The mission of the American Pianists Association (APA) is to discover, promote and advance the careers of young, world-class, American jazz and classical pianists.

The APA provides “profound early career assistance.” – The New York Times

“I [am] struck by the uncommon and distinctive artistry [the APA has] discovered through their competitions. Each pianist seems to have an approach, understanding and appreciation for the keyboard music they play that is all too rare in these days of cookie-cutter, by-the-numbers performances.” – Benjamin K. Roe, Former Music Director, NPR

  • The American Pianists Association nurtures the artistic growth of America’s top young pianists by focusing on creative expression and career development. Since its founding in 1979, the APA has supported 45 winners.


  • The American Pianists Awards are held every two years for jazz or classical competition. Winners receive cash and two-years of career assistance valued at over $100,000, making this one of the most coveted prizes in the music world and the largest for American jazz pianists. The innovative 13-month-long Awards, unique in the world of piano competitions, provide a platform to deeply engage pianists in a variety of creative formats and settings.


  • Through student-education-focused residencies and paired public performances with high school orchestras and jazz bands, the Concerto Curriculum brings the beauty of world-class music to non-traditional venues and underserved audiences.


  • The American Pianists Association maintains partnerships with over 25 cultural, educational and professional organizations worldwide, including the Kennedy Center, six acclaimed American orchestras, Mack Avenue Records, Steinway Records, and the Dvořák Society of the Czech Republic.


  • Joel Harrison serves as President and Artistic Director of the APA. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and NBC News anchor Lester Holt have served as honorary chairs of the Awards.

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