In Concert Repertoire





May 2021 | New York City


FIRST PRIZE:  $25,000
  • Two fully subsidized New York City Recitals
  • A Commissioned Work, Composer TBA
SECOND PRIZE:  $15,000
THIRD PRIZE:  $10,000
It should be understood that the awards will be based on the judges’ decision and that they reserve the right to withhold any or all awards.

General Information

The Naumburg 2020 International Vocal Competition in Concert Repertoire is open to singers of every nationality.  The competitors may not be under the age of 20 or more than 35 years of age. You must not have reached your 36th birthday on or before May 17, 2020.   It will be necessary to submit your verified birth date.  Birth certificates, life insurance policy, passport or certified school record are acceptable.  Xerox copies signed as true copies by the applicant are acceptable.  Affidavits of family physicians or relatives are NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Please send to the Naumburg Office no later than Monday, March 15, 2020 the materials listed below:
  • Application Form, available on the Naumburg website,
  • A recording, of no more than 30 minutes of excellent audio quality (YouTube or Dropbox)
  • Three (3) recommendation letters from musicians of acknowledged standing.  Please include complete names and addresses, otherwise the application will be rejected.
  • Two (2) complete programs that could form the basis for two New York City recitals.  You will be asked to perform repertoire from these two programs at the live auditions.
  • Short Bio (300 words)
  • $125 application fee, payable on the Naumburg website by going to the competition page. Fees are not returnable.
The Naumburg Foundation is not responsible for Visas for musicians who reside abroad.

Prescreening Recording
A recording of high-quality audio or YouTube format, of no more than 30 minutes, must be submitted.  We recommend uploading either WAV, FLAC or lossless (uncompressed) audio formats.

The recording should illustrate the extent of technical command and a variety of interpretative abilities, as well as an understanding of performance styles and special repertory interests.  The works on the recording need not be the same repertoire that will be included from the two programs that will be submitted with your application to be performed at the competition if you are admitted.  The repertoire on this recording should not include works with orchestra or opera arias.  Please leave a space after each recorded work and indicate the timing of each segment.  It is to your advantage that this recording is of the highest possible artistic and audio quality.

Prescreening of submitted recordings will be held in March 2020 by a preliminary panel of judges.  

If you are chosen to advance to the live auditions we will notify you by the beginning of April.  All contestants who live outside of New York are responsible for their own travel fare and living accommodations while in New York.  The Foundation is not responsible for any additional expenses such as recording costs, practice rooms, fees for pianists or subsistence.
The live auditions will be held in New York City and include three rounds -- preliminary round (May 17, 18 and 19); semi-final round (May 20); and final round (May 22).  The preliminary round and semi-final round will be closed to the public.  The final round is a free event and open to the public.

Repertoire Requirements
Applicants must submit two (2) full programs ready to be performed that illustrate your repertory interests and could serve as the basis for two New York City recital programs.  A recital program is considered to include at least 60 minutes of music, not exceeding 90 minutes.
Program 1 must include:
  • A group of songs or airs before the 19th century; i.e. Mozart, Bach, Early English, Italian or French
  • A group of songs of the 19th century; standard song repertoire of the German and French School
  • A group of 20th (composed after 1950) or 21st century songs; including at least one by a contemporary American composer
Program 2 may illustrate special repertory interests or may follow the same format as Program 1 with different repertoire.
All songs must be performed in the original language.
No orchestral or opera arias will be allowed on the programs.
Singers must supply evidence (programs, reviews) of having performed at least one
full-scale concert recital.
The winner of the competition may not perform a solo recital in New York City between the date of the competition and that of the first recital.  If such a performance occurs, and the program is reviewed by the press, the Foundation will consider the recital forfeited.
Contestants must not make any attempt to be in contact with any juror during the competition.  The jury, at its discretion, may ask for any item of the repertory on a contestant’s list.  Competitors who are not ready to perform when called by the jury may be disqualified.