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High School Soloist Competition

Next Steps for the High School Soloist Competition

Entrants will be notified by Thursday, April 30, 2020 of the judges' decisions. Eight flutists will be selected to submit a video recording of the final round repertoire. Please refer to the Recording Guidelines on the NFA Competition Information page. The finalists will be ranked and the top three will receive cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $300 respectively. Upload your video recording here by Monday, August 3, 2020, 11:59 p.m. EDT. In addition, three flutists will be selected as masterclass participants and receive online instruction from a master teacher.

Please contact coordinator Amy Tu with any questions you may have.

The 36th annual High School Soloist Competition will feature eight finalists (selected based on their recorded round audition) competing at the 2020 NFA Convention. Cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $300 will be awarded to the finalists. In addition, the $400 Geoffrey Gilbert Scholarship will be awarded to the first-place winner, to be used for further flute study with any teacher who is a member of the NFA. The $100 Deveau Scholarship will be awarded to the finalist who gives the best performance of the new work commissioned by the NFA for this competition. All finalists must be available for the duration of the convention as the first-place winner will perform a recital on Sunday.

In addition to the eight finalists, three flutists will be selected from the recorded round to participate in the High School Masterclass at the 2020 NFA Convention. Other entrants may, upon unanimous recommendation from the recorded round judges, receive certificates of merit in recognition of the high quality of their work.

All entrants must:

  • have been full-time students enrolled in an accredited institution during the 2019-2020 academic year in grades 9-12 or the equivalent.
  • be between the ages of 14 and 19 on the first day of the convention. Entrants will be required to show proof of age at the convention.

Previous first-place winners of this competition are ineligible to compete.


The winner of the High School Soloist Competition becomes an automatic finalist in NPR’s From the Top, America’s largest national platform dedicated to celebrating the stories, talents, and character of classically-trained young musicians.

Competition Requirements*

  • All flutists must be current NFA members at the time the entry is submitted. If chosen to perform or present at the convention, flutists must also be current members at the time of the convention and register for the convention by July 1, 2020. To join or renew, go to
  • Completed entry
  • Uploaded files
  • $55 entry fee (paid during submission process)

All entrants must submit their entry, upload recordings/supplemental materials, and pay competition and membership fees by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, February 18, 2020.


Recorded Round Repertoire

Each piece should be uploaded as a separate file in the following order. All uploaded files must be audio recordings. No videos are allowed.

  • Charles Gounod, ed. D. Sackmann, Concertino (Amadeus)
  • Katherine Hoover, Winter Spirits (Papagena Press)

Accompanied repertoire must be recorded with piano accompaniment.


Final Round Repertoire

This repertoire will be presented at the 2020 NFA Convention in the order of the finalist’s choosing.

  • NFA commissioned work to be sent to finalists no later than June 1
  • Johann Sebastian Bach, Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034, IV. Allegro (Barenreiter)
  • Gabriel Grovlez, Romance et Scherzo (Billaudot)


* Competitions are subject to all rules and regulations on this page as well as the 2020 General Competition Information and Rules and Regulations. Incomplete entries will be subject to disqualification.


Amy Tu

headshot of Nadira Novruzov, winner of the 2019 high school soloist competitionBefore competing in the NFA High School Soloist competition, I had never attended a flute convention, and so even having the opportunity to surround myself with some of the most recognized, talented flute players in the world and go to concerts to hear them perform was a truly unique experience. The competition itself was also full of circumstances that pushed me out of my comfort zone. For the first time, I had to learn a piece that had never been recorded or performed before, a piece that was written specifically for the finalists to play. It required me to develop a completely personal interpretation, because I was unable to take inspiration from past performers of the work. The commissioned piece pushed me to use techniques I had never put to use, like lip pizzicatos and electronic accompaniment, which made it a lot of fun to prepare. I am so grateful to have won first place in the 2019 High School Soloist Competition; I really appreciate the opportunities that have arisen from this honor, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

—Nadira Novruzov, 2019 winner

Photo of Irene Kim, 2018 winner of the high school soloist competitionWhile winning the 2018 NFA High School Soloist Competition was an incredible honor and validating experience in my journey as a flutist, I will always remember the ways that preparing for the competition transformed me into an artist from a mere flutist. For one, immersing myself in the repertoire for several months challenged me to constantly seek new meaning and deeper interpretations of the music, which ultimately led to a greater appreciation for the music. In addition, the newly commissioned work in particular gave me the unique opportunity to experiment with different musical interpretations to find one that resonated with me while also bringing the composer’s vision of the piece to life. This experience ultimately created a new sense of confidence in me as an artist, and I am truly fortunate and thankful to have been able to participate in this rewarding competition!

—Irene Kim, 2018 winner
Those entering this competition may also may also be eligible to apply for the Frances Blaisdell Scholarship, which provides $1000 toward NFA convention expenses.


The High School Soloist Competition is sponsored by Brannen Brothers Flutemakers, Inc.