Stan State presents the Ghiglieri Piano Competition for pianists age 18 and under. Special award; College piano performance scholarship; high school senior

Current Ghiglieri Piano Competitions are on hold due to COVID state performance and gathering restrictions. Check back here for future announcements and competition dates.

The Sylvia M. Ghiglieri Piano Competition recognizes and promotes the musical achievements and development of promising young pianists. Winners will be chosen based on performances held at Stanislaus State University in Turlock, CA. Events of the competition take place in Snider Recital Hall and the Music Building, located on the west side of the University campus. All winners perform in the Winners Recital immediately following the competition.

Awards include consideration for a college scholarship of up to $2,500 (renewable annually over four years of collegiate study for a potential total of $10,000) to high school seniors placing in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Prizes of the Senior Division, along with nearly $1,000 total scholarship awards for competition winners to attend the Stanislaus State Summer Music Camp (pending potential camp scheduling for Summer 2020).

Contratulations to our 2019 Award Winners!

Click here to view our 2019 award winners.

Awards - All Divisions

All Award Winners - All award winners are given the opportunity to perform in the end-of-competition Winners Recital in Snider Recital Hall. 

Awards - Senior Division

As the Ghiglieri Piano Competition and the Keyboard Studies program of California State University, Stanislaus recognizes the efforts of aspiring young pianists, the competition offers a new special scholarship awards category that supports senior high school pianists interested in pursuing further piano studies at the collegiate level.  As such, the competition—with consent of the jury—will award college scholarship consideration to any senior high school winner placing in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd prizes of the competition’s Senior Division and who also applies to study as a piano performance major at  Stanislaus State for the subsequent year. Any winning senior high school pianist who is considering majoring in piano performance at Stanislaus State must apply for University admission during the current period of October 1-November 30, and must simultaneously notify Dr. Sarah Chan at on or prior to November 30 of their intent or action to apply.  Their competition performance can then be considered their college entrance scholarship audition in lieu of a Spring-scheduled audition scheduled through the Music Department auditions process.  (Information about normal admissions-auditions process handled through the University and Music Department.)

About the college scholarship award: The college piano scholarship consideration entails up to $2,500 of award funds renewable annually for a total of up to $10,000 dispensed over four years of collegiate study at Stanislaus State.  Scholarship funds are received upon actual admission and enrollment at Stanislaus State.  Any senior high school winner who would like to qualify for this special award must notify Dr. Sarah Chan of intent to apply for and enroll at Stanislaus State as soon as that decision is known.

About the Piano Performance degree program at CSU Stanislaus

First Prize Winner - $300 Music Camp Scholarship (pending camp scheduling), plus up to $2,500 4-year renewable (up to $10,000) College Piano Scholarship Award Consideration if a senior in high school* (see details above)

Second Prize Winner - $250 Music Camp Scholarship (pending camp scheduling), plus up to $2,500 4-year renewable (up to $10,000)  College Piano Scholarship Award Consideration if a senior in high school* (see details above)

Third Prize Winner - $200 Music Camp Scholarship (pending camp scheduling), plus up to $2,500 4-year renewable (up to $10,000) College Piano Scholarship Award Consideration if a senior in high school* (see details above)

Awards - Junior Division

First Prize Winner -  $175 Summer Music Camp Scholarship (pending camp scheduling)

Second Prize Winner - $125 Summer Music Camp Scholarship (pending camp scheduling)

Third Prize Winner - $100 Summer Music Camp Scholarship (pending camp scheduling)


Competition Rules

Attention: Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum number of applications accepted and observed in each division. Registration is be exclusively online.

1. Participants shall enter the appropriate division based upon their age as of the competition date:

  • Junior Division:  ages 12-15
  • Senior Division:  ages 16-18
  • Previous First Prize Winners are not eligible to enter the same division in subsequent years, with the exception of pianists in their senior year of high school who wish to compete in the Senior Division for college piano scholarship consideration and who intend to apply for college piano major studies at CSU Stanislaus.

2. Competition Repertoire and Guidelines

  • Junior Division
    Two pieces from contrasting style periods (eras). Time limit:  10 minutes.
  • Senior Division:
    Two pieces from contrasting style periods (eras). Time limit:  14 minutes.

All pieces must be performed from memory. Competitors must provide original scores for the adjudicators at the time of their performance (no photocopies).  

Examples of repertoire from contrasting style periods (eras):  

  • Baroque Era:  A movement of a French suite, English suite, or Partita by Bach. An invention, sinfonia, prelude and/or fugue from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.  A sonata by Scarlatti.
  • Classical Era:  A movement from a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven.
  • Romantic Era:  An impromptu, nocturne, intermezzo, prelude, mazurka, etude, polonaise, scherzo, ballade, sonata movement, or other work by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Grieg.
  • Contemporary Era:  A movement or work by Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Kabalevsky, Poulenc, Schoenberg, Gershwin.

3. Awards Details

All winners receive scholarship awards to attend either the Junior Piano Camp (grades 6-8) or Senior Piano Camp (grades 9-12) of Summer Music at Stanislaus in the year they win.  Awards applied upon actual enrollment.

Additionally, all winners in the Senior Division who are seniors in high school will be automatically considered by the jury for a college scholarship award of up to $2,500/year (up to $10,000 over four years) to attend Stanislaus State as a piano performance major. The college scholarship is awarded at time of actual University enrollment.  Qualifying seniors who wish to accept this award must apply to the University within the October-November application period that runs concurrently with the competition event. They must also notify Dr. Sarah Chan at of their intent to apply and enroll in the University as a piano performance major for the following year, at which point their competition performance will be considered their entrance-scholarship audition in lieu of one to be taken through the Music Department auditions in the Spring.

Adjudicators may elect not to award a prize in any given category should there be no qualified competitor to receive it. All decisions made by the adjudicators shall be final.  

4. Competition Location 

The competition is held at California State University, Stanislaus, One University Circle, Turlock, CA 95382, USA. Competition events, along with the Winner’s Recital immediately following, will be held in the Bernell and Flora Snider Recital Hall (M-6A), located on the northwestern side of the Stanislaus State University campus. Parking Lot 3 will provide the easiest access to this area.

Please consult campus map.

5. Additional Information

Additional questions may be directed to Dr. Sarah Chan, Director of the Sylvia M. Ghiglieri Piano Competition, at (209) 667-3429 or



Registration is exclusively online.

Required forms
A Release of Liability and Photography Release is required for each participant and must be signed before participation. The Release of Liability and Photography Release can be downloaded and brought to the competition.

Updated: January 11, 2023