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Age & Class Limits

  • The Ottawa Piano Festival is open to all 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).
  • Participants may not register in two different age or level categories. For example, a student participating in Grade 7 piano class may not also participate in Grade 5 class.
  • Participants may not enter a class at a lower level than their most recent piano exam.  For example, if the participant took a Grade 4 level exam recently, he/she may not enter a class lower than the Grade 4 level, and is encouraged to enter the Grade 5 level class. Should a student decides to participate in a lower than his/her most recent exam level, he/she may register in Participation Only class.


  • Classes are based on time limits and participants are expected to play a minimum of two contrasting pieces in each solo class (Concerto, Piano Duets and Piano Miscellaneous are exceptions), staying within the time limits.
  • Level of graded classes should correspond to the levels of the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto, Conservatory Canada or any other officially recognized Canadian syllabus. Chosen repertoire does not have to be from a syllabus, but has to be of approximate difficulty of the chosen grade.
  • One piece from the next level higher is permitted in solo classes.
  • No repertoire substitutions will be allowed after February 1, 2020. New pieces cannot be added to the already submitted repertoire.
  • Original scores must be submitted at the festival class. Photocopies are not permitted.
  • Participants may change the performance order of their registered pieces. On the day of the performance, music must be handed to the adjudicator assistant in performance order.
  • Concerto must be performed with piano accompaniment. Any movement may be performed as long as it is within the time limits. Performers are responsible for providing their own accompanist.
  • The time limits must be respected in each class. If the time limit is exceeded, the jury reserves the right to stop the performance.
  • Memorization is encouraged and is mandatory for any student wishing to be considered for a scholarship or other prize (Piano Duets and Piano Miscellaneous are exceptions to this rule).
  • Participants should plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early before their scheduled class time and be ready to perform. 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. Grade 10, Diploma and Concerto classes will be adjudicated by professor David Jalbert.
  • Each class (except Grade 10, Diploma and Concerto) will be evaluated by three adjudicators (teachers).
  • Jury members/adjudicators 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 comment sheets at the end of each class.

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 sent at a later date.

Special Awards

  • Piano Concerto Classes – A participant receiving the highest mark in concertos by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven, will be chosen to perform with Divertimento Orchestra in their February 2022 concerts. Eligible concerto movement must be within 8-12 minutes (including all tutti parts).
  • Best performers of J.S.Bach pieces will be invited to participate at the Great Bach Marathon at Woodroffe United Church, organized by the Royal Canadian Collage of Organists.
  • Participants may be recommended to advance to the Provincial Ontario Music Festival  in Grades 6&up classes, 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.


  • Photos and videos of your child may be taken during performances providing there is no interference or distraction whatsoever for the performer or the jury members.
  • Photos and videos of other children MAY NOT be taken during the festival.
  • Photos and videos during adjudication time MAY NOT be taken during the festival.
  • The Ottawa Piano Festival will ask permission at the time of registration to use any photos of participants for the festival website and publicity purposes.
  • The photographer(s) appointed by the Ottawa Piano Festival are allowed to photograph the performances.