The Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Orchestra have announced a new competition for young musicians from ages 13 to 18, with the inaugural competition slated to take place in 2010. The Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition will hold its final round at Severance Hall next July, when the top three competitors will perform a complete concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra. The first-prize winner will receive $10,000, with $6,000 awarded for second place, $3,000 for third place, and $1,000 apiece for fourth through sixth places. The top three competitors will also receive full four-year scholarships to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, pending admission. The competition will alternate years between piano and violin, beginning with piano in 2010. The Cooper Competition evolved from the Oberlin International Piano Competition and Festival, held annually at the conservatory from 1995 to 2008; that competition was suspended in 2009 while Oberlin’s Warner Concert Hall undergoes renovation.

Posted August 4, 2009