Between twenty-four (24) and thirty (30) contestants will be accepted to participate in the competition and their names will be announced to the public.
The signing of the acceptance form constitutes acceptance by the contestant of all rules and regulations. The original English version of these rules governs all interpretations.
All contestants will receive travel assistance of at least $1,000.
While participating in the competition, all contestants will be provided with housing, meals, practice facilities, and transportation.
All works are to be performed from memory and in their entirety, with the following exception: scores are permitted for the chamber music round.
Repertoire must be different for each round.
Submitted repertoire is subject to review by competition officials.
The order of appearance of pianists will be determined by a drawing conducted by competition officials that will be recorded and made available for viewing online.
Jury members will not make contact with contestants while such contestant is continuing to compete.
Contestants cannot be current students to any members of the jury. It is preferable that contestants have not had a master class with a member of the jury within the past six months.
Any jury member who has taught a contestant within the last five years, or who will teach a contestant in the immediate future, or has a family relationship with a contestant, must abstain from voting on that contestant. Jury members may also waive their vote for personal or professional reasons. All declarations of abstentions will be made the night before the competition begins and will be maintained throughout the competition.
All ballots will be written and signed without discussion and submitted to the Jury Chairman. The Jury Chairman will review the ballots and then submit them to competition officials for scoring.
Jury members will not discuss their opinions and decisions regarding proceedings, marks, or rankings outside the jury room.
Jury members will score each contestant on a range of 1 to 25 (except for their declared abstentions).
To balance the scores of a consistently high-scoring juror with a consistently low-scoring juror the scores of all jurors are processed to the same statistical distribution by computer. This scoring procedure overcomes a potential difficulty because it virtually eliminates the impact of any juror’s abstention. Without this balancing, it is possible that a contestant who is a student of a consistently high-scoring juror could be hurt when that judge necessarily abstains from voting for that candidate.
The decision of the jury is final and not subject to questions, revisions, or appeal.
The competition will consist of four separate rounds: first round (all contestants); second round (all contestants); semi-final round (eight contestants); chamber music round and concerto round (four contestants).
The names of the candidates for the second, third, and fourth rounds will be announced to the public in performance order without regard to rank. After the fourth round is completed, the names of the four finalists will be announced in order of rank.
Beginning with the semi-final round, after the score is determined for each contestant, a cumulative score will be determined as follows:
At the end of the semi-final round, the first and second rounds together count for 50% of the score, and the semi-final round counts for 50% of the score.
At the end of the final round, the first and second rounds together count for 25% of the score; the semi-final round counts for 25% of the score; chamber music round counts for 25% of the score; and the final concerto round counts for 25% of the score.
All announced prizes will be awarded.
Prizes may be subject to U.S. income tax laws.
If any unexpected situations arise in the execution of these guidelines, the Jury Chairman, the Chair of the Board of Directors, and the President will resolve such situations.
Canton Symphony Orchestra
Formed in 1937, the CSO has celebrated 85 years serving the community of Stark County and beyond. Giving its first concert on February 16, 1938 under the direction of Richard Oppenheim the CSO has boasted world-class talent under the direction of many Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductors followed by the appointment of long-time Music Director Gerhardt Zimmermann in 1980. Diversity, equity, and inclusion lead the artistic planning process as all MasterWorks programs contain at least one work on each concert by composers undiscovered, under-represented, and up-and-coming, and the Orchestrating Change podcast, which looks at the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music and how to create actionable change. Supporting local organizations and talent is important through collaborations such as the Divergent Sound Series, which features local bands paired with musicians from the orchestra performing all original music.
Educational programming serves young audiences through free Young People’s Concerts, SymphonyLand, and Kinder Concerts each year. The Canton Youth Symphonies programs educate young musicians from over six surrounding counties and the Lighthouse Ministries Strings Program provides string training for free to students in southeast Canton. The Composer Fellowship program commissions a new work to be performed by the Advanced Youth Orchestra and the Artist in Residence Program identifies a local artist or group to create a classical music-related project.
Now completing its 85th Season, the Canton Symphony is a fully professional ensemble, and all of its members are members of the American Federation of Musicians. Their wages and working conditions are governed by a contract negotiated with Local 111 of the American Federation of Musicians.
Steven Byess is a dynamic and passionate conductor, hailed by critics as “masterful and brilliant,” “creating the epitome of instrumental elegance,” and capturing “the full spirit and vitality of the score perfectly.” Recognized for his musical versatility, multi-faceted presence on the podium, and passion for music education, he is devoted to promoting a life-long love and enthusiasm for music and the arts.
Steven is the music director of the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra (Oregon), the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, and the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the U.S. premiere of Russian violinist Alexander Markov’s Rock Concerto at Carnegie Hall in New York, and was selected by Walt Disney World Entertainment to conduct the 2000 NFL E*TRADE Super Bowl Halftime show, where he performed for a television audience of 88 million fans.
As a passionate advocate for the arts, Steven is sought after for his speeches on the arts, music, and education, and has organized collaborations with numerous choruses, chamber music ensembles, and festivals. He wrote and co-directed a PBS presentation, Count On It!, designed to connect music and mathematics for children grades K-3. Since 2013, he has shared this passion with over 80,000 children around the country as a conductor of the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute Link Up orchestral education concerts.
A prolific conductor of opera from grand to contemporary, his performances include Puccini’s La Bohème and a critically acclaimed production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel; Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Greensboro Opera; Bizet’s Carmen with Emerald City Opera (Colorado); Copland’s The Tender Land, Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, and a collaboration with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on his opera “27” with Intermountain Opera (Montana); and Weill’s Street Scene and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with the Eastman School of Music Opera Theatre. Steven has been a guest conductor at the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan for their productions of Le tragédie de Carmen (Bizet/Brook), a highly acclaimed production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, collaborating with the composer’s daughter Jamie Bernstein, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Steven is the former associate music director of the Ohio Light Opera where he conducted over 80 productions and 21 commercial recordings, including repertoire ranging from well- to little-known operas and operettas to blockbuster classic American musical theater works.
In addition to over 60 symphonic performances in the 2022-2023 season, Steven will conduct ballet productions of The Nutcracker, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, and Appalachian Spring.
Taiwanese-American violinist Yun-Ting Lee joined the second violin section of The Cleveland Orchestra in 2013. He completed his Bachelor and Master degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where his principal teachers were David Cerone, William Preucil, and David Updegraff. He has also studied with Dr. Phyllis Skoldberg and Ming-De Zhang.
Yun-Ting has appeared as soloist with Spoleto Festival USA, Music Academy of the West, Cleveland Institute of Music, National Repertory, and Phoenix Symphony orchestras. A dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Lee received the Dr. Bennett Levine Memorial Award in Chamber Music from CIM. Yun-Ting has collaborated with Orion Weiss, Lyrica Baroque Ensemble, members of the Juilliard, Cavani, Verona, and Tokyo String Quartets.
Yun-Ting has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He is an alumnus of the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Holland International Music Sessions, Encore School for Strings, and the Pacific Music Festival.
Violinist Jessica Lee has built a multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, and now as Assistant Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra since 2016. She was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2005 Concert Artists Guild International Competition and has been hailed as “a soloist which one should make a special effort to hear, wherever she plays”. Her international appearances include solo performances with the Plzen Philharmonic, Gangnam Symphony, Malaysia Festival Orchestra, and at the Rudolfinum in Prague. At home, she has appeared with orchestras such as the Houston, Grand Rapids, and Spokane symphonies.
Jessica has performed in recitails at venues including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Ravinia “Rising Stars”, the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, and the Kennedy Center.
A long-time member of the Johannes Quartet as well as of the The Bowers Program (formerly the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two), Jessica has also toured frequently with ‘Musicians from Marlboro’, including appearances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston’s Gardner Museum, and with the Guarneri Quartet in their farewell season. Her chamber music festival appearances include Bridgehampton, Santa Fe, Seoul Spring, Caramoor, Olympic, and Music@Menlo. She also put together a six- video chamber music series during the pandemic which was a collaboration between the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Clinic to bring chamber music from iconic spaces in Cleveland to the greater Cleveland community.
Jessica has always had a passion for teaching and has served on the faculties of Vassar College and Oberlin College, and now is on violin faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age fourteen following studies with Weigang Li, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree under Robert Mann and Ida Kavafian. She completed her studies for a Master’s Degree at the Juilliard School.
American cellist Dane Johansen performs throughout the world as a chamber musician and soloist and as a member of The Cleveland Orchestra. Praised for his “brave virtuosity” and “staggering aplomb” (The New York Times, New York Magazine), Dane made his debut under James Levine performing Elliott Carter’s Cello Concerto at Lincoln Center’s celebration of the composer’s centennial. Dane has performed extensively as an Artist of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall as the first winner of the Leo Ruiz Memorial Award.
More recent engagements include performances of Walton’s Cello Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and performances with the Jerusalem Symphony and Houston Symphony. Dane walked 600 miles of the famed Camino de Santiago with his cello on his back, performing Bach’s Cello Suites in thirty-six concerts along the route. His experience is the subject of the documentary film, Strangers on the Earth, and his recording of Bach’s Cello Suites will be released in 2023.
Prior to joining The Cleveland Orchestra, Dane was a member of the Escher String Quartet, a recipient of the Avery Fischer Career Grant, and a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris and the Juilliard School where he received the Artist Diploma.
A native of Calgary, Canada, Martha Baldwin has been a member of the cello section of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2001. Martha is a graduate of Rice University where she studied with Desmond Hoebig, and the Cleveland Institute of Music where she was a student of Stephen Geber. She has also spent time studying with Harvey Shapiro, Aldo Parisot, and Paul Katz. Martha has been broadcast nationally on NPR and CBC radio and has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbia Symphony, Canton Symphony, and National Repertory Orchestra.
A passionate educator, Martha serves as an artist/educator for The Cleveland Orchestra where she helps create programs and concert experiences for students and families of all ages. She was a long time member of the preparatory string faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she served as String Department Chair for 5 years. Her students have been accepted to top conservatories and music programs including Curtis, The Juilliard School, Eastman, McGill University, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory, Rice University, Tanglewood, and the Aspen School of Music. She is regularly invited to teach in Canada and the U.S. at conservatories and summer festivals such as the C.I.M.
International Academy, Mount Royal University Conservatory of Music, and the Cincinnati Young Artists at the University of Cincinnati College/Conservatory. Martha plays on a cello by Eugene Holtier of North Ridgeville, OH.