The American Bach Society and the University of Notre Dame present the first
June 9–10, 2023
The inaugural RUTH MONTE MEMORIAL BACH PIANO COMPETITION, sponsored by the American Bach Society, will take place June 9–10, 2023, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The competition is built around Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I and receives its funding through a generous grant from the Ruth and Noel Monte Fund. The donors described the purpose of this fund with the following words: “Ruth and Noel Monte were deeply devoted to Bach and his music, sensing its great impact on the human brain and culture throughout the world. To them, Bach represents a bright planet appearing in the sky only once, requiring centuries for the human mind to observe and fully comprehend. The Monte fund has the goal supporting and promoting this musical treasure for present and future generations.”
The competition features six high-school-age pianists from around the United States performing Preludes and Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier, along with other works of Bach and music by later composers. The following particular events are free and open to the public:
Friday, June 9
7:30 p.m.—Lecture on the Well-Tempered Clavier by Dr. Paul Walker, Musicologist, Organist, and Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Notre Dame
Saturday, June 10
10:00 a.m.—Masterclass on keyboard works of Bach, led by Don Freund, Composer, Pianist, and Professor of Composition at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington
5:00 p.m.—Final Recital, featuring all six contestants, followed by the Award Ceremony
All events will take place in the LaBar Recital Hall, O’Neill Hall, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.
Pianists ages 12–18 living in North America (but of any nationality) are encouraged to participate in the first Ruth Monte Memorial Bach Competition, which is sponsored by the Ruth and Noel Monte Fund of the American Bach Society together with the University of Notre Dame.
See below for application details.
1st prize: $4,000
2nd prize: $2,000
Four runners-up: $1,000 each
Applications and first-round video recordings due. Videos should be uploaded as unlisted links to YouTube. You can find instructions about how to upload a video to YouTube at this link.
After uploading your video, please fill out the application form.
Participants are notified of the jury’s first-round decisions; six finalists are identified and plans are made for them to travel (with a parent or guardian) to the University of Notre Dame in June.
Six finalists travel to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN to take part in the final round of the competition. Travel and lodging expenses for each finalist and a parent or guardian will be covered by the American Bach Society and the University of Notre Dame.
All events take place in O’Neill Hall on the University of Notre Dame campus in South Bend, IN.
Don Freund (Composition Faculty, Indiana University)
Daniel Schlosberg (Piano Faculty, University of Notre Dame)
Paul Walker (Musicology/Organ Faculty Emeritus, University of Notre Dame)
Should you have questions please contact the American Bach Society’s representative for the competition, Andrew Talle (Musicology Faculty, Northwestern University): firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruth and Noel Monte were deeply devoted to Bach and his music, sensing its great impact on the human brain and culture throughout the world. To them, Bach represents a bright planet appearing in the sky only once, requiring centuries for the human mind to observe and fully comprehend. The Monte Fund has the goal of supporting and promoting this living musical treasure for present and future generations.