Are you (or is someone you know) a young, promising instrumentalist? The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is hosting its 2023 Young Artist Competition, giving Michigan students the opportunity to perform in concert with a full professional orchestra.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000 and a performance opportunity in March 2024. The runner-up will receive $500.

Important dates

  • Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 10 am: Link opens to sign up and submit submission tape.
  • Thursday, August 31, 2023 – by 5 pm: Final day to submit application.
  • Monday, September 18, 2023: Final round auditionees announced.
  • Friday, October 6, 2023 – by 5 pm: Finalists bios and headshots due for press announcements.
  • Weekend of Oct. 14-15: Final Round and Winners announced.

Who can participate?

Any student in grade 7-12 during the 23-24 school year who attends school in the state of Michigan that plays a string, wind (including saxophone), brass or percussion instrument. Pianists will not be considered. Harp will be considered.

What do I need to submit in order to enter the competition?

Each applicant needs to fill out the Google Form on the Young Artist Competition page of the A2SO website, which goes live at 10 am on August 1, 2023. The due date to submit is 5 pm on Aug. 31, 2023. To fill out this form you will need:

    • Your name and instrument information.
    • Your guardians’ name and contact information, including email, phone number and address.
    • Information about the work to be performed (composer’s full name, birth and death years, work and movement title, and year of composition).
    • A YouTube link to your solo submission video. Submissions must be one movement of a work for solo instrument and orchestra. Solos must be originally composed for solo instrument and orchestra. The recording must be a video, must be one take, and must be accompanied.
    • An application fee of $50. Instruction and a link to the payment page will be provided after the application form is submitted. If there is concern about being able to pay this fee, please reach out to Kathryn Marks, Senior Manager of Learning & Community, at
    • Your private teacher’s name and contact information, if applicable.
    • The link to fill out the application can be found below.
    • The link will not become live to fill out until 10 am on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

What else should I know before I start putting together my application?

  • Solos must be memorized for the live final audition and for the performance with the A2SO.
  • If you are selected as a winner, you will be provided with the opportunity to perform at our March Youth Concert. We ask that applicants check these dates in their calendars before submitting an application. Attendance at the rehearsal the night before is required to be able to perform at the corresponding concert.

Link Up rehearsal and concert date:

  • Monday, March 18, 2024, 7:30-10 pm rehearsal at Hill Auditorium, 7 pm call.
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 9:30 am call time, 10:15 concert start at Hill Auditorium, potential for two concerts, plan to stay until 1:30 pm.

If the winner lives more than 30 minutes away from Ann Arbor, we encourage them to get a hotel room between the rehearsal and performance dates.

What is needed if I make it to the final live round of auditions?

  • Young Artists who are selected as one of the finalists will be notified via email on September 18, 2023. More details will be provided to finalists once they are chosen.
  • Live auditions will be held on the weekend of October 14-15 (exact date and time TBD) in Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti (exact location TBD).
  • Winners will be announced at the end of live auditions.
  • All finalists must provide their own collaborative pianist.
  • If you are selected to perform a live audition, you will be asked to submit a bio and headshot by October 6, 2023 at 5 pm and sign a form should you be selected as the competition winner. Should you not submit the necessary bio and headshot before the time of the final audition, you will not be allowed to participate.

What does the winner receive?

  • The competition winner will receive a cash prize of $1000 and the opportunity to perform their solo with the A2SO at our March 2024 youth concert. Please note it is expected that the soloist performs the same work they auditioned with on the concert. New works will not be accepted.
  • The competition runner-up will receive $500.

Final Notes

  • The Symphony reserves the right to not choose a winner if no applicants are deemed qualified.
  • Please note that cuts to the solo may be made for the actual performance with the A2SO at the Youth Concert to fit within our timing needs.
  • All rules and parameters of the competition are subject to change at the Symphony’s discretion.