Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition

Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition

The Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition will resume in 2020.

Please join us for a Fundraising Gala Concert to benefit the Robert Turner Memorial Scholarship Fund for Piano Concerto & Chamber Music Performance on April 28, 2019.

Deborah H. How, PhD, MBA
President & Co-Founder, Westside Music Foundation
Chair, Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition

Since 1996, the Westside Music Foundation Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition, formerly the MTAC-WLA Piano Concerto Competition, has worked with the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra to present highly musically gifted students as piano concerto soloists to audiences across Los Angeles. This joint program has given over 100 young pianists the unique opportunity to not only perform with orchestra, but to share their talent with the local community, their friends, families, and peers. Many of our Concerto Competition winners have gone on to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from prestigious conservatories and colleges, including the USC Thornton School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Juilliard School, Indiana University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Northwestern, and Yale. Some of our other Concerto Competition winners have gone on to attend the best medical schools in the country, becoming fine doctors (with a passion for music). Each year, we receive updates and e-mails from a few of our past winners, thanking us again for that one special day in their lives where they came out on stage in black-tie regalia and performed to an audience filled with hundreds of adoring fans. Those winners who are now professional musicians often tell us that the day they played with orchestra was the day they decided to be a musician. Those winners who are now exploring other fields thank us for the most amazing musical day of their lives. Very few pianists ever have the opportunity to perform as a concerto soloist with a full orchestra; it is truly a joy and pleasure for the Westside Music Foundation and the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra to give these young pianists this experience.

Robert E. Turner (February 13, 1914 – November 28, 2001), at the age of 16, won a fellowship to study at the Juilliard Graduate School with Josef and Rosina Lhevinne. He later earned a master’s degree in composition from Princeton University, studying with Roger Sessions, and he studied conducting at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with Fritz Reiner. In addition to having one of the foremost private studios in the country, coaching three generations of students to win scores of elite competitions and establish international careers of their own, Mr. Turner was on faculty at UCLA, USC, UCSD, and the University of Washington. In 1969, he founded the Repertoire Chamber Orchestra to showcase young Los Angeles-area soloists. As music director and conductor through 1981, he presented more than 50 concerts. A few months before his death from pancreatic cancer, a concert in Mr. Turner’s honor was given at the Herbert Zipper Hall of the Colburn School of Performing Arts in downtown Los Angeles, featuring 13 of his most outstanding students. At this concert, the Robert Turner Memorial Scholarship Fund (for piano concerto and chamber music performance) was established, and the MTAC-WLA Piano Concerto Competition was named in his honor starting in 2002. In 2006, the Westside Music Foundation, founded by two past presidents of MTAC-WLA, was established and took over guardianship of the Robert Turner Memorial Scholarship Fund to ensure that the fund would continue to grow through fund-raising events and investments, so that the Robert Turner legacy would continue for decades to come.

Previous Winners Lists

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