The Capriccio Competition

“…If Art Tatum took up classical music seriously, I’d quit my job the next day.” Vladimir Horowitz

Vladimir Horowitz, the famous classical pianist, was cited for claiming contemporary jazz pianist, Art Tatum was the greatest pianist in the world. Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arthur Rubinstein were also fans of jazz and Tatum. Horowitz’s citation admiring the talent of a fellow traveler despite performing in different musical genres captures the sentiment of The Capriccio. As pianists expand their sk they are afforded opportunities to explore musical genres and ability to integrate with other musical instruments.

The Capriccio was designed to showcase a pianist’s talent beyond the skills of a solo artist and to spark interest in competing as an accompanist and part of an ensemble. These 3 categories that comprise The Capriccio are for advanced musicians only. Amateurs and professionals are invited to compete.

The Rosewood Fanning Prize was created in recognition of the talent of pianists like our inspiration, Frieda Belott Pierone. She was an accomplished classical, jazz and contemporary piano soloist, played twin pianos, was a popular accompanist to other musicians especially vocal and violin and performed in her own jazz trio.

It is our intent to produce a series of competitions culminating in awarding the Rosewood Fanning prize to that one recognized pianist. We intend to use a combination of our YouTube Channel video recordings and bringing the finalists to the Capital Region of New York. We may utilize more than one season of first place winners to qualify for the ultimate prize. For those wishing to compete for the Rosewood Fanning prize, this is an exciting opportunity to exhibit a musician’s consummate talent as a pianist. It would be awarded to one piano talent, who places first in the 3 categories as described below.


Pianists may enter any combination of categories as offered in any given season. Not all categories may be offered in any given season. Awarding the Rosewood Fanning prize may span two or more seasons.

  • Piano only
    • piano solo
    • twin pianos
    • four- hand piano

Piano as accompanist with 1 other musical instrument (includes voice) in a duet.

  • The second instrument will be free choice on the part of the pianist. (Traditional trios will be part of the Ensemble category. However, when a selection was composed as a duet between 2 of the same instruments with piano accompany, that would be allowed in the this category.)
  • This category offers the other musical instrument the opportunity to compete as a soloist.
  • The other musician will have the opportunity to be judged in an independent solo performance (if their instrument is chosen by Rosewood Fanning), but entering as a soloist is not mandatory.
  • To qualify for a solo competition, it will be required to compete in the piano accompanist category and have their instrument selected to solo. Exceptions will be announced.
  • The pianist may enter twice to accompany a vocalist and another non-vocal instrument.
  • Please refer to the Season Event page to note what instruments are selected for juried solo opportunities each season.

Piano as part of an ensemble- type to be announced (trio, quartet, etc.)

  • The instruments may vary from the “piano accompany” category. For example, if the clarinet was chosen as a solo instrument in the piano accompany category, the clarinet would not be required to be part of the ensemble. In the mandatory ensemble, violin and cello could be the chosen instruments of a trio.
  • The instruments selected to solo may be limited due to time, funding and other factors.
  • All “other instrument” performers will be required to compete in “the ensemble” category in a team with the pianist to qualify to solo. Exceptions will be announced.
  • Entering as a soloist is not mandatory for the other instruments.
  • Please refer to the Season Event page to see what instruments are selected for juried solo opportunities per season.


  • It is not required that a pianist enter all the categories offered in any given season.
  • All musicians must meet the age requirement of the Capriccio.
  • The “other instrument” musicians can compete in more than one event.
  • For the ensemble category, Rosewood Fanning will select the type of ensemble to compete, but while Rosewood Fanning will not choose the instruments to play in the selected ensemble category along with the piano, it will choose which instruments may solo for a juried competition prize.
    • The piano ensemble will choose the composer and composition as directed in the Repertoire
      section of the Competition Page.
    • Rosewood Fanning will choose all the instruments allowed to be juried for solo prizes.
    • Only 1 team will win a prize in the piano accompany and ensemble categories for each place announced. (It is feasible that no prizes would be awarded or teams could tie for any place. In situations of a tie all members of the team will receive the original compensation. All decisions of the jury are final.)
    • Each member of the team will be awarded the same prize amount unless the pianist wins the Rosewood Fanning prize.
    • The musicians in piano accompany and ensemble where the pianist wins the Rosewood Fanning Prize are only awarded the prize for the piano accompany or ensemble category as originally stated.
    • The one pianist who is awarded the Rosewood Fanning Prize does not additionally win the
      individual piano prizes.

Age Transition Period

For any competition involving more than one musician (piano accompany and ensemble), the pianist needs to meet the age criteria for the appropriate category. However, the other musician(s) may be the same age or younger. No musician may be over the age of 30. We do have an age “grace period” for the transitional years around age 16 for the other musicians that are part of teams in piano accompany and ensemble.

Rosewood Fanning understands that some students may have played together for a few years. We recognize that certain pianists and groups would not be allowed to compete due to the age parameters of The Capriccio. We would not want to exclude those musicians in various categories who are around the cusp of 16 or younger.

Please note: Each season Rosewood Fanning will select the category of competition event. Competition Category selections each year may have limited choices depending upon funding and other factors.

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