The deadline for the Young Composer Contest has passed.

View Information and Eligibility below and please check back next December for to apply for the 2018 Young Artist Concerto Competition

The Pittsburgh Philharmonic invites applications from residents of the greater Pittsburgh area. The Contest Winner will have their piece performed at The Pittsburgh Philharmonic’s May 19th and 20th, 2017 concerts and will receive a $250.00 prize.

Please read below for details and further requirements.

2017 Young Composer Contest Application



  1. Applicants will be no older than 35 at time of submission.
  2. Applicants will be residents of the Pittsburgh Tri-State region or graduates of Pittsburgh Tri-State region schools.
  3. The Pittsburgh Philharmonic reserves the right to determine eligibility.

Application Rules and Requirements

  1. Applicants must submit the following to the addresses found below by March 1st, 2018.  There is no application fee.
    • a PDF score of their work
    • a PDF of a first violin part of their work
    • a recording or audio rendering in MP3 format (MIDI realizations must also be in MP3 format.)
  2. Applicants will send a completed, signed application with their submitted work (score, parts, and audio) postmarked no later than March 1st, 2018 to: The Pittsburgh Philharmonic, 7501 Church St., Pittsburgh, PA 15202. OR submit via email to
  3. The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Audition Panel will consist of highly qualified music educators and professional musicians.
  4. Three finalists will be notified by March 15th, 2018.
  5. The three finalists must provide a full set of parts with sufficient string count (8-8-6-6-2) by April 1, 2018. Parts are acceptable on letter-sized paper. Staff size for parts is between 7 and 8.5mm.
  6. The Finalist pieces will be given a reading by the Pittsburgh Philharmonic at their rehearsal at 7:15 at Scotus Hall Mt. Alvernia in Millvale. Reading will be the determinant of the winner.
  7. All three Finalists will have a recording given to them of their individual reading.
  8. All decisions of the Audition Panel will be final.
  9. Winner will be notified by April 15th, 2018.

Piece Rules and Requirements

  1. Duration of work should be no more than 15 minutes.
  2. Entire piece must be completed at time of submission.
  3. Piece may not be extreme or virtuosic in demands.
  4. No concerto will be considered.
  5. Score is to be on legal or tabloid paper in portrait orientation only.
  6. Parts are acceptable on letter-sized paper. Staff size for parts is between 7 and 8.5mm.
  7. Previously performed works are acceptable.
  8. Orchestration will not exceed the following:
    • 2 flutes, one may double piccolo
    • 2 oboes, one may double English horn
    • 2 B♭/A clarinets; one may double bass clarinet
    • 2 bassoons
    • 4 F horns
    • 2 B♭ trumpets
    • 2 trombones
    • 1 bass trombone
    • 1 tuba
    • 1 set of four timpani
    • 1 percussion (snare drum, triangle, bass drum, glockenspiel, and cymbals); if composer writes for any percussion not on this list and is selected, they must provide that instrument at performance and rehearsal.
    • strings 8-8-6-6-2 with only up to 2-part divisi in string parts

Competition Winner Information

  1. The Winner will receive a $250.00 prize.
  2. Winner will be provided with a professionally performed recording of their piece from the May concerts.
  3. The competition winner will provide a short biography and publicity photo for use in the program and media outlets.
  4. The competition winner will be available for two rehearsals with the orchestra.
  5. Performances will be held at Butler County Community College and Mt. Alvernia May 2018.


Now in its 41th season, The Pittsburgh Philharmonic is Southwestern Pennsylvania’s premier volunteer orchestra. Approximately 70 musicians from throughout the tri-state area, ranging in age from 15 to 80, perform great works of classical music at various venues in the region. Members of the orchestra include business executives, retirees, students, teachers, and other professionals, some who have been performing with the Philharmonic for over 20 years, several who teach or play music professionally, and some who have advanced music degrees.

Music director for the Philharmonic is Edward Leonard.

For more information about the Pittsburgh Philharmonic and the Young Composer Contest, please feel free to contact the Philharmonic by email or phone at 412-223-7501.