International Early Piano Competition

in collaboration with Valley of the Moon Music Festival

Congratulations to Christian De Luca

Winner's prize: $1,000 and paid performance opportunity

Berkeley, CA 
June 7, 2018

The 2018 Berkeley Festival International Early Piano Competition is a unique competition devoted to the performance of Classical and Romantic music on historically appropriate instruments, co-produced by the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition, San Francisco Early Music Society and Valley of the Moon Music Festival, with video and other assistance from Voices of Music. The final round of the competition will be held on June 7 as a public event at the Berkeley Festival, and the winner will receive a cash prize and a chamber music performance with Valley of the Moon Music Festival musicians. Finalists from outside the Bay Area can be accommodated by local hosts for the nights of June 4, 5, and 6. 

The online application, including application fee, video, and curriculum vitae, should be completed by April 1, 2018.  We encourage you to send in your submission early; if there is a minor problem with your application, this may give you time to correct it.

Application fee: The application fee is $100, to be submitted by Paypal at the same time as the application.

Age limit: each contestant must be at least 18 years of age by June 1, 2018. There is no upper age limit.



Each contestant shall provide a curriculum vitae listing musical accomplishments.

Each contestant shall submit a YouTube or Vimeo link including two contrasting selections or complete works for solo fortepiano, composed between 1775 and 1856 and performed on historically appropriate instruments. (Historically appropriate instruments are those in use during the approximate period the selections were composed, or reproductions thereof.) Since not everybody has easy access to a 19th-century instrument or replica, contestants are permitted to play one selection on a modern piano. Another option is to play two earlier pieces that fit within the range of a small fortepiano. You are permitted to submit a piece you plan to play in the final round.  

Specifications for the video: Each selection or movement must be filmed using one camera angle, and each selection or movement must be a complete take. You may reset the camera between the two selections. You may use a previously recorded video as long as it meets these specifications. The video should be between 15 and 45 minutes in length. Unless you are submitting a previously recorded video, please announce your name and the selections to be performed at the beginning of the video.

Almost any recent-model smartphone will easily and automatically capture the high-quality video suitable for this competition: a list of the top smartphones can be found here. You may also, for a nominal fee, typically $50-$75, rent a professional camera from a rental house such as LensRentals, but your performance will be judged solely on musical merits and not in any way on the quality of the video.

If you are using a smartphone, we recommend you have a friend assist you with the video, as the primary camera faces away from the screen, and we also recommend an inexpensive clip or stand for the phone to hold it in place.


You will be informed whether or not you have advanced to the final round by April 20, 2018. Each finalist shall prepare a short recital program including one selection from list A and one selection from list B (download repertoire lists):

From list A, choose the first movement of a sonata by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven, to be performed on a small (5-octave) fortepiano.

From list B, choose a work by Schumann or Chopin, to be performed on a large (6 ½ octave) fortepiano.

The finalists will be asked to choose their selections by May 1, 2018.

The Final Round will be a public concert that will take place between 11 am and 2 pm on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Hertz Hall in Berkeley, California. Both fortepianos will be made available to each contestant for at least three hours of practice on June 5 and for at least 2 hours on June 6. The results will be announced at the end of the concert after a brief pause for the judges to deliberate. Please note that the Final Round will be live streamed. Your completed application form will be considered to imply consent for your performance to be shared with the public on June 7.

You may play from memory, or if you choose to use music, for copyright reasons you will be required to use a printout from IMSLP that is in the public domain.


For the Classical sonata movement: Rod Regier, copy of Walter c. 1790.

For the Romantic work: Rod Regier, copy of Conrad Graf, c. 1830.



George Barth, Professor of Piano, Fortepiano and Theory at Stanford University

Corey Jamason, Distinguished Chair of Historical Performance, San Francisco Conservatory

Nicholas Mathew, pianist, fortepianist and Professor of Music History at the University of California Berkeley

Eric Zivian, pianist, fortepianist and Music Director of Valley of the Moon Music Festival


$1400 total: $1000 first prize to be delivered to the winner on the day of the competition, plus a $400 honorarium for a performance of a substantial work of chamber music with musicians from Valley of the Moon Music Festival in 2019, to be paid on the day of that performance.






Link to your performance video (YouTube or Vimeo): 

Your curriculum vitae listing musical accomplishments. If you prefer, you can email a PDF document to





CLASSICAL PIECE (small piano) – choose the first movement of any one of the following:

Haydn first movements:
Hob. XVI:34 in E minor
Hob. XVI:41 in B flat major
Hob. XVI:49  in E flat major
Hob. XVI:50  in C major
Hob. XVI:52  in E flat major

Mozart first movements:
K. 283 in G major
K. 284 in D major
K. 309 in C major
K 310 in A minor
K 311 in D major
K. 330 in C major
K. 332 in F major
K. 333 in B flat major
K 457 in C minor
K 533 in F major
K 576 in D major

Beethoven first movements:

Op. 2 no. 1 in F minor
Op. 2 no. 2 in A major
Op. 2 no. 3 in C major
Op. 7 in E flat Major
Op. 10 no. 1 in C minor
Op. 10 no. 2 in F major
Op. 10 no. 3 in D major
Op. 13 in C minor
Op. 14 no 1 in E major
Op. 14 no. 2 in G major
Op. 22 in B flat major
Op. 28 in D major
Op. 31 no. 1 in G major
Op. 31 no. 2 in D minor
Op. 31 no. 3 in E flat major


ROMANTIC PIECE (large piano):  choose one of the following:

Fantasiestucke, op. 12 – first five pieces only
Kreisleriana, op. 16 – first three pieces only
Fantasy, op. 17 first movement only
Novelette, op.  21, no. 8

Ballade no. 1 in G minor, op. 23
Ballade no. 2 in F major, op. 38
Ballade no. 3 in Ab major, op. 47
Ballade no. 4 in F minor, op. 52

Scherzo no. 1 in B minor, op. 20
Scherzo no. 2 in B flat minor, op. 31
Scherzo no. 3 in C sharp minor, op. 39
Scherzo no. 4 in E major, op. 54

Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major, op. 61
Fantaisie in F minor, Op. 49
Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60


Very good
Samsung Galaxy Note 8—has the best screen and storage
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Sony Xperia X
Sony Xperia X

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Sony Xperia Z5
Moto Z Force Droid
HTC 10
Google Pixel 2 or Pixel (no storage)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus
iPhone X, 8, 8 plus, 7 or 7 Plus (can be noisy indoors, no storage)

Galaxy Note 5
Moto Z Droid
Motorola Droid Turbo
Huawei P10
Samsung Note 4 (decent budget choice, used)
Moto X Style

Apple iPhone 6S Plus
LG V20
Huawei Mate 9


Tuition is $700 for the 2016 summer program. Some financial assistance in the form of work-study opportunities (librarian and festival driving) is available. If you are requesting financial aid, include a statement of need in your application.


The application includes your biography (1-2 paragraphs), your statement of interest in period instruments and historic performance, and a recording of your playing. We would like a link to your music online, or email us an mp3 file of a roughly 10-minute recording of you playing 2 pieces of Classical and/or Romantic chamber music on period or modern instruments. Two contrasting selections are encouraged. Selections should be chosen so that we can clearly hear the qualities of your own playing as well as how you collaborate with your colleagues.

All materials must be received by February 28, 2016. Apprentices will be notified of their acceptance, as well as their assigned repertoire, by March 15th, 2016. Please submit any questions to

Submit your application below. Include your name and instrument in any attachments. There is an application fee of $25, payable online via PayPal. We cannot consider you for admission without receiving the application fee.


Full Name:




How did you hear about the Program?

Links to your 2 performance samples (YouTube, Dropbox, Google folder, etc.) If this is not available, please send a separate email with your recordings as attachments to with the subject "Name, instrument":