Concerto Competition - First Prize, a Week in the Moscow Symphony Orchestra

PRISMA provides young, talented musicians an opportunity to compete.

The first round is online, and the semi finals are with piano in the first week of PRISMA.

The finalists perform as soloists with the PRISMA Festival Orchestra in (a movement of) a solo concerto or a solo piece during the second week's symphony concerts.

The prize is a week in the Moscow Symphony Orchestra or an amount of $1500, and will be awarded to the winner of the competition as selected by our international jury. 


  Competition rules below.


Winner of the 2018 competition:

Taylor Fleshman, Harp (USA), Jacobs School of Music - Indiana University Bloomington


Winner of the 2017 competition:

Noemi Sallai, Clarinet (Hungary), The Juilliard School of Music, New York


Trevor Barroero - Winner of the 2016 competition, about his experience with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra:

"My performance with the Moscow Symphony exceeded every one of my expectations and I cannot wait to return to Russia someday soon to perform with the group again.  I owe a lot to the PRISMA festival for providing me with this special opportunity."

Read more about Trevor's experience with the MSO on his blog.


Shannon Fitzhenry - Winner of the 2015 competition, about her experience with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra:

"My week-long experience in Moscow was one of the best experiences yet in my musical career.  I had the honour of performing in the Moscow Symphony Orchestra for one of their concerts, as well as performing a solo piece with wonderful pianist Sungpil Kim at the Spaso House for the U.S. Embassy.  

This trip happened as a result of winning first prize in PRISMA's 2015 Concerto Competition.  I have never had such a wonderful prize for winning a competition as I had with PRISMA!  Not only was it a wonderful chance to play with an amazing symphony, but it was also a beautiful opportunity to travel and experience a different culture, especially one such as Russia.  I was treated with the utmost kindness by everyone I met there, both by the musicians in the symphony and by strangers in the city.  My time there will be a memory that I will cherish, and should the time ever arise to go back in the future I would do it in a heartbeat!"


Nicholas Bentz - Winner of the 2014 competition - watch the video of his experience in Moscow:

"Getting the opportunity to travel to Moscow, let alone playing with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, is truly one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced. This is truly a life-altering prize, and I've come away from my week in Moscow with so many new insights on not just music, but the world in general. The sound and approach of a Russian orchestra is so wildly different than anything I've experienced in the West, and being able to observe and learn from the players in the orchestra has really helped me to add new shades and colors to my own sound. Also, you are in Moscow! The ability to wander through and explore a city as old and storied as Moscow is fantastic. I've gained so much from this week in Moscow! The experience there is truly unrivalled."


Stefani Feldman - Winner of the 2013 competition, about her experience with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra:

"Being at PRISMA gave me an opportunity to rediscover music in a beautiful setting. Every day spent in Powell River allowed me to be exposed to excellent faculty, who gave me fresh insight on all aspects of music. Playing concerts for the community was so rewarding and special because all the students and staff knew that we were supported by such a wonderful and caring community. PRISMA's intimate setting allowed all of us to feel like we were a part of a family of musicians, which enhanced every aspect of the music making. I went into the program expecting just an orchestra festival seminar, but I came out revitalized and so eager to keep learning.     

Going to Russia was simply exhilarating.  Not only was this my first time playing in a professional orchestra, but it was also my first time in Europe.  Nothing can replace a first hand experience in another country, and I'm so thankful for this opportunity.  Playing with the MSO and seeing how much music was ingrained in Russian culture were just a few of the many things that transformed me into the musician I am now.  Russia is home to many of the great composers that we owe a good portion of our repertoire to, and being able to acknowledge that with my entire presence was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life.  After playing with the MSO, I became so much more aware of what kind of musician I want to be since I was able to observe a fantastic wind section so up close.  I wish all of the students at PRISMA could have experienced what I did."  


PRISMA 2019 Concerto Competition Rules

  1. Eligibility: This international competition is open to all students who are accepted by PRISMA for 2019, excluding First Prize winners at PRISMA in previous years. 

  2. Competition Entry: Specify that you are entering the competition in your PRISMA application.

  3. Repertoire Selection: Competitors select an entry (piece) of choice. This can be (one movement of) a concerto or one solo piece that requires orchestra accompaniment. The advised length is around 10 minutes but cannot exceed 15 minutes.

  4. Changes to Repertoire: Competitors cannot change their piece after sending the link of the video to PRISMA for the preliminary round.

  5. Jury: The jury consists of the PRISMA Music Director and international guest artists selected by the Music Director.

  6. Rounds: The competition has three rounds: Preliminary, semi-final and final. During the semi-final and final rounds, the piece must be played from memory.

  7. Preliminary Round: Competitors upload an unedited video of the piece to YouTube and send the link to PRISMA before April 16. The use of accompaniment is optional. Important: Choose the ‘unlisted’ or ‘public’ setting when uploading to YouTube. Do not choose the ‘private’ setting.

  8. Semi-Final Round: The semi-finalists are announced prior to the start of PRISMA. The semi-final round takes place during PRISMA and is open to the public. Piano accompaniment is available for this round.

  9. Final Round: Two competitors will be selected by the jury for the final round. Finalists will perform their piece with the PRISMA Festival Orchestra during an evening symphony concert.

  10. Copies of Scores: Semi-finalists are required to bring a piano score, a full orchestra score and all orchestra parts for their piece to PRISMA.

  11. Order of Play: The order of play will be determined by the Music Director.

  12. Results not Cumulative: The results of the three rounds are not cumulative.

  13. Prizes: The prize, a week in the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, or an amount of $1500, will be awarded to the winner of the evening concert as judged by the international jury.

  14. Decisions Final: All decisions of the jury are final.