Thursday, April 24, 2014
Repertoire Announcement 

10th USA International Harp Competition Repertoire Announced!

2016 Repertoire



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Public Performances:

Find out about upcoming public performances being presented by USAIHC and being performed by past USAIHC  participants.  The USAIHC will compile information about the public performances of our participants from all eight prior competitions.  We hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to hear some of our talented harpists perform in venues from Bloomington to Tokyo and many places in between. 

Detailed Information

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The USAIHC announces its 2014 Concert Series featuring harpists Elizabeth Hainen and Emily Levin.

2014 Concert Series Details 



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The Mission of the USA IHC is to:

conduct a world-class international harp competition in the United States;
promote and foster the careers of gifted young harpists from throughout the world;
promote the harp as a concert and solo instrument and to introduce the harp repertoire to a broader public
encourage composers to write new works for the harp; and
foster friendship and understanding among harpists worldwide.

Read more about USA IHC

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2013 Competition Prizes

The gold medal winner of the 2013 USA International Harp Competition will receive a one of a kind gold harp built by Lyon & Healy in Chicago and a debut recital. Thousands of dollars in cash prizes will be awarded to the top 8 contestants as well as the top performers of select required repertoire in the competition.

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Harp Dreams wins 3 regional Emmys as well as the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award 

Harp Dreams, the WTIU-produced documentary of the 2007 competition, showcases the best young harpists in the world as they prepare for a high-stakes ten-day event held every three years at the Jacobs School of Music on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University.  The documentary is a celebration of contestants from around the world and, ultimately, the competition itself.

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USA International Harp Competition 2013 Rules, Procedures and Regulations

Competition Rules and Procedures

The 9th USA International Harp Competition will take place in Bloomington, Indiana. It is open to harpists of all nationalities between the ages of 16 and 32. The age qualifying date is July 1, 2013. Acceptance will be based upon submitted application materials which will be reviewed by a selection committee.

  1. All works performed at the competition must be performed by memory, except for the required new solo work in Stage 3.
  2. Contestants will draw lots to determine the order in which they will perform. This order of performance will be used throughout all stages of the competition.  At time of acceptance, all contestants will be notified of the date and time of the drawing, which is generally scheduled to occur during the Opening Ceremony.
  3. For Stages 1, 2, and 3, the contestant may choose the sequence of works to be performed.
  4. In Stage 3, the total performance time of each contestant's recital should not exceed 40 minutes and may be interrupted if it does. One additional minute will be permitted for tuning the harp between pieces.
  5. Harps and individual practice time are provided to active contestants.  Participants may use their personal instruments, at their own liability and cost.
  6. Harp movers will place the performance harp on stage so that jurors are able to see the harpist's right hand.
  7. After the Opening Ceremony, jurors may not have contact with active contestants. This precludes attendance at practice sessions, email or text messages, phone conversations and any piano or orchestral rehearsal for the final stage.
  8. The results of the first three stages will be posted on the door of the Competition Office.
  9. The announcement of all prize winners and distribution of prizes will take place during a special ceremony following the jury deliberations after the final stage.

General Jury Rules and Procedures

The jury will consist of internationally recognized harpists, teachers and musicians. All decisions of the jury are final.

  1. All stages of the competition are open to the public and take place on an open stage without a screen.
  2. All members of the jury must be present for all stages and deliberations during the competition.
  3. Prior to Stage 1, jurors will be asked to submit a Conflict Of Interest Disclosure Form identifying contestants whom they have taught in either a private lesson or class setting.
  4. Jurors may not vote for or take part in any discussion about a contestant who is currently studying with them or who has studied with them in the past. In the case of master classes, jurors must recuse themselves if they believe a student/teacher relationship was/has been established.
  5. Jurors are to avoid contact with active contestants during the competition, as the impression could be given that a contestant is receiving special treatment or advice. The only exception to the contact restriction is a health emergency requiring assistance from a medical professional.
  6. There is to be no conversation between jurors, including positive or negative comments, in the audition hall during the stages.
  7. Jurors are required to avoid talking about active contestants and discussing their performances among themselves at all times and to refrain from influencing other jurors during the competition.
  8. Specific time after Stage 1 and before Stage 3 will be set aside for the jury to meet with contestants who are no longer active to share performance insights and to answer questions.
  9. Questions from an active contestant to the jury should be directed to the Executive Director, who will then speak to the jury on the contestant's behalf.

Judging System

  1. All contestants should be regarded as young artists of concert standard capable of attaining international stature.
  2. Contestants' performances are to be evaluated based on the following criteria:
    • Musicianship
    • Technique
    • Artistic presentation
  3. In Stages 1, 2, and 3 each juror will award each contestant a single numerical score using the following scale:
    • Excellent 21-25
    • Very Good 16-20
    • Good 11-15
    • Poor 0-10
  4. Jurors are asked to write a short interpretation of the point score on their evaluation form.
  5. Scoring by the jury will be confidential at all times. Except in extreme cases, there will be no discussion of points awarded to active contestants by the jury.
  6. After each stage, jurors will submit their completed evaluation forms to the Jury Assistant. Jurors will abstain from judging participants who are or have been their students. Jurors should turn in blank evaluation forms for contestants whom they have taught.
  7. Jurors may adjust their scores at any time during a given stage. Points may not be changed once the stage's evaluation forms are collected.
  8. The average score of each contestant will be calculated by the Executive Director. Only the Executive Director, the President of the Jury and non-artist members of the USAIHC Board of Directors assisting with results tallying are permitted to see the evaluation forms and point totals of the jurors.
  9. For each stage the contestants with the highest average scores will advance.
  10. No more than half of the first stage contestants may advance to the second stage.
  11. No more than eight contestants may advance to the semi-finals, Stage 3.
  12. The three contestants with the highest average scores in the third stage will advance to the fourth and final stage.
  13. Any of the three finalists may be eliminated from the final stage if they have not adequately prepared the required repertoire, which includes memorization of the Stage 4 required repertoire. In such a case, the contestant with the next highest score in the third stage will advance to the fourth stage. Piano rehearsal with the conductor will be monitored by an artist-member of the USAIHC Board of Directors to determine if such a situation exists.
  14. In the final stage, the winner is determined by a named vote. Balloting begins with the award for First Prize. Each juror writes the name of his or her candidate for the First Prize on a ballot. Ballots are collected and tabulated by the Jury President and/or the Executive Director. The First Prize goes to the contestant who receives the greatest number of votes. In the event of a tie, the Jury President will cast the deciding vote. Second Prize will be awarded in the same manner.
  15. Prizes will be awarded for first through eighth place. The order of finish for fourth through eighth place will be determined by the average scores from Stage 3.
  16. Special prizes awarded for the best performance of particular works will be determined by majority vote of the jurors.  Voting will occur during the applicable performance stage.
  17. The jury will award all prizes and there will be no ties.
  18. No jurors will be allowed to see the evaluation forms of other jurors.
  19. Jury deliberations are to be regarded as confidential during and after the Competition.
  20. The decisions of the jury are final.


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USA International Harp Competition
P.O. Box 5008
Bloomington, Indiana 47407 USA

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