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Concerto Competition

The Youth Concerto Competition is the perfect opportunity for students to put their performance skills to the test!

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The concerto competition will be held Saturday, April 6, 2024

How to apply

Talented young musicians will gain experience preparing solo and chamber literature, receive feedback from a panel of professional musicians, and could potentially earn the honor of performing their concerto with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra!

Guidelines available for download early 2024

Eligibility & Rules

Piano, strings, woodwind, brass, and percussion Students in grades 8-12 are invited to participate.

Applicants must be a member of the Dubuque Symphony Youth Ensembles OR live within 50 miles of Dubuque, IA. Applicants must be enrolled in 8th -12th grades. First place winners are not eligible to enter the competition the following year. Applicants may perform as instrumental soloists or as part of a duet, trio, or quartet.


  • Contestant must prepare and perform one movement of an orchestral concerto or other orchestral work, not to exceed 10 minutes in length. Contestants perform their selection with a piano accompanist playing a reduction of the orchestral score.
  • Contestant must provide their own accompanist. The DSO is able to assist in finding an accompanist if needed.
  • Selections must have a published orchestral score that is readily available. If the score to a winner’s selection is not readily available, the student may be asked to prepare a different selection for performance with the DSO or DSYO.
  • Contestants will be judged on musicianship, technical proficiency, intonation, ensemble with accompanist, poise, and overall presentation of the work. Because the top prizes in the competition include a performance of the concerto movement with orchestra, it is highly recommended that applicants choose repertoire that allows them to perform at their best, rather than choosing repertoire that is impressively difficult.
  • Entry form deadline will be announced  early 2024


The First Place winner will be awarded $500* and may be invited to perform their concerto movement with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro William Intriligator. Performances with the DSO typically take place on either the Summer Melodies or Arts Trek Education concerts.

The Second Place winner will be awarded $300* and may be invited to perform their concerto movement with the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra the following season.

The Third Prize winner will be awarded $100* and may be asked to perform with the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra.

An Honorable Mention certificate may also be awarded.

*Please note that award amounts are per entry, and amounts will be distributed evenly to duets, trios, etc, that enter.
Ex: If a duo is awarded First Place, each student will receive $250.*

For more information please contact Hannah Von Mulert, Director of Education & Outreach.

Hannah Von Mulert