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Age Limits

  • The Ottawa Piano Festival is open to students up to the age of 18. Participants must not be older, as of January 1st 2020, than the age category in which they register (if  registering for an age based class).
  • Students may not participate in 2 different age or level categories. For example, a student participating in the Grade 7/8 piano class may not also participate in the Grade 5/6 class.


  • Classes in the Ottawa Piano Festival are based on time limits, and participants are expected to play a minimum of two contrasting pieces staying strictly within the time limits.
  • Original scores must be submitted at the festival class, no photocopies are permitted.
  • No repertoire substitutions will be permitted after February 1, 2020.
  • Participants may change the order of their pieces. On the day of the festival, music must be handed to the jury in the order of performance.
  • Concerti must be performed with piano accompaniment. Any movement may be performed as long as it fits within the given time limit.  Performers are responsible for providing their own accompanist.
  • The time limits must be respected in each category. If the time limit is exceeded, the jury reserves the right to stop the performance.
  • Memorization is encouraged for all, and is mandatory for any student wishing to be considered for a scholarship or other prize. (Piano duets are an exception to this rule).
  • One piece from the next level higher is permitted in graded classes.
  • Participants must plan to arrive early for their classes in order to be ready to play on time. Anyone who arrives after the class has finished will not be permitted to play.


  • Teachers of participating students are required to be involved in the adjudication process for a minimum of two and maximum of four classes.
  • Each class will be evaluated by 3 jury members (teachers).
  • Jury members will not evaluate their own students or family members.
  • Decisions of the jury are final. No appeals or reviews will be accepted.
  • Participants will be given all comment sheets at the end of each class.

Special Awards

  • Piano Concerto classes – A participant, who received the highest mark in Concertos by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, will be chosen to play the concerto with the Divertimento Orchestra in a concert in February 2020! Eligible concerto movements must be within 8-12 minutes (including all tutti parts).
  • Best performers of Bach pieces will be granted an opportunity to participate at the Bach Marathon organized by Royal Canadian Collage of Organists at Woodroffe United Church.
  • Participants may be recommended to the Provincial Ontario Music Festival  in the following classes: Grades 6-Diploma, and Concerto Classes. Students must be prepared to meet the criteria of the Ontario Music Festival.  Decisions of the adjudicators regarding provincial recommendations are final.

Medals and Scholarships

  • Outstanding performers will be considered for medals and scholarships. The number of scholarships awarded will be based on available funds.
  • All medals and scholarships will be awarded at the Gala Concert on April 19, 2020.


  • Photos and videos of your child may be taken during performances provided there is no interference or distraction whatsoever for the performer or the jury members.
  • Photos and videos MAY NOT be taken of other children during the festival.
  • Photos and videos MAY NOT be taken during the adjudication of the class by the jury members.
  • The Ottawa Piano Festival will ask permission (on the registration form) to use any photos of candidates for use on the website or other publicity materials.