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Not to gain a prize or defeat a rival, but to pace one another on the road to excellence



  1. Only complete entries received by the closing deadline can be guaranteed to be processed. Entries are complete when all necessary information and payment have been received.
    The operative date for reckoning ages is the last day of February preceding the Festival.

  2. All entrants, other than conductors, must be amateurs.

  3. A performer may enter more than one class unless the syllabus states otherwise: in ordinary solo classes for any one instrument, a performer can only enter a maximum of two classes, which must be in adjacent age groups; in ordinary solo classes offering more than one instrument, a performer can enter on all available instruments, in that class.

  4. Progression: A solo performer who has gained the first award in the same class of any section for two years in succession must move on in the following year to a higher class in the section, unless no such class is provided.

  5. Applicant details: All entries must be submitted by an adult (i.e. someone over 16) whether performer, teacher, parent or guardian. This is the “Applicant”.
    Each Applicant should give one contact only, including a telephone number and where possible an email address, for all correspondence. Ballot slips will be sent to that email address, or if necessary postal address.
    For multiple entries on paper copies, the Applicant’s address need only be entered on the top form, but please enter the Applicant’s name on each entry form.

  6. Performing times: Ballot Slips with class dates, times and venues, will be issued early May. Applicants are asked to check them carefully and advise the Secretary promptly of any mistakes.

  7. Entry monies cannot normally be refunded.

Own choice Classes

Entry details/paperwork: Please read the syllabus carefully to check what information and paperwork, if relevant, is required at time of entry for own choice classes.

  1. Programme details
    Competitive classes: Full particulars of each Own Choice work must be given with the entry unless otherwise stated in the syllabus. This must include: title, movements (where applicable), chapter and/or boundaries of an extract, composer/author.
    If the piece is to be performed in a key which is different from the one printed, this must also be stated.
    Non-competitive classes: Applicants for these classes do not require to provide the name of pieces to be performed at time of entry.
    All classes: Copies of own choice pieces must be provided on the day of the performance for the adjudicator. Such copy must be in the same edition and key as that used by the performer. The name of the performer and class must be shown on the copy, and the work to be performed clearly identified. Ensembles must submit a score of the chosen piece.
    All photocopies so provided will be retained by the Festival after the performance and destroyed.

  2. Choice: Performers may not select a piece which they have performed at a preceding Aberdeen Music Festival or which they are performing in another class at the current Festival. The choice may be a set piece for another class, provided that the competitor is not taking part in that class.

  3. Time limits: The duration of each Own Choice piece must be stated on the entry form to enable the time-table to be prepared accurately. Performers must ensure that Own Choice piece(s) do not exceed the time limit prescribed for the class. Should the time limit stated in the syllabus be exceeded the performer may still receive an adjudication and the performance will be treated as being non-competitive. Performers should be aware that if the set time limit is exceeded, the adjudicator may stop the performance at the end of the set time.

  4. Repertoire classes: Each performer must perform at least two pieces.

  5. Change of programme: There may occasionally be circumstances which make changing the stated Own Choice test piece unavoidable. When this is the case, a piece of similar duration may be substituted and should be advised to the Festival Secretary, before the final draft of the programme is completed. Where a change occurs after this date, the performer is welcome to perform and receive an adjudication (providing the piece takes no longer to play than the stated piece) and the performance will be treated as non-competitive.

  6. Use of Official Accompanist: Where the Official Accompanist is required, a printed copy of the full piano accompaniment, not a photocopy, must be submitted no later than 24th April 2017 to ANESMFA c/o 17 Kingswood Gardens, Kingswells, AB15 8PE. Music should be clearly labelled with name and class number. These copies are forwarded to the accompanists to enable them to prepare for the performance.


  1. The Association engages the services of Official Accompanist(s) for the purposes of accompanying set pieces. Performers must confirm their need of the Official Accompanist with their entry. They are free to bring their own accompanist.

  2. All set piece music with an accompaniment should be performed with that accompaniment, unless otherwise stated.

  3. Pre-recorded accompaniments are not acceptable.

  4. Where transposition is required, a transposed copy for the accompanist should be sent no later than 24th April 2017 to: ANESMFA c/o 17 Kingswood Gardens, Kingswells, AB15 8PE.

  5. The Official Accompanist may be available to accompany own choice pieces. The Official Accompanists will not be provided for the following classes, and performers must arrange their own accompanist: Open, Repertoire, Non-competitive Grade 5 and above, Any performance in the Closing Challenge Recital.
    Please contact the Secretary promptly if help with finding an accompanist is required.

  6. Performers must observe set time limits in own choice classes. If they overrun they may be stopped and will not be eligible to win an award. Works chosen should fit comfortably into the available time. Recitals, including spoken introductions, should not exceed the allotted time.

  7. Unless specified, no repeats should be played, other than Da Capos.

  8. In ensemble or group performances, substitutes can be used if a performer has to withdraw.

  9. Where a performer is unable to attend at their balloted time, they may be allowed to perform if they arrive before the class performances end and the adjudication begins. Performers are reminded that ballot times are estimates and due to either delays or withdrawals, classes may not start at the planned time.Consequently, performers are advised to arrive at least ten minutes before the start of their class.

  10. Performers are reminded that it is illegal to copy works which are copyright, without the written permission of the copyright holder. See guidance on Copyright. The use of photocopies to avoid awkward page turns is however permitted. All photocopies provided for the use of the adjudicator/accompanist will be retained by the Festival and destroyed after the performance.

Adjudication and awards

  1. Performers in certain Open classes may be eligible for inclusion in the final Challenge recital, so long as they receive an award of Outstanding, or Very Good, on their performance. Eligibility is at the discretion of the adjudicator

  2. Performers in Open piano classes should be aware that if they are selected to play in the Challenge recital, they must restrict their programme to the set time limit for this competition, i.e. to 10 minutes.

  3. Performers may take part in any competitive class on a non-competitive basis and receive an adjudication.

    All enquiries should be made by email to the Secretary at info@aberdeenmusicfestival.com or by calling 07437 96235

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