David D. Dubois Piano Festival and Competition

In light of COVID-19, a decision about the 2021 Dubois Piano Festival & Competition will be made by November 1, 2020. Applications will go live on December 1, 2020.

2021 David D. Dubois Piano Competition

Friday, February 5 - Sunday, February 7, 2021


Bob McDonald
Professor McDonald at the piano.

Mr. McDonald has toured extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. He has performed with major orchestras in the United States and was the recital partner for many years to Isaac Stern and other distinguished instrumentalists. He has participated in the Marlboro, Casals, and Luzerne Festivals, the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, and has broadcasted for BBC Television worldwide.

He has appeared with the Takács, Vermeer, Juilliard, Brentano, Borromeo, American, Shanghai, and St. Lawrence string quartets as well as with Musicians from Marlboro. His discography includes recordings for Sony Classical, Bridge, Vox, Musical Heritage Society, ASV, and CRI. Mr. McDonald’s prizes include the Gold Medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition, the top prize at the William Kapell International Competition and the Deutsche Schallplatten Critics Award. His teachers include Theodore Rehl, Seymour Lipkin, Rudolf Serkin, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Beveridge Webster, and Gary Graffman. He holds degrees from Lawrence University, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. A member of the piano faculty at the Juilliard School since 1999, Mr. McDonald joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2007, where he holds the Penelope P. Watkins Chair in Piano Studies. During the summer, he is the artistic director of the Taos School of Music and Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico.


Classically-trained pianists in grades 8-12 (age 18 or under at the time of the competition)


  • 1st Prize: $3,000
  • 2nd Prize: $2,000
  • 3rd Prize: $1,000

Additional scholarships may be awarded to seniors successfully completing the application process for undergraduate study in BGSU’s piano program. Judges’ decisions on all prizes and scholarships are final. 


Deadline for application, payment ($25) and uploaded video recording file is Wednesday, January 15, 2021.


Repertoire should include selections from at least three of the following style periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary. One movement from a Classical sonata must be included. All works must be memorized with the exception of those written after 1945. Students should aim for a program 20-30 minutes in length. The same repertoire will be used for both semi-final and final rounds.

Screening Recording

All entrants must submit a video screening recording of one piece from their competition repertoire on or before Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Recordings should be uploaded to YouTube, Youku, or a similar site. Email the link to meltonL@bgsu.edu.


All entrants will be notified of acceptance via email by Friday, January 15, 2021.


If you have any questions about the application or repertoire requirements, please contact Dr. Laura Melton at meltonL@bgsu.edu.

Dr. David D Dubois, an internationally recognized consultant, author and speaker had a love of music and a special passion for piano and organ performance. In 2008, after reviewing proposals from major music schools from around the nation, the David D. Dubois Trust established the David D. Dubois Piano Competition at Bowling Green State University to enhance the piano program in the College of Musical Arts.


The David D. Dubois Piano Competition supports student pianists at several levels. It provides a number of scholarship opportunities for high school students to attend BGSU, it encourages undergraduate piano students to develop innovative programming ideas for outreach projects and it supports current piano students to participate in music festivals around the world.

In his memory, the College of Musical Arts celebrates the life of Dr. David D. Dubois and his passion for music and gratefully acknowledges the David D. Dubois Foundation for making this exciting program possible.


Lessons with BGSU Piano Faculty available Thursday & Friday, Feb. 4 - 5

Friday, February 5th:

Guest Artist Master Class
2:30-4:30 pm
Bryan Recital Hall
Dubois Guest Artist, Robert McDonald, Professor of Piano, Curtis School of Music & Julliard School of Music

Saturday, February 6:

Competition Semifinal Round
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Kobacker Hall

Results announced – 5:30 pm

Guest Artist Recital
8:00 pm
Bryan Recital Hall

Dubois Guest Artist, Robert McDonald, Professor of Piano, Curtis School of Music & Julliard School of Music

Sunday, February 7:

Competition Final Round
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Kobacker Hall

Results announced – 1:00 pm

The competition performances will be live streamed on the College of Musical Arts YouTube channel.

Winners of the 2020 David D. Dubois Piano Competition
2020 Winners
Photo by Bianca R Garza

1st Prize – Kasey Shao (Cincinnati, OH)

2nd Prize – Alena Lu (Potomac, MD)

3rd Prize – Tan Nguyen (Leesburg, VA) & Abhijit Devalapura (New Albany, OH)

Honorable Mention – Maxine Park (Hanover, NH)


Arun Kamath, Cincinnati, OH

Natalie Zhang, Weston, MA