2018 Lauren V. Ackerman Chamber Music Competition

Lauren Ackerman was a celebrated surgical pathologist who taught for many years at Stony Brook’s Medical School.  He was a great friend of the Department of Music, initiating funds for the benefit of music students, a practice continued by his family after his death in 1993.  Included among the funds in his name is one in support of chamber music.  The annual Lauren V. Ackerman Memorial Chamber Music Competition identifies a winningchamber music ensemble to perform at the Annual Ackerman Honors Chamber Concert, which concludes the Spring Chamber Music Festival each year.  


The competition is open to non-conducted chamber ensembles between three and nine players, with an exception being made for duos involving percussion and another instrument.  
Groups are not required to be registered for MUS 573 (Chamber Music) and can contain any combination of Stony Brook students. All members of the group must be enrolled currently at Stony Brook.

Audition Requirements 

Ensembles must prepare two contrasting complete works for the audition (groups may choose their first selection; the jury will select music from the rest of the prepared audition).  Each ensemble will have an opportunity to play for 20 minutes.  The jury will include Gilbert Kalish, Colin Carr, Arnaud Sussmann and Alan Kay.

The prizewinners will share a cash prize of $1,000, and the winning ensemble will have an opportunity to perform a full recital on the Ackerman HonorsChamber concert on May 12, 2018 (please be sure your group is available for this concert).

 Signup, Date, and Time of Competition

Auditions for the competition will take place on Monday, April 2 in the Recital Hall between 10AM-2PM. Please contact Alan Kay (alanrkay2@gmail.com) with your group’s intention to enter plus any applicable time constraints by the end of the day March 29.


2017 Stony Brook Concerto Competition Guidelines (2018 Guidelines coming soon)

The Stony Brook Department of Music conducts a yearly competition to select several students to perform concertos or vocal music with the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra in the succeeding academic year.


All students in the graduate performance programs (MM or DMA) at Stony Brook who are taking regular lessons and are active in the performance program.  If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact your performance advisor for clarification.

Preliminary Round

Each family of instruments will be required to participate in a preliminary round in order to make the finals more manageable.  Participants should select a representative and uninterrupted 14-15 minute sampling from their chosen work.  In the case of a multi-movement concerto, representation from each movement is advised.  Please bear in mind that participants will not be prompted by the judges to advance from movement to movement.  It is up to the soloist to demonstrate artistry in whatever excerpts are selected.  Various studios handle sign-ups for the preliminary round in different ways.  Some have sign-ups on studio doors, some have individual teachers collect names.  Check with your teachers about the sign-up method for your studio.

Preliminary Round Schedule

  • Woodwinds: Monday, March 27, 4 p.m.
  • Piano: Wednesday, March 29, evening
  • Strings: Monday, April 3, 7 p.m., Recital Hall
  • Brass: please check with your teacher
  • Voice: please check with your teacher
  • Percussion: please check with your teacher

Choice of Repertoire

Choice of repertoire is open to any work for your instrument (or a group of solo instruments—for example, Brahms Double Concerto, Haydn Sinfonia Concertante, Beethoven Triple Concerto, etc.), or voice, plus orchestral accompaniment, but please consult your primary teacher if you have questions about general suitability.  Playing with piano reductions is required in all cases where such reductions exist.  

Memorization, though not strictly required, is strongly encouraged for works from the standard repertory.  In the case of contemporary selections, memorization is up to the best judgement of the performer. 

Final Round

Tuesday, April 11, beginning at 1 p.m.

Those selected for inclusion in the final round will be expected to present a representative and uninterrupted 14-15 minute version of the same work (can be the same 14-15 minutes as the preliminary round).  All of the above memorization and piano reduction guidelines remain in place. 

Please note:

The February's SBSO concert will be an Orpheus-style event.  You are therefore encouraged to consider a concerto that can be done without a conductor.  It has been generally assumed in past years that a concerto for large orchestra, with conductor, would receive preference.  The Orpheus-style (conductorless) concert provides an opportunity for students who prefer to present a more “chamber music-like” work to do so.




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