Annual Instrumental Competition

The Annual ECSO Instrumental Competition provides a wonderful opportunity for instrumentalists to win cash prizes as well as appear with the orchestra in a subscription concert. Applications for this year’s competition are officially closed.

This season’s competition will be on March 9, 2024.

The competition is open to instrumentalists who are 25 years old or younger on the day of the competition. Contestants vie for cash prizes and the chance to perform with the ECSO in a subscription concert. The finals are open to the public free-of-charge. Families are encouraged to attend this afternoon of performances by young talented musicians.


Jan 8, 2024 – Early application deadline, discounted non-refundable application fee ($40) with complete application including MP3 or WAV audio file.

Jan 29, 2024 – Application, non-refundable application fee ($50) due along with recording in MP3 or WAV audio file. Applications for this year’s competition are officially closed.

February 19, 2024 – Finalists are notified by phone or email.

Mar 9, 2024 – Beginning at 1pm, final round of competition is held, with live performances from contestants at Connecticut College (New London, CT).


Preliminary round of competition (AUDIO-ONLY RECORDING):

  • One movement of a concerto from any standard solo repertoire
  • This movement should demonstrate a range of technique, skill and musicianship
  • Soloist must have accompaniment in recording
  • Only single-take, unedited recordings will be considered

Final round of competition (LIVE):

  • A complete concerto (or a solo piece with orchestral accompaniment) of their choice
  • The final round must be performed by memory
  • The concerto (or a solo piece with orchestral accompaniment) will be performed with an accompanist. Finalists are responsible for securing an accompanist. However, please contact us if you need assistance.


Applicants must be 25 or younger on the day of the competition. Previous winners are not eligible. Applications must be completed before the deadline.

Complete application will include:
(1) Online application form
(2) Proof of age
(3) Non-refundable application fee
(4) Audio recording of preliminary round repertoire

For the preliminary round, only AUDIO recordings will be accepted.

Please click here for the GUIDELINES and ONLINE APPLICATION. Application fee can be paid by check and mailed to ECSO office at 289 State Street, New London, CT 06320 or send a PayPal link request to [email protected]

Any questions and inquiry can be directed at [email protected] or call our office at 860.443.2876.