Competition Rules



The 2021 competition is open to instrumental musicians


  • under the age of 23 years on December 1st 2020




  • who are either New Zealand citizens,  residents, or overseas students studying in Otago or Southland for the      2020   academic year 




  • currently reside in Otago or Southland region and have done so for at least one year prior to the preliminary round of the competition. Musicians who have moved away from Dunedin over the summer however, are still eligible to enter if they have resided for the complete 2020 school or university academic year.


Applications are now closed for the competition. An entry fee of $100 is payable when an application is lodged. Late entries will only be accepted if there is space.



Competitors may nominate

  • a complete concerto or a work for soloist and orchestra not necessarily containing the word ‘concerto’ in its title



  • a complete movement, or complete movements from a concerto or work for soloist and orchestra.


  • with the proviso that the total length should not normally exceed 20 minutes. 

The Committee reserves the right to decline any work if for any reason it is considered to be unsuitable. This may be due to the length of the composition or the nature of the orchestral accompaniment (if the orchestral accompaniment is particularly complex, or requires an unusual or large orchestra or exceptional amount of rehearsal) or if the cost is prohibitive to obtain the parts or to pay performance royalties. If a work is declined, the competitor will have the choice either to choose another work or withdraw the application and receive a refund. Competitors may not change their nominated concerto once their entry has been accepted.


A scanned PDF copy of the work in piano reduction must be emailed to the Competition Administrator at the time the entry is submitted.


Applicants should contact the Competition Administrator if they have any query about these rules or about the suitability of a work.



The preliminary sessions will be held on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th March 2021. The number of sessions will depend on the number of entries received.


Competitors will be required to play, with piano accompaniment, their work of choice. This performance may include cuts to the orchestral tutti sections at the discretion of the accompanist. The time limit of 20 minutes applies to the original version of the work in its uncut form.


If the work to be performed is in copyright (including an edition), one original (not photocopied or computer-printed) copy must be shown to the Administrator before the work is performed. In the case of purchased digital editions, a receipt documenting the purchase should be supplied.

At least four weeks before the preliminary round competitors will be notified of the day and time allotted to them. No alteration will be permitted to the order of performance except for unexpected or exceptional circumstances. However, in the event of late withdrawals, minor alterations to the time of performance may be altered within the same day. Competitors must report to the Reception area at least half an hour prior to their time of performance. Depending on the number of entries, a semifinal recall session may be arranged for the Sunday evening. At the conclusion of the preliminary round, and at the discretion of the adjudicators, 3 finalists will be selected to perform in the final with an orchestra in a public concert.  




Competitors may bring their own accompanist or choose to contact one of the accompanists listed below.  A half-hour rehearsal with your accompanist will be arranged at Marama Hall, University of Otago on Thursday 4th or Friday 5th March. Payment to the accompanist is the responsibility of the soloist. Please ensure you arrive at least 15 minutes before your allotted rehearsal time in order to begin punctually.




For promotional purposes all competitors are required to submit a photograph of at least 1 megabyte and up to 300 words of biographical information, and to consent to be interviewed. Photographic images as well as audio and video will be recorded throughout the competition for archival and publicity purposes. Rights to any competition performance whether broadcast, televised, or recorded belong to the competition and no fee is payable for any transmissions, recordings or broadcasts of them.


The Final will be held on Friday 7 May 2021 at 7.30 pm. Finalists should be available for rehearsals on the two preceding nights and will be informed of arrangements closer to the time. The order of performance in the final stage will be at the discretion of the Concerto Competition Committee and conductor. At the conclusion of the concert, the following prizes will be awarded will be made. 1st Prize $5000; 2nd Prize $3000 ; 3rd Prize $1500. Other awards may be made to selected other competitors and will be announced.



The selection and number of adjudicators for all stages of the competition shall be entirely at the discretion of the Dunedin Concerto Competition Committee. Competitors shall not communicate with the adjudicators. The decision of the adjudicators shall be final and subject to no appeal.  



The Dunedin Concerto Competition will not accept any responsibility for any accident, loss or injury, which may occur to any competitor or to his/her property whether arising out of negligence or otherwise at any time in relation to the competition. Nor shall anything contained or implied in these rules be deemed to create a relationship of employer and employee between the Dunedin Concerto Competition and the competitor, and it is a condition of entry that all competitors release the Dunedin Concerto Competition from any and all liability.

In the event of fewer than 10 entries being received, the Dunedin Concerto Competition Management reserves the right to cancel the competition.