Schubert Club Scholarship Competition

Elevating young musicians with inspiration, connections, and accomplishment

The Schubert Club Student Scholarship Competition, held each spring, awards a total of over $50,000 annually to young musicians to be used for further musical education.

The competition began in 1922, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Schubert Club. It started modestly with three winners representing the categories of voice, violin, and piano.  The competition has since grown to fourteen different categories with two cash prizes awarded for each category – $2000 and $1500 – to be used for further musical education. The winners of each category are also invited to perform in the annual Winners Recital. 

The Competition is named in memory of Bruce P. Carlson, Executive Director of Schubert Club from 1968 to 2006.

Applicants must be a resident or enrolled in a learning institution within the 5-state region (MN, WI, SD, ND or IA). 

2018 Competition Dates

Applications Open: Monday, October 30, 2017

Application deadline: Friday, January 19, 2018

Piano and Strings (at Augsburg University)
Saturday, February 24, 2018 – Preliminaries
Sunday, February 25, 2018 – Finals
Brass & Woodwinds, Voice, and Guitar (at Augsburg University)
Saturday, March 10, 2018 – Preliminaries
Sunday, March 11, 2018 – Finals
Schubert Club Musicians on the Rise (Competition Winners Recital) featuring winners of the Bruce P. Carlson Student Scholarship Competition
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 2 pm, Ordway Concert Hall

2018 Finals Judges

Michael Christie, Brass & Woodwinds Finals Judge

Photo Credit: James Daniel

Michael Christie is the first ever Music Director of the Minnesota Opera with the 2012-2013 season. Christie’s nearly 20 year conducting career has included serving as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony and Brooklyn Philharmonic, and as Chief Conductor of the Queensland Orchestra in Australia. He has had guest appearances leading top orchestras around the world, and served as Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival from 2000-2013. Christie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in trumpet from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.



James Flegel, Guitar Finals Judge

Classical guitarist James Flegel is known for his exquisite artistry and depth of expression. He has performed in recitals and as a concerto soloist throughout the United States, often accompanies choirs, and performs chamber music in duos with flute and with voice. Flegel received his Doctorate in Guitar Performance and Master’s degrees in Guitar and Composition from the University of Minnesota, and his Bachelor’s degrees in both Music and Psychology from St. Olaf College. He has taught, performed, and adjudicated at festivals and colleges across North America, and has served on the faculties of Carleton College, Macalester College, the University of Minnesota School of Music, and currently, the University of Minnesota-Morris.


Nathan Gunn, Voice Finals Judge

Photo Credit: Joshua Spencer

Nathan Gunn is one of the most exciting and in-demand baritones of the day. He has appeared in internationally renowned opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Theater an der Wien, Teatro Real in Madrid,  and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. His many roles include the title roles in Billy Budd, Eugene Onegin, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Hamlet; Gunn was the recipient of the first annual Beverly Sills Artist Award, and was awarded the Pittsburgh Opera Renaissance Award. Gunn is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he is currently a professor of voice and the General Director of the Lyric Theater @ Illinois.


John Largess, Strings Finals Judge

John Largess is the violist of the Miró Quartet and serves as Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of String Chamber Music at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music. Largess has played with the Colorado String Quartet, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and with The Miró Quartet, which has been awarded first prize at several national and international competitions, including the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition. Largess received his Bachelor’s degree in Archeology from Yale University, participated in excavations in Greece, Israel, and Jordan, studied at the Hebrew University in Isreal, and is trained in Greek and Latin Literature.


Joyce Yang, Piano Finals Judge

Photo Credit: KT Kim

Joyce Yang showcases her colorful musical personality in piano solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians. She has performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the BBC Philharmonic (among many others). In recital, Yang has taken the stage at New York’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Chicago’s Symphony Hall and Zurich’s Tonhalle. Yang is a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition silver medalist and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient.


2018 Rules

'It has been an indispensable source for musical growth, and a proving ground where I could test my skill and artistry. I feel like I've grown up as a musician through the Schubert Club competition, and it is an opportunity for which I am immensely grateful.' -Liam Ainslie Mayo, 2017 Piano Winner

Photos from past Competitions

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Finalists & Winners 



For up-to-date news on results, photos, and more follow us on Twitter @schubertclub #sccompetition


For questions, please call Kate Cooper at 651.292.3266 or

More Info

Scholarship Competition Categories

Note: The age of contestants is determined as of 09/01/16.


Level I: Grades 7, 8, 9
Level II: Grades 10, 11, 12
Level III: College Freshman through age 23
Level IV: Age 24 through 28


Level I: Grades 7, 8, 9
Level II: Grades 10, 11, 12
Level III: College Freshman through age 23
Level IV: Age 24 through 28

Combined Brass and Woodwinds

Level I: Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Level II: College Freshman through age 28


Grade 9 through age 28


Level I:  Age 18 through 21

Level II:  Age 22 through 25
Level III:  Age 26 through 30


Looking for an accompanist? Check our online directory.

Music Educators

If you would like to publicize the Competition information within your music school or studio with posters or postcards, please contact Kate Cooper, Competition Manager, 651-292-3266,