Irving Ludwig Young Artists' Competition


Effective July 2020, we're moving our next instance of the competition to next season. Beginning late August, 2021, the portal (Submittable or another platform) will be open for approximately one month, for submission of a recorded performance of your work, and entry to the competition.  Shortly after the first round closes, results of the first round will be announced to competitors. In October, 2021, a small number of performers will compete at the final round, normally on a Saturday afternoon at Settlement Music School, 4910 Wynnefield Ave., Philadelphia.
One, two or three winners would then be invited to perform with the orchestra, in concert, in one of our Sunday afternoon subscription concerts, during that season (2021-22).
Please check back here in Spring 2021 for updates. We're sorry to postpone, and wish you health, safety, and enjoyable music-making.




Provisional 2021-2022 Season Competition Rules

Instrumentalists must be between 7-18 years of age (or singers up to age 23) and must be prepared to perform one movement of a solo (one player) concerto or an equivalent piece. The selection should be between 5-12 minutes in length and performed from memory.


Round 1 is online. Check back from [Late August] 2021, until our deadline, [approx. 4 weeks later] at 8 pm. If you'd like a reminder, please sign up for our mailing list.

For this round, we require:

- Contact information for the student, a designated family member, and teacher.

- Audio or video of the piece, with piano accompaniment

- $40 entry fee

 Round 1 results will be emailed to competitors on or by [a few days after close of entries]. 


Round 2 will be on the afternoon of [a Saturday afternoon in October]  and will comprise approximately 4-8 finalists. If selected, finalists must confirm attendance within one week of receiving their Round  1  result. The final round is normally at Settlement Music School, 4910 Wynnefield Ave., Philadelphia.  We anticipate having one hour for sound-checks shortly after midday and begin judging at 1:30 pm.


Two or three winners will perform with the LSO in the 2020-21 season, with the requirement that they be able to rehearse and perform with the orchestra for the concert in which they perform, in coordination with the conductor. The orchestra will also require performer biographies and an appropriate high-resolution photo.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will my piece be acceptable?

Probably. The LSO is an excellent orchestra and plays repertoire from a wide variety of composers and level of difficulty (for the orchestra). We have performed concertos through this competition that are rental. If you’re still concerned, click on this link and ask your question: we’ll respond, and add your piece to a list of approved works below.



Approved Works (a far shorter list than needed - a work in progress)

Beethoven: Violin Concerto

Brahms: Violin Concerto

Mozart: Movements from all instrumental concertos

Hindemith: Der Schwanendreher

Piston: Viola Concerto

Ravel: Tzigane

Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3, Movement 3

Sarasate Zigeunerweisen

Sibelius: Violin Concerto

Walton Viola Concerto 

Vaughan-Williams: Tuba Concerto