Schubert Club Scholarship Competition

Update regarding COVID-19 concerns: April 2020 Update

We remain committed to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the protection of our participants, judges, staff and volunteers.  In light of recent protection measures which have been mandated and will exist longer than first anticipated, we have made the decision to not move ahead in rescheduling a live, in-person competition at a venue for this season.  

However, we are offering the solo Piano and Guitar competitors the opportunity to compete this season through submission of audio/video auditions.  

Unfortunately, the other categories (Strings, Brass, Winds and Voice) require time to rehearse and record with an accompanist which does not comply with social distancing policies, so we feel obligated to cancel those categories entirely.

Please continue to stay safe and well during these very challenging and difficult days.

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).

2020 Competition Dates

Applications Open: Monday, October 14, 2019

Application Deadline: Friday, January 24, 2020

Piano, Strings, Brass & Woodwinds, Voice, and Guitar (at Macalester College)
Saturday, March 14, 2020 – Preliminaries
Sunday, March 15, 2020 – Finals
Schubert Club Musicians on the Rise (Competition Winners Recital) featuring winners of the Bruce P. Carlson Student Scholarship Competition will be held at the Ordway Concert Hall on Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm.

2020 Rules

2020 Finals Judges

Announcing our 2020 Finals Judges pictured from left to right: Michael Brown (Piano), Nicholas Canellakis (Strings), Alexander Fiterstein (Brass & Woodwinds), Jeffrey Van (Guitar), and Christine Brewer (Voice)

Pianist-composer Michael Brown has been described by the New York Times as “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers.” Winner of the 2018 Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center and a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Brown has recently performed as soloist with the National Philharmonic, and the Seattle, Grand Rapids, North Carolina, New Haven, and Albany Symphonies; and recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Caramoor. Brown is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He regularly performs recitals with his longtime duo partner, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and has appeared at festivals including Tanglewood, Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Gilmore, Ravinia, Saratoga, Bridgehampton, Bard, Sedona, Moab, and Tippet Rise. As a composer, Brown’s Concerto for Piano and Strings will be premiered in 2020 at the Gilmore Festival and by the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra in Poland. Brown was the Composer and Artist-in-Residence at the New Haven Symphony for the 2017-19 seasons and a 2018 Copland House Residency Award recipient.

Hailed by the New Yorker as a “superb young soloist,” Nicholas Canellakis has become one of the most sought-after and innovative cellists of his generation. In the New York Times his playing was praised as “impassioned… the audience seduced by Mr. Canellakis’s rich, alluring tone.”  
Canellakis’s recent highlights include his Carnegie Hall concerto debut with the American Symphony Orchestra; concerto appearances with the Albany and New Haven Symphonies, Erie Philharmonic, Pan-European Philharmonia in Greece; and a recital of American cello-piano works presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with which he performs regularly in Alice Tully Hall and on tour. His 2018-19 season included solo debuts with the Lansing, Bangor, and Delaware symphony orchestras; Europe and Asia tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and recitals throughout the United States with his long-time duo collaborator, pianist-composer Michael Brown. Canellakis is a regular guest artist at many of the world’s leading music festivals, including Santa Fe, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Bard, La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Hong Kong, Moab, Music in the Vineyards, and Saratoga Springs. He was recently named Artistic Director of Chamber Music Sedona.  Canellakis is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory, and is on faculty at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. Filmmaking and acting are special interests of his. He has produced, directed, and starred in several short films and music videos, many of which can be found on his website at

Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein is considered one of today’s most exceptional artists. Fiterstein has performed in recital, with distinguished orchestras, and with chamber music ensembles throughout the world. He won first prize at the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition and received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant Award. The Washington Post has described his playing as “dazzling in its spectrum of colors, agility, and range. Every sound he makes is finely measured without inhibiting expressiveness” and The New York Times described him as “a clarinetist with a warm tone and powerful technique.”
As soloist he has appeared with the Czech, Israel, Vienna, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, Belgrade Philharmonic, Danish National Radio Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, China National Symphony Orchestra, KBS Orchestra of South Korea, Jerusalem Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, Kansas City Symphony, and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. He has performed in recital on the Music at the Supreme Court Series, the Celebrity Series in Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, the Louvre in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Tel Aviv Museum, and NYC’s 92d Street Y. For a full bio see:

Guitarist and composer Jeffrey Van has premiered over 50 works for guitar, including Dominick Argento’s Letters from Composers, five concertos, and a broad variety of chamber music. He has performed in Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and as part of Duologue, with flutist Susan Morris De Jong, premiered and recorded commissioned works from more than a dozen composers, including Stephen Paulus, Roberto Sierra, Tania Leon, Michael Daugherty, Libby Larsen and William Bolcom. He is a founding member of The Hill House Chamber Players, with whom he performed for thirty seasons. His music is published by MorningStar Music Publishers, Boosey & Hawkes, Walton, Colla Voce, Hal Leonard, and earthsongs, and a CD of his Reflexiones Concertantes (Concerto for Two Guitars and Chamber Orchestra) has been released on the Centaur label.

Grammy Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer’s appearances in opera, concert, and recital are marked by her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Named one of the top 20 sopranos of all time (BBC Music), her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage and a highly sought-after recording artist, one who is “in her prime and sounding glorious” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times). Christine Brewer has appeared around the world with orchestras in Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Toronto, London, Dresden, Berlin, Leipzig, Paris, Sydney, Japan, Malaysia and many times with her home orchestra the St. Louis Symphony. She is frequently sought after to sing the great symphonic works of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, Mahler, Beethoven, Wagner, Janáček and Britten and has performed Strauss’ Four Last Songs over one hundred times. On the opera stage, Brewer is highly regarded for her striking portrayal of the title role in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, which she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Théatre du Chatelet, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She created the role of Sister Aloysius in the world premiere of Doug Cuomo’s opera Doubt with the Minnesota Opera in 2013 and reprised the role in 2016 with the Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis. Ms. Brewer continues her work with the Marissa, Illinois 6th graders in a program called Opera-tunities, which is now in its 14th year.  She also works with the voice students at Webster University. Brewer’s discography includes over 25 recordings.  Her most recent recording, Divine Redeemer on Naxos contains selections with concert organist Paul Jacobs. 

'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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March 14 & 15, 2020

Scholarship Competition for Piano, Strings, Voice, Guitar, Brass & Woodwinds

Macalester College
Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center
Music Building
130 S. Macalester Street
Saint Paul, MN 55105

Preliminaries: March 14, 2020
8:00 am- 5:30 pm
Finals: March 15, 2020
9:00 am- 4:30 pm

Thank you to our partners at Macalester College!

 Musicians on the Rise

2020 Competition Winners Recital
Saturday, March 28, 2020, 1:00 pm

Ordway Concert Hall
345 Washington St
St Paul, MN 55102

Reserve your free tickets online or call 651.292.3268

Register Online Now!

Application for Piano

Application for Voice

Application for Brass, Woodwinds, Strings, and Guitar

Finalists & Winners


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


Looking for confirmation email? Schubert Club reviews each application individually in order of receipt. You will not receive an automatic confirmation, but will receive an email from staff after your application has been reviewed.

Questions? Please contact Kate Cooper at 651.292.3266 or

More Info

Scholarship Competition Categories

Note: The age of contestants is determined as of 09/01/19.


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 II: Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Level III: 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 at or 651-292-3266.