Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the Ruth Burr Competition scheduled for April 4th has been cancelled. We will be rescheduling it in the fall.

The Qualifications page and the Application may be downloaded here.  No entry form by e-mail will be accepted, or date of receipt confirmed, until payment is received by mail or online by PayPal through the HTMC website.  Applications for the competition will not be accepted before February 17, 2020. The deadline for applications is March 20, 2020. 

And now, about Miss Ruth Burr.  Ruth Burr was a longtime member of the club and lived a life completely devoted to the study and teaching of piano. Several generations of pianists and teachers have been inspired by her skill as an educator and as an artist. The year following here death, the first Ruth Burr Competition was established.

For those who wish to sponsor or donate to one of the prizes, please go to Support.

Meet the winners of the 2019 Ruth Burr Piano Competition:

Zhengyi Huang, First Prize, is a sophomore at the Shepherd School of Music studying with Dr. Robert Roux. He began studying piano when he was eight years old in Shenzhen, China. When he was fourteen, he had the opportunity to meet Dr. Hershberger, President of the American Liszt Society, and was impressed with the professor’s western teaching style. After graduating from middle school, “Frank”, as his calls himself now, made the big decision to move to the United States alone and study with Dr. Hershberger. After graduating from high school, Frank was accepted to the Shepherd School of Music. Frank won the gold prize in the Chinese National Elegant Young Artists Competition in 2009, the first prize of The Third Hong Kong International Piano Competition China Division in 2013 and he is the grand prize winner of the Young Artists Solo Competition in 2016. Recently, Frank won the silver medal in the Mika Hasler Piano Competition and  was the second place winner in the Shepherd School of Music Concerto Competition. When Frank has free time, he enjoys playing all kinds of sports and loves reading books on philosophy and Chinese culture.

Ben Mader, Second Prize, is a student at Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance under the guidance of Professor Nancy Weems. Previously he attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and has attended piano programs at the Tanglewood Institute and Boston University. Ben has performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra twice, having won their competitions in 2015 and 2017. Ben wrote “I aspire to master the piano and learn all there is about the composers I listen to and play. I hope to win some major piano competitions and pursue a Doctor’s degree in piano performance.  I want to be a good piano teacher and teach both elementary and college students.”

Noah Chojnacki, Third Prize, is a student of Professor Nancy Weems at Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree. Most recently, Noah has received prizes at the Texas Music Teachers Association competition and the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist competition. He was a finalist in the Young Artist World Piano Festival’s Concerto Competition, The Schubert Club Scholarship Competition and The Minnesota Orchestra’s Young People’s Symphony Concert Association Competition among many others. Noah plans to continue his piano studies and earn a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance upon graduating this year. A student of composition as well as piano, he is a passionate advocate for new music. He has performed commissioned works both as soloist and with new music ensembles at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center of Houston.

David Furney, Honorable Mention, is a student of Professor Nancy Weems at the University of Houston Moores School of Music in pursuit of a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree. In addition to his piano studies, David has been a member of the Moores School Concert Chorale and was actively involved in choral activities in high school. In his own words, David wrote “After earning my Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, I intend to pursue a dual Master of Music degree in piano performance and either choral or orchestral conducting. Immediately following, I plan to seek an artist diploma. Following that, I seek to begin work on my Doctor of Music degree. Long term goals include private teaching and conducting at a university or conservatory.”

Susan Fischman, Chairman, 2019 Ruth Burr Competition