Fredonia’s Sorel Piano Competition, Fellows Program Accepting Student Applications


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SUNY Fredonia

Talented young pianists are invited to apply to the sixth annual Claudette Sorel Piano Competition and Piano Fellows Program at the State University of New York at Fredonia’s School of Music.

“We have intentionally designed our competition to be a uniquely positive and welcoming experience, creating a space for participants to present their creative passion and vision in a nurturing environment,” said Assistant Professor Eliran Avni, who serves as competition director.

Open to pianists ages 15 to 18, the Sorel competition offers a first prize $2,500 cash award and copy of judges’ written notes, and additional $1,250 cash awards at the discretion of judges. Past awards have been given to recognize artistic excellence, best Chopin, programming and contemporary piece performance. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 15.

School of Music faculty serving as competition judges include Professor Fr. Sean Duggan, Lecturer Anne Kissel, Assistant Professor Nick Weiser and Dr. Avni.

The top 10 finalists will be notified by Oct. 1. The live final round will be held on Sunday, Nov. 7, in Rosch Recital Hall on campus. All finalists will receive a recording of their live performance and a copy of the judges’ written notes.

Organizers of the competition look forward to returning to a live, in-personal final round. Guidelines and restrictions pertaining to COVID-19, including masks, social distancing and vaccination status, will be followed. Updated information will be posted on the Sorel competition website and sent to applicants.

The Piano Fellows Program, held in conjunction with the piano competition, is designed for talented pianists who are serious about their craft and are looking for an intensive musical experience, but who may not yet be ready for the competition circuit. The program, to be offered in both in-person and online formats this year, is considered to be an excellent way to prepare for a college/conservatory audition.

In-person fellows will receive an individual lesson with a member of the School of Music faculty/judge panel, attend afternoon workshops and a master class, perform in a Fellows recital, have a behind-the-scenes experience at the Sorel Competition and be invited to be part of the ongoing online Fellows community.

There is no additional fee to participate as a Piano Fellow.

The competition is named for pianist and former SUNY Fredonia faculty member and SUNY Distinguished Professor Claudette Sorel, and is supported by a foundation she founded. The Sorel Organization intends to create opportunities for women in composition, conducting, piano, voice and film scoring and to keep musical excellence alive while expanding the boundaries for women in music.

Complete details, guidelines and application form are available online at