Irving Ludwig Young Artists' Competition




The Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra's Young Artists Concerts feature Young Artists’ Auditions winners performing with the LSO. The competition draws contestants from Pennsylvania and nearby states. Many LSO Young Artist soloists over the last 62 years have gone on to win other prestigious competitions, and/or have become professional musicians with illustrious performing careers.

Rules, Current March 2020

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 Monday, August 31, 2020, until our deadline, Monday, September 21 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 Thursday, September 24, 2020. 


Round 2 will be on the afternoon of Saturday, October 17, 2020  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

Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3, Movement 3

Sarasate Zigeunerweisen

Sibelius: Violin Concerto

Walton Viola Concerto 

Vaughan-Williams: Tuba Concerto

A note about the 2020 Competition:

This year, we’re changing the sequence/cycle of events. Whereas in the past, musicians would compete in the Spring for the opportunity to perform (the same piece) the following year - sometimes as long as sixteen months after their initial entry to the competition.


The change is now going to be that the competition (with the live component in October 2020, recording round before it) will be held in the same season as the performance. I think it’ll be better, but please do sign up for our website contact list (via the link at the bottom of our homepage), and you’ll be sure to receive the announcement and any reminders about details of the upcoming competition.