The 2027 American Pianists Awards will be the next jazz competition. Look for information about nominations in late 2025.

2023 American Pianists Awards

Gala Finals
April 22, 2023
Hilbert Circle Theatre

Reserved Seating at HCT box office · Premium Seating Call 317-940-9945 


The unique and innovative competition spans 13 months and provides a platform to deeply engage musical artists in a variety of creative formats and settings. The competition takes place in three parts: Preliminary Round, Premiere Series and Discovery Week.


The first juried stage of the American Pianists Awards, the Preliminary Round is an anonymous adjudication of applicants by a distinguished panel of jurors. APA solicited nominations from a broad range of performing artists, educators and industry professionals. In March 2022, five finalists were chosen based upon exceptional technical ability and unique musical personality demonstrated in the nominees' submitted recordings.


The Premiere Series provides the first live, adjudicated performances of the five American Pianists Awards finalists. Over the course of five months, each finalist appears on stage in Indianapolis for a trio/solo performance at the Jazz Kitchen and completes a three-day residency at an Indianapolis-area high school.

Esteban Castro | September 24, 2022
Paul Cornish | November 5, 2022
Thomas Linger | December 3, 2022
Caelan Cardello | January 28, 2023
Isaiah J. Thompson | February 25, 2023


The culmination of the American Pianists Awards, Discovery Week brings all five finalists together for the adjudicated Club Finals and Gala Finals, in addition to other activities, in April 2023. The variety of events replicates nearly every kind of performance situation a professional pianist will encounter and offers opportunities to perform with celebrated collaborative artists.

Club Finals | April 21, 2023 | The Cabaret, Indianapolis
Early Set and Late Sets are SOLD OUT

Gala Finals | April 22, 2023 | Hilbert Circle Theatre, Indianapolis
Reserved Seating at HCT box office · Premium Seating Call 317-940-9945 


The winner of the American Pianists Awards receives the Cole Porter Jazz Fellowship, cash and two-years of career advancement and support valued at more than $200,000, making this one of the most coveted prizes in the music world and the largest for American jazz pianists.


All Premiere Series and Discovery Week performances will be livestreamed.

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Our diverse world shapes our music, the artistic language of our contestants. It delights, informs, and inspires us all. It is in this spirit that the American Pianists Association welcomes people of any race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender identity, as well as people with disabilities. We commit to learn from diverse talents, ideas, and voices. We pledge to create an environment for our artists, audiences, community partners, board, and staff that is based on the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Further, we commit to enacting strategic and annual plans that provide focused, measurable strategies for living out these values every day.