CFAS logo: click to return to homepage (Chinese Fine Arts Society, Chicago)
Chinese language: Chinese Fine Arts Society, Chicago

General Rules and Deadlines

Download a pdf of all rules, dates, and repertoire

Important Dates for 2015

Early Bird Registration: May 1, 2015 – August 14, 2015
Registration Closes: September 27, 2015
Contestant Registration Notification: By October 9, 2015
2015 Competition Date: October 25, 2015
2015 Winners Concert Date: December 6, 2015

Application Fee
A non-refundable fee per entry/student is required with the completed application. Learn how to apply here.

  • Early Bird Registration (May 1 – August 14, 2015): $45
  • August 15 – September 11, 2015: $50
  • September 12 – September 27: $60
  • Chamber Music Division: $125 per ensemble

Age Eligibility
Age eligibility for all divisions is determined by the contestant’s age as of September 28 (Confucius’ birthday). Students must compete in their designated age division unless they are a previous first-place winner (see below). Students may only register and compete for one division per instrument category.

Previous Winners
Students who are previous first-prize winners in an age division must compete in the next higher age division.

Competing on multiple instruments or in both solo and Chamber Music divisions
Students may compete on multiple instruments, however, a separate application and application fee will be required. Students competing on an individual instrument may also compete in the Chamber Music Division, but a representative from that ensemble will be responsible for ensuring the ensemble’s application fee and application form are submitted.

Registration Minimum
A minimum of 3 students/ensembles must register for each division in order for the division competition to be held. Students whose divisions do not reach at least 3 applicants will be notified ahead of time and their application fee refunded. There is no maximum number of contestants.

Allotted Performance Times and Repertoire
For the competition, students may choose to perform pieces that are longer than the allotted performance time (please see individual division criteria). However, please keep in mind that judges reserve the right to cut off any performer at any time to stay within the time limit.

Judging Criteria
Students will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy: Intonation, rhythm, notes, dynamics etc
  • Technique: Tone quality, vibrato, facility, pedaling etc.
  • Musicality/Artistry
  • Memorization
    • Students must perform by memory in order to be considered for placement or participation (huang zhong) points. Students who do not perform by memory can still participate, but will only receive judge comments.
    • Chamber ensembles do not need to perform by memory.
  • Repertoire choices
    • Please keep in mind that both the required Chinese piece and piece of your choice will be weighted equally when being considered for placement.

Judges and Winner Decisions
All judges are accomplished professional musicians, music educators, and specialists in their respective performing arts field. Judges’ decisions will be final. Judges also reserve the right do not award placement in a division, or to award ties should they feel it is appropriate.

Due to copyright laws, every student must own a hard copy or legally downloaded copy of all music they will perform. Students will be required to bring a hard copy of the music with them to the competition, or else will face disqualification. Students may not share music with other competing students.

Some music has been special ordered from China and is available only from the CFAS store. Others can be purchased through US-base online and local music stores.

Choosing an accompanist
When choosing an accompanist, please keep in mind how many students your accompanist may be performing with on the day of the competition. You will have a limited amount of time to warm-up with your accompanist that day, however, some accompanists may not be available due to performances with other students. CFAS staff will do the best they can to avoid conflicts, but there are times when it may be impossible to do so.

Choosing Repertoire
Always choose repertoire that is appropriate for your current performance level. The Chinese repertoire for each age division covers a wide range of levels to accommodate all levels of students. You may choose to perform repertoire that is outside of your current age division, so long as it is from a more advanced age category.

CFAS reserves the right to modify competition procedures and to enforce contest rules as necessary. Participants shall be notified of changes and updates via email.

Related Pages
Competition Divisions and Requirements
How to Apply
General Application Form
Chamber Music Application Form
Purchase MFHC Books

  • Who We Are

    The Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS) is a Chicago-based non-profit dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Chinese culture, enhancing cultural exchange, and pursuing excellence in Chinese music, dance, and visual arts. Since its founding in 1984, CFAS has been a leading champion of Chinese culture, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the beauty and majesty of both traditional and contemporary Chinese art.
  • Upcoming Chinese Fine Arts Society Events

    12:00 am MFHC Registration Closes
    MFHC Registration Closes
    Sep 27 @ 12:00 am
    All participants must be registered before September 27. No applications will be accepted after registration closes. To register, click here. For rules and guidelines, click here.
    3:00 pm 31st Annual Music Festival in Ho... @ Merit School of Music
    31st Annual Music Festival in Ho... @ Merit School of Music
    Oct 25 @ 3:00 pm
    Now in its 31st year, the Chinese Fine Arts Society’s annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius Competition has introduced young musicians to the rich heritage of Chinese culture through music. Alumni of this program[...]

    View Calendar

  • Other Chinese Events in the Community

    There are no upcoming events.

    View Calendar

  • Join our Community!


    Sign up for our Mailing List!



    Your Support is Appreciated!