Founded in 1995, the Rembrandt Chamber Musicians Annual High School Chamber Music Competition is widely regarded as one of the premier competitions of its kind in the Midwest, drawing participants from the Music Institute of Chicago, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Midwest Young Artists, Merit School of Music, and a variety of public and private schools. Competition winners have gone on to prestigious careers in music with some holding positions in the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and San Diego Symphony Orchestras as well as the New York Philharmonic.
In addition to the prestige of being named Rembrandt Young Artists, winning ensembles receive cash prizes, master class instruction from Rembrandt musicians, and performance opportunities throughout the region. Competition winners also participate in the RYA Outreach Program, bringing interactive educational sessions to Chicago-area schools that lack an established music program. Click here to learn more and watch a brief video about our recent partnership with the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School.
The Rembrandt Chamber Musicians Annual High School Chamber Music Competition is held on the first Sunday in February each year and is free and open to the public. Rembrandt musicians and specially invited guest judges evaluate participating groups. Winning ensembles are invited to perform at Rembrandt’s first concert of the spring season every year.
This year will mark the 26th anniversary of the competition. Check out our upcoming events calendar for specific details about this year’s competition taking place online.
In 2007, the Rembrandt Young Artists designation was established, enabling competition winners and honorable mentions to represent Rembrandt by performing in various settings for the entire year. Rembrandt also enhanced and expanded its competition in four ways:
- Created a free listening and educational experience by opening the competition to the public and informing the audience of the judges’ criteria for rating student performances.
- Designed a competition within the competition, rewarding the ensemble that attracted the most audience attendees.
- Sought outreach performance opportunities for the talented young musicians to bring chamber music to community venues such as schools, senior centers, libraries, synagogues, and churches.
- Took first steps to create an alumni group of former winners to inspire and mentor today’s talented high school chamber musicians.
Recognition of Past Winners
Recent winners will attend this year’s competition to present awards and share experiences as RYA protégées. Past RYA winners have won other important competitions and many have outstanding careers with prestigious orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony.