The Stepping Stone is open to:
- Canadian citizens
- Permanent residents
The Stepping Stone is open to voice, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, harp, harpsichord, recorder, guitar, and keyboard percussion.
Past First Prize winners may not re-enter the competition.
The registration form is available online.
2. Age Limits
16 to 28 years old (except for voice: 31 years old) as of January 1st, 2014.
The completed registration form must be submitted electronically by . Applications sent after this date will not be accepted.
4. Registration fees
Total registration fee: $160 (registration fee $150 + online submission of material via SlideRoom $10). Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, cheque or money order. Cheques and money orders must be mailed, postmarked no later than . Post-dated cheques are not accepted. There will be an additional charge of $15 for NSF cheques.
5. Material to Submit
- High quality audio recordings of three works from different periods and styles (complete work or excerpt (s); maximum 45 minutes).
- A biography, including educational background, performances, professional experience, awards, etc. (maximum 400 words).
- One recent photograph in high resolution.
- Proof of age and of Canadian citizenship or Canadian permanent residency (example: photocopy of passport, birth certificate, Canadian citizenship card — front and back — or a permanent resident card).
All documents must be submitted electronically no later than , through the Stepping Stone’s SlideRoom portal.
6. Repertoire Guidelines
- Works must be different in each round. Multi-movement works such as a concerto, sonata, suite, opera, etc., cannot be split over multiple rounds.
- The program may include one or more works included in the pre-selection recording.
- A major work for solo instrument and orchestra can replace a concerto or a movement of a concerto.
- Works with orchestra accompaniment must be performed with piano or harpsichord accompaniment.
- Time Limits
Candidates must respect the specified time limits. First round: 40 minutes; Semi-Final: 60 minutes; Final: no time limit. Performances will be interrupted if the time limit is exceeded.
- Repeats are permitted providing that the maximum time limit is respected.
- It is forbidden to make any cuts in the pieces or movements. However, candidates are allowed to make cuts in the tutti sections of concertos, but cadenzas are mandatory.
- Candidates must indicate the precise timing of all works on the registration form.
For the first round and semi-final, memorization of every piece is compulsory, except for sonatas with accompaniment and compositions written after 1950, for which it is permitted to have the music. Memorization is compulsory in the Final.
- On the day of the performance, candidates are allowed to change the performance order of the pieces. Candidates must present the scores in the performance order.
- All pieces and movements registered must be performed. No substitution is permitted.
- The selected candidates have until to submit any modification to their repertoire list. After this date, no changes will be allowed. Any modification shall be submitted by email to email@example.com.
7. Competition Procedure
A pre-selection jury will choose a maximum of 30 candidates after conducting a blind audition of recordings. The candidates will be notified in March. All jury decision will be final.
After the first elimination, a maximum of 12 candidates will be selected for the semi-final and a maximum of 6 candidates for the final.
Candidates who are not selected to proceed to the following round will receive their comment sheets and meet with the jury members immediately after the announcement of the results. The six finalists will receive their comments and meet the jury members at the award evening.
Candidates must be backstage fifteen minutes before their performance.
9. Copies of Scores
Candidates must provide five copies of each score and five copies of the program order for the jury prior to each round.
All lodging, travel expenses and accompanist’s fees are the candidate’s responsibility.
Candidates who wish to cancel must notify the National Office as soon as possible to facilitate the organization of the schedule.
Candidates not complying with these rules may be disqualified.
An incomplete or inaccurate registration form may result in disqualification.
Use of the audition hall and/or the piano without authorization is strictly forbidden.
Any situation not covered by these rules shall be referred to the Board of Directors, whose decision on such matters shall be final.