2020 Indianapolis International Baroque Competition

Competition Rules & Procedures (Subject to Change)


Application Deadline:  January 15, 2020 at midnight EST

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Eligible Applicants

  • Applicants must be performers on period instruments.

  • Applicants must be under the age of 32 at the time of the competition.

  • Repertoire is limited to the high Baroque period, roughly 1700-1770 A.D.

  • Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the USA are responsible for obtaining visas or other documents that permit their participation in the competition.

  • Musicians who are current members of the board or staff of Indianapolis Early Music (IEM) or IndyBaroque Music Inc (IBMI, including current core members of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra (IBO), are not eligible to compete.

Required Materials for Upload

  • Personal details:  name, contact information, date of birth, nationality, and instrument.

  • Copy of photo ID with date of birth indicating that the applicant was born after July 12, 1988; copy of passport required for applicants who are not citizens of the USA.

  • Resume of the applicant, with details of educational and professional experience, in reverse chronological order.

  • Video recording 25-30 minutes in length, containing late Baroque repertoire of the applicant’s choice and played by memory.  The program must include one movement each from two different solo concertos, with ensemble or harpsichord accompaniment (orchestral reduction).  The program may include solo and/or chamber music and should demonstrate contrasting styles and affects. Single movements from larger works are acceptable.  The recording(s) must be unedited, preferably from live performances, and have been produced after September 15, 2018. Applicants must be clearly audible and visible in the video recording.

  • For candidates enrolled as full-time students during the 2019-2020 academic year, a letter of recommendation from their principal instrumental teacher specifically mentioning the 2020 Indianapolis International Baroque Competition.

  • Written program of the video recording, including timings of each movement and date of recording.

  • A non-refundable application fee of $90. Instructions for payment of fees will be included on the application form.

Applications will not be processed until all required items have been uploaded on the application form.

The Competition

  • After the application process is complete, an anonymous screening committee selected by IEM/IBO will choose up to five Finalists and three alternates, based on the performance quality of their videos.  Finalists and alternates will be notified of their status by March 1, 2020.

  • The selected Finalists will be invited to perform one of the two Baroque concerts submitted in their video with the IBO in concert at the Indiana History Center on Sunday, July 12, 2020 as part of the 2020 Indianapolis Early Music Festival.  The Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, in consultation with the screening committee, will choose the concertos to be performed. The orchestral accompaniment must be for strings and continuo only; the IBO will not provide wind players.  Pitch: A=415 Hz.

  • The chosen concerto should be no longer than 20 minutes in length.

  • The IBO will perform without a conductor; finalists will be expected to provide their own orchestral parts in advance and will lead the rehearsals and performances of their concertos.

  • A panel of 5 jurors, internationally recognized specialists in historical performance practice and distinct from the screening committee, will judge the Finalists’ performances in Indianapolis.  The jurors will base their decision on all aspects of the final performances. The panel will select the winner immediately after the concert and announce the results that the post-concert reception.  All other prizes will be awarded at the same time.


  • The first-place winner will receive the Devona and Amos Gerber Prize of $10,000, a gold-plated medal by artist Sarah Spomer, one or more engagements with presenters of early music to perform during the 2021-22 or 2022-23 season, and possible featured appearances on nationally syndicated public radio programs highlighting Early Music.

  • Other cash prizes include the Audience Prize, voted on by the audience in attendance at the finals, and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra Prize, voted on by the members of the IBO.

  • All Finalists, excluding the Gerber Prize winner, will be awarded a $500 Laureate Award and a bronze medal by artist Sarah Spomer.

  • All cash awards are subject to the regulations of the United States tax code.


  • All decisions of the judges, as well as the screening committee, are final.

Additional Information

  • Finalists will be offered accommodations individually at private homes in Indianapolis, with meals and in-city transportation provided from Friday, July 10, through Monday morning, July 13, 2020.  Arrangements for anyone accompanying a Finalist to Indianapolis (spouse, significant other, etc.) are the sole responsibility of the Finalist and will not be made nor provided by the competition.

  • Travel expenses to and from Indianapolis are the sole responsibility of the Finalist.

  • By submitting this application form, Finalists give the Indianapolis International Baroque Competition unrestricted rights to record, photograph, film, broadcast over air, by line, and through online and social media, and use in print publications and any not-as-yet developed media, their performances during the competition.


Any inquiries regarding the competition rules should be addressed to administrator@baroquecompetition.org.