Cedille Records has been building the careers and legacies of Chicago's finest classical music performers and composers since the label's founding in 1989. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Cedille is now looking towards the next generation of artists through its first Emerging Artist Competition. Individual performers and ensembles will have to opportunity to win the opportunity to make a recording produced by and released on the award-winning Cedille label. (This will not commit the winner to any form of exclusivity with the label beyond this debut recording; Cedille artists are always free and encouraged to record on other labels as well as Cedille, as they see fit.) As with all of its albums, the winner's recording will be released internationally and will receive full PR and marketing support, bringing the winner to the attention of audiences, presenters, and reviewers all over the world. Cedille's artists and albums are regularly honored with the highest accolades, including GRAMMY® awards. The winner of the Emerging Artists Competition will join an impressive roster of artists that includes soloists such as violinists Jennifer Koh and Rachel Barton Pine, cellist Wendy Warner, and clarinetist Anthony McGill and ensembles Eighth Blackbird, the Pacifica and Dover Quartets, and Third Coast Percussion. 

Cedille's mission is to bring Chicago's finest classical musicians to a worldwide audience by recording, distributing, and promoting their work. Through its high-quality recordings, Cedille furthers the careers of outstanding Chicago classical performers and composers as they present innovative programs featuring the music about which they are most passionate. We are excited to add the Emerging Artist Competition as a new component of this mission.

The Competition

After applications are screened by a panel of Cedille Records board members, the competition semi-finals and finals will take place as live rounds on May 30–31, 2020 in Chicago . These performances will be open to the public. Semi-finals will include up to 10 contestants who will prepare an hour of music from which judges will select 15 minutes to be performed. The final round will include up to five contestants playing 30 minutes of music total, including two contrasting works, selected by the contestants themselves. Semi-final and final performances will be judged by a panel of five judges, to be named at a later date, comprising prominent musicians and industry professionals.

Eligibility & Application Details

Individual performers and ensembles (sextet or smaller) who have not appeared as the featured performer on a commercially released CD are eligible to apply; the competition is not open to composers or conductors. The maximum age limit for individual performers is 35-years-old as of the application open date. For ensembles, the average age of ensemble members should not exceed 35 and no individual player may exceed 40 years of age. There is no minimum age limit. All individual performers and at least 50% of ensemble players must reside in or come from the Chicago metro area (defined as the following counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will). No individual may appear on more than one application; for example, if applying as a soloist, an individual may not also apply as a member of an ensemble.

To apply for the Emerging Artist Competition, artists must submit a resume; a written goal statement, including an explanation of their connection to Chicago; a list of any commercially released recordings on which they have participated (not as the featured performer); a concept and suggested repertoire for an album; and unedited video of the artist(s) performing two contrasting pieces, which need not be the same as the repertoire prepared for later rounds of the competition or the album concept.

Live semifinal and final rounds of the competition will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 30 & 31, 2020 at the Spertus Institute's Feinberg Theater, 610 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

For questions relating to the competition, please email competition@cedillerecords.org or call (773) 989-2515. 

If you are interested in sponsoring or supporting the competition, please contact Julie Polanski at julie@cedillerecords.org or call (773) 989-2515.

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