• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever
(Image coutesy: American Pianists Association)

American Pianists Awards 2023 Announces Recipient

Selected from five finalists, jazz pianist Isaiah J. Thompson will receive career support valued at over $200,000


Held biannually, the American Pianists Awards has supported the careers of American jazz or classical pianists aged 18–30 for over 40 years. As this year’s winner, Isaiah J. Thompson will receive a two-year career advancement fellowship, valued at over $200,000.

Alongside cash prizes, the 28-year-old will also participate in a media and performance tour, complete an artist residency at the University of Indianapolis, and have the chance to record for Mack Avenue Records.

Also a bandleader and composer, Thompson first studied at the Calderone School of Music before continuing his studies with Jazz House Kids and NJPAC Jazz For Teens. He is also a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was accepted at age 18. 

His collaborators have included Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, John Pizzarelli, Christian McBride, Steve Turre, and Buster Williams. He has also been named a Steinway Artist and a Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz — and in 2018, won the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award and second place at the Thelonious Monk Competition. 

“I was so honored when they announced the winner,” said Thompson. “To see my family in the audience brought me so much joy. I never thought of myself as a pianist, I think of myself more as a jazz musician whose instrument just happens to be the piano, so to win an award as a pianist, meant a lot.”

The Award winner is determined from a series of competitions over 13 months. Thompson was selected from five finalists, including Caelan Cardello, Esteban Castro, Paul Cornish, and Thomas Linger

The Finals jury comprised Cyrus Chestnut, Bill Cunliffe, Sullivan Fortner, Rio Sakairi, and Will Wakefield — whose votes were combined with those of the Premiere Series jury, which involved pianists Lynne Arriale, Scott Routenberg and Reggie Thomas. 

“It has been an amazing year to watch and hear Caelan, Esteban, Paul, Thomas and Isiah,” said American Pianists Association’s interim CEO Joanne Bennett in the press release. “Each of them were supported and encouraged by a full entourage of supporters from the collaborating artists, to the host families, our staff and board. The entire process was made possible by the financial support of our corporate, foundation and individual sponsors and donors.” 

The various competition Finals were held by and performed with GRAMMY Award-winning artists. All the 2023 adjudicated events were livestreamed and can be viewed, here



upcoming events

may 2024

06may01junQueen Elisabeth Violin Competition12:00 am - (june 1) 11:59 pm Flagey ASBL-VZW, Pl. Sainte-Croix, 1050 Bruxelles, BelgiumEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition,violinFOLLOW

27mayAll Day31New York Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Manhattan School of Music, 130 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027Event Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

june 2024

06junAll Day13Khachaturian International Violin Competition(All Day) Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, 46 Mesrop Mashtots Ave, Yerevan, ArmeniaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKhachaturian International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

08junAll Day16Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition(All Day) Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre, Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio, 1, 42121 Reggio Emilia RE, Italy Event Type :competitions Event TagsPremio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition,string quartet competitionFOLLOW

17junAll Day22Primrose International Viola Competition(All Day) Colburn School, 200 S Grand AveEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrimrose International Viola Competition,Primrose Viola CompetitionFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right