round provides each of the finalists an opportunity to play a solo program in a salon setting, along with master classes and radio interviews on other dates during the week. It offers the esteemed judges the ability to deeply understand the contestants in a variety of settings necessary for today and tomorrow’s well-rounded virtuosi.
The winner receives a $10,000 cash prize and each finalist receives a $2,500 honorarium and lodging with host families for the week. In addition to the cash prize, the winner receives an invitation to return to Westport for a solo performance at a later date.
Prior winners include celebrated pianists who have gone on to perform in the world’s most important halls, such as Spencer Myer, Frederic Chiu, Josh Wright, Timur Mustikimov and Yue Chu.
Applications Open: April 1st and Close July 31st
Accomplished pianists from 18-30 years of age and of every nationality are encouraged to apply.
Application and Competition Rounds
The competition features two rounds. The preliminary round is online; the application opens April 1st, 2019 and deadline is July 31, 2019.
Online application requires the following:
Personal information and background
Video recording between 25-30 minutes in length, featuring three pieces from the classical to contemporary eras, which demonstrate a range of musical versatility, technical mastery, and personal passion.
One piece should be composed pre-1900 (i.e. from the baroque, classical or romantic era)
One piece should be contemporary, composed between 1990 and today.
One piece should be of personal relevance to the applicant and from any era (for example, relating to their heritage or other interests) and the applicant should provide a brief verbal introduction of the piece and reason for its selection.
Video to be uploaded to a personal YOUTUBE account and link provided in the online application form. The video may include basic title cards and basic subtitles for labeling pieces, however, no other editing is allowed.
A panel of preeminent pianists, including former Heida Hermanns Competition winners, will review each submission and select the finalists based on criteria including musical range and technical mastery, presentation, and education and professional background.
Live in person second round:
Four finalists will be announced the first Monday in September. The finalists will compete in Westport, Connecticut during the week of November 17-24, 2019.
Each finalist will receive an honorarium of $2,500 and lodging with a host family. The winner will receive $10,000 and an invitation for a solo recital in Westport.
Finalists will be judged on the criteria necessary for today’s well-rounded virtuosi, namely, the ability to not only master the instrument but also engage audiences and interact with other accomplished musicians.
The format of the final competition will include:
Solo evening program on alternating dates for each finalist in a salon setting, with a duration of approximately 45 minutes
Master class and public radio appearance on alternating dates
Closing cocktail party and prize announcement
HOW TO GET HERE:
Westport is a coastal town located on Long Island Sound in Fairfield County, Connecticut, 55 miles northeast of New York City and 60 miles south of Hartford. Two major thoroughfares travel through the town: Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway (Route 15). Westport is one of many stops on Metro-North Railroad, which provides rail service from New York City (Grand Central Station) to New Haven.
- Metro-North Railroad: Service from/to Grand Central Station to Westport runs regularly (approximately one train per hour, depending on day and time). The ride is approximately 60 minutes and the cost, again, varies depending day and time (peak or off-peak times). For schedule and fare information,
- Amtrak: Regularly scheduled service into Bridgeport (next town over to the north) or Stamford (18 miles south). Both Bridgeport and Stamford have Metro-North Railroad service. For schedule and fare information,
- Airports: There are several major airports within a 60-mile radius of Fairfield, all having car rental agencies on-site:
o New York – LaGuardia (LGA), Kennedy (JFK) and Westchester County (HPN)
o Connecticut – Bradley (BDL)
WHERE TO STAY:
There is a limited number of “host housing” available for those coming from a distance of more than 60 miles. Here are our suggested hotels for guests accompanying the finalist.
The Inn at Longshore http://innatlongshore.com/ – The Inn at Longshore by OnTheMarc is located on the Saugatuck River Inlet in Westport, CT on the grounds of the Longshore Club Park. The stunning 169-acre parcel is outfitted with beautiful landscaping by land and sea, including a gorgeous tree-lined entrance. The Inn offers twelve graciously appointed guestrooms and suites. Whether in town for business, an event or a weekend getaway, The Inn is a relaxing and quaint option for the Westport area. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, cable flat screen TVs, premium bed linens, air conditioning, beach towels, mini-bar and more.
The Westport Inn https://www.westportinn.com/– The Westport Inn. As a charming and quaint landmark nestled in the heart of scenic Westport, Connecticut, we offer an inviting travel destination steeped in New England elegance and charm. Come discover a truly unique and eclectic choice among Westport hotels. Voted “Best of Westport, Weston & Wilton” and renowned as the best social venue in Westport, our boutique hotel near Norwalk features 117 richly appointed rooms and suites with crisp bedding, complimentary wireless Internet, 6,000 square feet of sophisticated meeting and event space as well as superb French-American inspired cuisine at Bistro | B restaurant.
Delmar Southport https://delamar.com/southport/ DELAMAR Southport beckons you into a world of luxury in beautiful Southport, Connecticut. Only an hour and a half from midtown Manhattan, you will find the intimate, polished service of a fine boutique hotel, surrounded by the ambiance of classic New England hospitality at its best. Carefully curated, each of our 43 guestrooms and suites were designed with unparalleled luxury and distinctive charm. Our intimate size allows us to offer special attention to each guest, hand selecting the most appropriate guestroom or suite for your clients or your own getaway in Fairfield County.