Health & Safety Update:

Due to travel restrictions on artists and conductors, and the distancing necessary to ensure our musicians’ safety, there will be changes to originally announced 2020–21 Season programming. Concerts affected by cancellations include the 2020 Ima Hogg Competition. Learn more


 

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The Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition is one of the foremost multi-instrument competitions in the world. Named to honor the memory of Miss Ima Hogg, a co-founder of the Houston Symphony, this prestigious competition is designed to identify outstanding young instrumentalists and support their pursuit of careers in music. Of the ten contestants that will be selected to perform in the Semi-Finals competition, four finalists will be chosen to advance to perform with the Houston Symphony. The winner of the finals receives the Grace Woodson Memorial First Prize and a $25,000 award. This national competition is open to young musicians, ages 16–26 who play standard orchestral instruments and piano.

Darlene Clark, 2020 Competition Chair
John N. Neighbors, Honorary Chair

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Age and career path:

Contestants must be between the ages of 16 and 26 as of May 28, 2020. Contestants must be current or recent (within two (2) years of graduating) undergraduate or graduate music students intending to pursue a musical career. Those currently holding orchestra positions are ineligible to participate. Former first or second prize winners of the Ima Hogg Competition are also ineligible to participate. Please feel free to email education.community@houstonsymphony.org if you have a question about your eligibility.

Citizenship:

The Ima Hogg Competition is open to citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States, or to foreign students currently enrolled in a U.S. college, university or conservatory. Non-U.S. residents must provide the necessary travel documentation if selected as a semi-finalist.

Instrument Eligibility:

The Ima Hogg Competition is open to the following orchestral instruments: piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, harp and marimba.

Availability:

In addition to the competition week, contestants must be available to be present in Houston during all dates below, should they need to fulfill duties of the first or second place winners. Failure to appear for these appearances will affect the total prize, including but not limited to forfeiting the cash prize.

  1. May 25-30, 2020 – Competition Week
  2. June 23-June 28, 2020 – Second Prize performance/rehearsals
  3. July 6-10, 2020 – First Prize performance/rehearsals

Hazel French Robertson Education & Community Engagement Residency:

The contestant must be amenable, if selected as the first prize winner, to return during a mutually agreed upon 3-5 days within the 9 months following the 2020 Ima Hogg Competition to participate in an Education and Community Engagement Residency. After a planning session to agree on the type of work, which could include performances in schools (elementary, middle or high school), healthcare or community settings, content will be co-designed between the winner and the Houston Symphony’s Education & Community Engagement department to align with the goals and strategies for each program. Flexibility may be required to adapt to the performance spaces and equipment available. Professional development training and observations will take place during the residency to develop the winner’s skill-sets and experience in this work. Expenses for transportation (domestic flights only) and housing accommodations for this residency will be covered by the Houston Symphony.

Donor Recital:

The contestant must be amenable, if selected as the first prize winner, to perform a 20-30 minute solo recital for Ima Hogg Competition supporters during the education & community engagement residency week.

Competition Fees:

Applicants must submit the $100.00 application fee to participate in the Preliminary round. If accepted as a Semi-finalist, the Houston Symphony will provide both airfare and housing accommodations. Travel arrangements (round-trip domestic flights) and host family accommodations will be secured between Monday, May 25 and Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Repertoire:

The list of repertoire requirements for all rounds of this Competition (preliminary, semi-final and final) is included within the tab below. There are no exceptions to this list.

Please contact the education & community engagement department with competition questions: 713-238-1432 or
education.community@houstonsymphony.org

Application Submission:

All application materials should be submitted by 11:59pm CST on Friday, January 17, 2020.
Application requirements include:

  1. Preliminary round recordings
  2. Questionnaire
  3. Biography (200 word-count)
  4. Headshot
  5. Acknowledgement of terms/eligibility
  6. $100 Application fee

Preliminary Round Recording Submission:

Contestants must submit Preliminary Round audio recordings as indicated for each instrument under the preliminary round submission tab below.  Repertoire title, movement (if separate) and composer should be clearly labeled on the title of the recording.  Please eliminate your name from the recording title. A field of approximately ten semi-finalists will be chosen from the preliminary round.
Recordings submitted should include:

  • The required work for contestant’s instrument; accompaniment is required if scored.
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. If there are not movements within the concerto you select (i.e. Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme), please submit only this piece, or a portion of this piece along with a contrasting movement from a different concerto. Accompaniment preferred.

Announcement of Semi-Finalists:

Contestants will be notified of their status by March 15, 2020.

Semi-Finals (Thursday, May 28, 2020):

Semi-Finalists must be prepared to perform two concerti, selected from the list of approved repertoire.  Concerti must be performed from memory. The judging panel will ask for portions of the two concerti they wish to hear during the semi-finals round.  Each semi-finalist is allotted up to 28 minutes.

Finals (Saturday, May 30, 2020):

The Finals round will be performed with the Houston Symphony.  A field of no more than four finalists will be selected from the Semi-finals.  Finalists will perform a complete concerto from the repertoire list – one of the two concerti performed during the semi-finals. Concerto must be performed from memory.  Following the announcement of the finalists on Thursday afternoon, these 4 contestants will be provided with a detailed schedule for Thursday evening through the Finals Concert on Saturday evening.  Contestants must adhere strictly to this schedule and must be on time to all obligations. Results will be announced at the conclusion of the Finals Round.

Jurors:

A distinguished panel of jurors, representing leaders in musical fields, will adjudicate the Semi-Final and Final rounds of the Competition. Houston Symphony artistic personnel will adjudicate the Preliminary round.

For competition questions, please contact:
education.community@houstonsymphony.org

Each semi-finalist will be allotted up to 28 minutes to perform portions of two concerti during the Semi-Finals. If selected for the Finals, one of the two concerti will be performed with the Houston Symphony. All performances must be from memory.

VIOLIN

Barber, Violin Concerto
Bruch, Scottish Fantasy
Bruch, Violin Concerto No. 1
Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto in E minor
Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K.216
Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K.218
Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K.219
Prokofiev, Violin Concerto No. 1
Saint-Saëns, Violin Concerto No. 3
Sibelius, Violin Concert
Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto
Wieniawski, Violin Concerto No. 2

VIOLA

Bartok, Viola Concerto
Hoffmeister, Viola Concerto
Stamitz, Viola Concerto No. 1
Walton, Viola Concerto

CELLO

Barber, Cello Concerto
Elgar, Cello Concerto
Haydn, Cello Concerto in C major
Haydn, Cello Concerto in D major
Lalo, Cello Concerto
Saint-Saens, Cello Concerto No. 1
Schumann, Cello Concerto
Shostakovich, Cello Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky, Variations on a rococo theme
Walton, Cello Concerto

DOUBLE BASS

Bottesini, Contrabass Concerto No. 1
Bottesini, Contrabass Concerto No. 2
Dittersdorf, Double Bass Concerto No. 2, Kr. 172
Dragonetti, Contrabass Concerto
Hoffmeister, Double Bass Concerto No. 1 in D major
Koussevitzky, Contrabass Concerto
Nino Rota, Divertimento Concertante for double bass and orchestra
Vanhal, Contrabass Concerto

FLUTE

C.P.E. Bach, Flute Concerto in D minor
Ibert, Flute Concerto
Liebermann, Flute Concerto
Mozart, Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major, K.313
Mozart, Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, K.314
Nielsen, Flute Concerto
Reinecke, Flute Concerto

OBOE

Haydn, Oboe Concerto
Mozart, Oboe Concerto
R. Strauss, Oboe Concerto
Vaughan Williams, Oboe Concerto

CLARINET

Copland, Clarinet Concerto
Mozart, Clarinet Concerto
Weber, Clarinet Concerto No. 2
Spohr, Clarinet Concerto in C minor

BASSOON

Francaix, Bassoon Concerto
Jolivet, Bassoon Concerto
Mozart, Bassoon Concerto
Weber, Bassoon Concerto

HORN

Gliere, Horn Concerto
Haydn, Horn Concerto No. 1 in D major
Mozart, Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat major, K.417
Mozart, Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat major, K.495
R. Strauss, Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, op.11
Rosetti, Horn Concerto in D minor

TRUMPET

Arutunian, Trumpet Concerto
Haydn, Trumpet Concerto
Hummel, Trumpet Concerto
Telemann, Trumpet Concerto in D major
Tomasi, Trumpet Concerto

TROMBONE

Creston, Fantasy
David, Trombone Concertino
Jacob, Trombone Concerto
Tomasi, Trombone Concerto

TUBA

Vaughan Williams, Bass Tuba Concerto
Williams, Tuba Concerto

MARIMBA

Creston, Concertino for Marimba
Hohvaness, Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints
Koppel, Concerto No. 1 for Marimba & Orchestra
Kurka, Marimba Concerto
Rosauro, Conerto No. 1 for Marimba & Orchestra
Sèjourné, Concerto for Marimba (all 3 movements)
Torke, Marimba Concerto No. 1 “Mojave”
Zivkovic: Concerto No.2 for Marimba

HARP

Ginastera, Harp Concerto
Gliere, Harp Concerto
Reinecke, Harp Concerto

PIANO

Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, op.19
Chopin, Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, op.21
Grieg, Piano Concerto in A minor, op.16
Liszt, Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major
Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, K.271
Mozart, Piano Concerto No.13 in C major, K.415
Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K.466
Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K.467
Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K.488
Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major, K.537
Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major, K.595
Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, op.26
Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, op.18
Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Ravel, Piano Concerto in G major
Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, op.22
Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, op.23

Preliminary Round Recordings Due:  Friday, January 17, 2020 at 11:59pm CST

All application materials should be submitted through Acceptd. Contestants must submit Preliminary Round audio recordings consisting of the required work for each instrument (below), in addition to two contrasting movements from the list of Approved Concerti.  A field of approximately ten semi-finalists will be chosen from the preliminary round.

Preliminary recordings submitted should:

  • Be clearly labeled with the repertoire title, movement (if separate) and composer as the file name of the recording.
  • Do NOT include contestant’s name in the file name title.
  • Include the required work for contestant’s instrument (listed below). Accompaniment is required.
  • Include two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. If there are not movements within the concerto you select (i.e. Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme), please submit only this piece, or a portion of this piece along with a contrasting movement from a different concerto. Accompaniment (piano or orchestra) is preferred.

Violin

  • J.S. Bach: Sonata 1, 2 or 3
    Movements 1 and 2
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Viola

  • Hindemith: Viola Sonata, Op. 25, No. 1
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Cello

  • J.S. Bach: Any Cello Suite (complete)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Double Bass

  • J.S. Bach: Any Cello Suite
    Any two movements (on bass)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Flute

  • Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 1 or 2 (complete – accompaniment required)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Oboe

  • J.S. Bach: Sonata in G minor, BWV 1030d (complete – accompaniment required)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Clarinet

  • Brahms: Clarinet Sonata No. 1 or 2 (complete – accompaniment required)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Bassoon

  • Saint-Saëns: Bassoon Sonata (complete – accompaniment required)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Horn

  • Schumann: Adagio and Allegro (complete – accompaniment required)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Trumpet

  • Any etude by Paudert, Charlier or Duhem
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Trombone

  • Lars-Erik Larsson: Trombone Concertino (complete – accompaniment required)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Tuba

  • Persichetti: Serenade No. 12 for Solo Tuba (complete)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Harp

  • Carlos Salzedo: Variations on a Theme in Ancient Style (complete)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Marimba

  • J.S. Bach – any two movements
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. (Accompaniment preferred)

Piano

  • Beethoven: Any Piano Sonata (complete)
  • Two contrasting concerto movements. These movements can be from the same piece or two different concerti. At least one movement should be selected from the list of approved concerti. 

List of Approved Concerti can be found in the dropdown section above.

For competition questions, please contact:
education.community@houstonsymphony.org

-FIRST PRIZE-
THE GRACE WOODSON MEMORIAL AWARD

Presented by John Neighbors
$25,000
Solo performance with the Houston Symphony at Jones Hall in July, 2020

-SECOND PRIZE-
THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY LEAGUE AWARD

Given in recognition of Jerry Priest, founding Chair of the Competition and in honor of the Houston Symphony League
$10,000
Solo performance with the Houston Symphony at Miller Outdoor Theatre on June, 2020

-THIRD PRIZE-
THE SELMA NEUMANN MEMORIAL AWARD

Presented by the Houston Symphony League Bay Area in memory of Selma Neumann, Founding President of the Houston Symphony League Bay Area
$5,000

-FOURTH PRIZE-
THE JEAN WHITBREAD KUCERA AWARD

Given by Lilly and Thurmon Andress in loving memory of Lilly’s mother, Jean Whitbread Kucera
$2,500

-ARTISTIC ENCOURAGEMENT-
THE NANCY AND ROBERT PEISER AWARD FOR ARTISTIC ENCOURAGEMENT

Given by a Past President of the Houston Symphony Board and his wife to provide encouragement to one of the finalists – and selected by the musicians of the Houston Symphony
$1,000

-AUDIENCE CHOICE-
THE HERMAN SHOSS AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD

Given by Diane and Harry Gendel in loving memory of her father, Herman Shoss, a former violinist in the Houston Symphony
$1,000

Last year, over 250 donors contributed more than $350,000 to the 2018 Ima Hogg Competition, making it our most successful competition fundraising effort to date. All donors of $1,000 or more are recognized as members of the IMA106 group to honor the 106 years since Miss Ima founded the Houston Symphony. Learn more about donor benefits – download the Ima Hogg donation form.

DONATE NOW

For more information on making a contribution to the Competition, please contact:

Tyler Murphy, Development Officer, Major Giving Groups
Email: tyler.murphy@houstonsymphony.org
Phone: 713.337.8536

2019 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize: Rachel Lee Hall, harp
  • 2nd Prize: Coleman Itzkoff, cello
  • 3rd Prize: Chloe Tula, harp
  • 4th Prize: Katherine Audas, cello
  • Audience Choice Award: Katherine Audas, cello
  • Artistic Encouragement Award: Coleman Itzkoff, cello

2018 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize: Ji Su Jung, marimba
  • 2nd Prize: Hyun Jae Lim, violin
  • 3rd Prize: Alexander Hersch, cello
  • 4th Prize: Michael Ferri, violin
  • Audience Choice Award: Ji Su Jung, marimba
  • Artistic Encouragement Award: Alexander Hersch, cello

2017 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize/Gold Medal: Joseph Morris, clarinet 
  • 2nd Prize/Silver Medal: Rainer Crosett, cello
  • 3rd Prize/Bronze Medal: I-Jung Huang, violin
  • 4th Prize: Alan Woo, piano
  • Audience Choice Award: Alan Woo, piano
  • Artistic Encouragement Award: Rainer Crosett, cello

2016 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize/Gold Medal: Luke Hsu, violin 
  • 2nd Prize/Silver Medal: Christine J. Lee, cello
  • 3rd Prize/Bronze Medal: Brian Lin, piano
  • 4th Prize: Samuel Chan, marimba
  • Audience Choice Award: Luke Hsu, violin
  • Artistic Encouragement Award: Luke Hsu, violin

2015 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize/Gold Medal: Esther Liao, piano
  • 2nd Prize/Silver Medal: Bixby Kennedy, clarinet
  • 3rd Prize/Bronze Medal: Seth Morris, flute
  • 4th Prize: Hui Shan Chin, piano
  • Audience Choice Award: Esther Liao, piano
  • Artistic Encouragement Award: Hui Shan Chin, piano

2014 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize/Gold Medal: Lin Ma, clarinet
  • 2nd Prize/Silver Medal: Yekwon Sunwoo, piano
  • 3rd Prize/Bronze Medal: Maria Chlebus, marimba
  • 4th Prize: Fedor Amosov, cello
  • Audience Choice Award: Fedor Amosov
  • Artistic Encouragement Award: Fedor Amosov

2013 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize/Gold Medal: Moran Katz, clarinet
  • 2nd Prize/Silver Medal: Vladimir Khomyakov, piano
  • 3rd Prize/Bronze Medal: Min Jung Kim, piano
  • 4th Prize: Elizabeth Fayette, violin
  • Audience Choice Award: Moran Katz
  • Artistic Encouragement Award: Moran Katz

2012 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize/Gold Medal: Megan (Levin) Conley, harp
  • 2nd Prize/Silver Medal: Wei Chen Lin, marimba
  • 3rd Prize/Bronze Medal: Laura Park, violin
  • 4th Prize: Andrew Staupe, piano
  • Audience Choice Award: Andrew Staupe

2011 Ima Hogg Competition Winners:

  • 1st Prize/Gold Medal: Brook Speltz, cello
  • 2nd Prize/Silver Medal: Esther Park, piano
  • 3rd Prize/Bronze Medal: Siwoo Kim, violin
  • 4th Prize: Geraldine Ong, piano
  • Audience Choice Award: Geraldine Ong

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