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William Kapell International Piano Competition

The William Kapell competition and festival returns to the University of Maryland between July 7th and July 21st, promising a thrilling and fascinating look at the world's most esteemed young pianists. The competition, produced by the University of Maryland since 2003, is open to pianists between the ages of 18 and 33.

The event is named for William Kapell, a brilliant pianist born in 1922 who trained at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and at the Juilliard Graduate School. Kapell began touring internationally at the age of 20 and displayed artistry and determination as a young performer. His excellence in late nineteenth-century repertoire was paired with a love of the American composers of his time and he played a crucial role in bringing American piano compositions to international audiences. His sudden death in a 1953 plane crash shocked the world. Today we honor his commitment to his art by bringing together young proteges with determination that mirrors his.

The competition contains four rounds.

The Solo Works Round takes place from July 10th to July 12th. On the 10th and 11th, competitors are scheduled from 9am to 10pm. On the 12th, competitors are scheduled from 9am to noon. All 28 competitors are featured in this round and the jury hears 30 minutes of solo works from each.

The First Semi Final Round narrows the pool of competitors to nine. these rounds take place from 3pm to 6:30 pm between July 13th and July 15th. Each competitor will play 40 minutes from their solo repertoire, including the required solo piece assigned to them. Each competitor will also have 20 additional minutes for any portion of their two concertos.

The Second Semi Final Round includes the same nine competitors and takes place the 17th and 18th of July at 2pm. Competitors play their entire chamber sonata selection.  On the 18th at 7:45pm the three competitors advancing will be announced.

The Final Concerto Round Takes place on July 21st at 8pm. Each finalist will perform a concerto selected by the jury. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will accompany. Following deliberations, the winners will be announced onstage.

To listen to most of the required pieces for solo works, chamber music, and concertos, see our Naxos Playlist. This playlist can be accessed by anyone on campus, or off-campus with a UMD log-in. The link to the playlist contains a University of Maryland prefix so you can access the playlist with your UMD log-in information.

For more information on the UMD prefix, visit The Linking Guide.