The Competition

Please Note: There will be no Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 2017 as Coleman considers potential changes in the structure of the Competition and looks toward the future.


coleman_competition_sign_at_pcmThe 69th Annual Coleman Chamber Competition was held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.

The winners performed in public concert on Sunday, April 19th at 3:30 p.m.


The Competition began in 1947 as the Coleman Auditions for young, non-professional performers; today’s competing ensembles have an average age of less than 28. From a modest beginning, the annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition (renamed in 1982) has become a highly respected national and international event with competitors coming from the major music schools across the country.

Many Coleman Competition winners have gone on to become widely acclaimed artists. An abbreviated list of past winners includes Glenn Dicterow; Grant Gershon; Jeffrey Kahane; Anne-Marie McDermott; Paula Robison; Nathaniel Rosen; Morton Subotnick; the Ahn Trio; eighth blackbird; and the Cavani, Colorado, Pacifica, Tokyo, and Vega Quartets.

Held annually in late April, the Competition offers an opportunity for these musicians to perform before an outstanding panel of nationally chosen judges for three prizes totaling $15,500. Previous judges have included Jascha Heifetz; Natalie Limonick; Mehli Mehta; Gregor Piatigorsky; Artur Rubinstein; Eudice Shapiro; Arnold Steinhardt; Henri Temianka; the Beaux Arts Trio; and the Amadeus, Budapest, Opus One, and Smetana Quartets.