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American Pianists Association

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Matthew Jurasek
Don Lucoff

General Inquiry:

The mission of the American Pianists Association is to discover, promote and advance the careers of young, American, world-class jazz and classical pianists. We celebrate the beauty of music through America's premier jazz and classical awards.

The American Pianists Association nurtures the artistic growth of America's top young pianists by focusing on creative expression and career development. Our largest and most prestigious support is given through a biennial competition known as the American Pianists Awards.  Since our founding in 1979, the American Pianists Association has supported 45 winners.

The American Pianists Awards are held every two years to discover the best aspiring young American jazz or classical pianists. The unique and innovative competitions span 13 months and provide a platform to deeply engage musical artists in a variety of creative formats and settings. Winners receive cash and two-years of career advancement and support valued at over $100,000, making this one of the most coveted prizes in the music world and the largest for American jazz pianists.

As part of each American Pianists Awards competition, every finalist completes a residency with a high school orchestra or jazz band. Residencies typically span the course of three days and culminate in a joint public performance with school musicians. Known as Concerto Curriculum, this program brings the beauty of world-class music to new audiences and non-traditional venues, provides pedagogical growth for developing artists, and inspires new generations of young musicians.

Dr. Joel Harrison serves as President/CEO and Artistic Director of the APA.

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  • APA 2023 Winner Announcement - Isaiah J. Thompson Wins the 2023 American Pianists Awards Isaiah J. Thompson, winner of the 2023 American Pianists Awards, performs “Nobody Else But Me” with Cécile McLorin Salvant on Saturday, April 22 at Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis. American Pianists Association is proud to announce Isaiah J. Thompson as the winner of the 2023 American Pianists Awards.…
  • American Pianists Awards Announces Jazz on the Ave, a Free Concert in Indianapolis on September 18 - A First in the History of the American Pianists Awards, the American Pianists Association Announces a Free Community Concert to Kick Off the Competition Season in Indianapolis Jazz on the Ave at Madam Walker Legacy Center Sunday, September 18, 3:30 p.m.   Register Online Now   Featuring Five Finalists Caelan Cardello, Esteban Castro, Paul Cornish, Thomas…
  • Emmet Cohen Announced as Winner of 2019 American Pianist Awards - American Pianists Association Proudly Announces EMMET COHEN as Winner of 2019 American Pianists Awards Cohen to Perform in Celebration of Prestigious Honor on Tuesday, April 16 in New York City at Dizzy’s Club (Jazz At Lincoln Center) American Pianists Association is proud to announce pianist Emmet Cohen as the winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards. The announcement was made after…
  • American Pianists Association Announces Five Finalists - American Pianists Association Announces Five Finalists for the American Pianists Awards – Each Guaranteed $20,000   Finalists for the 2019 Awards – KENNY BANKS, JR., EMMET COHEN, KEELAN DIMICK, DAVE MEDER & BILLY TEST – to Participate in Unique 13-month Competition Process   Awards Sneak Preview Concert Scheduled for May 17, 2018 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola…