The intent of the Golden Key Piano Composition Competition is to encourage creativity and self-expression in new and upcoming composers and to provide an opportunity for winning compositions to reach an international audience at the World Composers’ Recital held as part of the Golden Key Music Festival of Vienna.
The Competition has National and International Divisions. The National Division is only open to composers who are currently residents of the United States. The International Division is open to composers from anywhere in the world. Residents of the US can submit applications for National, International, or both.
See our How To Apply page for application details.
The Competition is open to composers in five age categories:
- Elementary (age 5 – 10)
- Junior (age 11 – 14)
- Senior (age 15 – 18)
- Young Artist (age 19 – 26)
- Professional (27 and older)
A composition submitted for the Competition may be in any style and should be originally written for a piano or a piano in ensemble with other instrument(s) or voice(s) as long as piano would be the leading, not just an accompanying, instrument. Compositions for prepared piano are not permitted.
Deadline for submission: December 1, 2019.
Winners and Recitals
Winners will be announced on this web site no later than January 7, 2020.
Winners in each category will receive Diplomas in either First Degree, Second Degree, Third Degree, Fourth Degree, or Honorable Mention.
Note: for composers living in the USA only. In case of submission to two categories, only one winning place could be received, ether National or International. The judges of the Golden Key Piano Composition Competition will consider, based upon the merits of the composition, what category the submitted material will be applied to.
Selected winning compositions will be included in the program of the World Composers’ Recitals at Ehrbar Hall (Vienna), part of the Golden Key Music Festival of Vienna . Note: only one piano would be available on the Ehrbar Hall stage for the Recital. The winners of the Piano Composition Competition and their families are invited to attend the Vienna Festival. For more information about registering for the Vienna Festival, see our Vienna: How To Apply page and our Vienna: Tour page for the tour itinerary.
The top winner in each of the five age categories in the two Divisions (National and International) is eligible to receive a $500.00 scholarship towards his or her participation in the Golden Key Music Festival of Vienna (registration for the seven-days tour required). In the case of a tie, the scholarship amount will be divided between winners equally.
We will be glad to promote works of our winners on the Composition Competition face-book. Please, email video recorded performances to natasha.goldenkeyfest@
Each winner’s teacher will be awarded a Certificate of Excellence if teacher’s name is mentioned in the Application Form.
Special offer: Lessons in Composition.
Have any of your compositions evaluated any time. Our judges will provide you with genuinely insightful critique about your composition as well as suggestions on how to improve it. You will receive a detailed report which would include analyses of form, rhythm, character development, effectiveness of the work as a whole, and comments on its overall aesthetic appeal.
Whether you preparing your composition for a competition or for a stage performance – a fresh look, a second opinion by our judges could be just what you may need in order to make the necessary correction, the final touch adjustments for the best results.
Tuition: for a piece written for piano solo or for chamber group up to 5 instruments (maximum 10 minutes in performing time) – $200.00
For a piece that exceeds these parameters – $300.00
Note: Compositions previously submitted or intended to be submitted for upcoming Golden Key Piano Composition Competition are not eligible for Lessons in Composition.