Bolz Young Artist Competition

Young Artist

Bolz Young Artist Competition

2025 Competition Information

There will be three rounds of competition:
Preliminary Round: Saturday, January 4, 2025 (WYSO Center for Music)
Semi-Final Round: Thursday, January 9, 2025 (Promenade Hall, Overture Center for the Arts)
Final Round (The Final Forte): Wednesday, March 5, 2025 (Overture Hall, Overture Center for the Arts)

Register by Friday, December 13, 2024

The Bolz Young Artist Competition is a highly-regarded statewide competition in which Wisconsin’s young musicians compete for scholarships and the opportunity to perform as soloists with the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO). The competition is open to Wisconsin residents in grades 9-12. Previous winners may not compete in consecutive years on the same instrument. Contracted musicians of the MSO are ineligible.

The four finalists compete in The Final Forte, which will be broadcast on PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio. Each winner receives a $2000 scholarship and the Marian Bolz Prize for Distinguished Musical Achievement or the Steenbock Youth Music Award. The first place winner will perform on the Spring Young People’s Concert for an audience of their peers on Thursday, March 6, 2025, at 10:00 a.m. Two Honorable Mention scholarships of $1000 will also be awarded.


  • Applicants must select a movement from a solo concerto or concert piece with orchestral accompaniment from the standard published repertoire. Orchestral accompaniment parts must be readily available.
  • Total performance time shall not exceed 15 minutes, with allowable cuts to the appropriate tutti sections. No cuts may be made to the solo part. In the final performance, any and all cuts must be approved by the Madison Symphony Orchestra.
  • During all rounds of the competition auditions must be accompanied by the piano reduction of the score. It is the applicant’s responsibility to secure an accompanist.
  • Memorization is required.
  • Applicants may audition on one instrument only.
  • Applicants must provide THREE judges’ copies of the piano reduction score, with measures numbered and any cuts clearly marked.
  • Judges have complete discretion in advancing up to eight musicians to the semi-final round. The judges’ decisions are final.

Contact Director of Education and Community Engagement Lisa Kjentvet at lkjentvet@madisonsymphony.org with any questions.

Thank you to our partners

The Bolz Young Artist Competition is made possible by a generous endowment from

The Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Foundation

Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte concert and broadcasts are the result of a historic partnership among

Madison Symphony Orchestra
Wisconsin Public Television
Wisconsin Public Radio

Major funding provided by

W. Jerome Frautschi

Diane Ballweg

Barbara & Norm Berven

Additional funding provided by

James Dahlberg & Elsebet Lund

Kato Perlman

Trust Point

Joan Johnston

Julie & Larry Midtbo

Cyrena & Lee Pondrom

Darcy Kind & Marc Vitale

Focus Fund for the Arts

Elizabeth Olson

Sentry Insurance Foundation

Dr. A. Beyer-Mears

Friends of PBS Wisconsin

Special thanks to Farley’s House of Pianos for providing the pianos for our Young Artist Competition auditions

Farley's House of Pianos