Chesapeake Music brings renowned musicians to delight, engage and surprise today's audiences, and educate, inspire and develop tomorrow's.

2021 Gold Winner: Zelter String Quartet
2021 Silver Winner: Dior Quartet
Rules and How To Apply


The Competition is open to acoustic instrumental ensembles. Voice as an acoustic instrument is not allowed or accepted. The ensemble may not have more than one piano. Ensembles must consist of three to five members. Members must be engaged in study and/or performance and must be pursuing careers in music.

On November 1, 2021, the average of the ages of ensemble members shall be less than 30 years, 11 months, and 30 days.


This year, applications online are accepted in partnership with the leading arts application platform. Ensembles should select one member to serve as coordinator for the group. This individual initiates the application online and submits his or her contact information as requested. There is a subsequent page to submit information on remaining ensemble members.

A musical recording is then uploaded with the application and finally, the fee of $40 per member is collected. Please arrange for one credit card to pay the total ensemble application fee.

The required audio recording should consist of 30 minutes of music including at least 2 works or movements of works contrasting in style and character. The recording should include the music only and no introductions or reference to the ensemble or any of its members. The judging in the first round is completely anonymous.

Judging is completed in two rounds. The first round will have at least three judges reviewing each application and rating them. The preliminary head judge will select two others to help review these ratings and select the four or five finalists and two alternates. The final round will take place at the Ebenezer Theater in Easton, Maryland. Please refer to the judging section of the web site for more information.

Complete instructions are repeated in the application and technical support is available during the application process.

Applications open on September 1, 2021 and close on November 1, 2021. Press the application button below to begin or to return to the application as you proceed.


Prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the Final Round Competition. The Lerman Gold Prize winner will be awarded the sum of $10,000. The Silver Prize winner will receive $5,000. And, the very popular Audience Choice Award winner will receive $500.

All prizes are conditioned upon full compliance of the ensemble and each of its members with the rules and requirements of the Competition.

Additional Requirements

Acceptance of the invitation to participate in the performance competition on April 2, 2022 shall constitute agreement by the ensemble and each of its members to the terms below:

  • The ensemble shall participate in the Competition on April 2 and an orientation and rehearsal on April 1 as assigned by the Competition Chair.
    The ensemble shall attend a brunch on April 3 to meet privately with the finalist judges and to converse with Competition Patrons and Concert presenters present.
  • The ensemble shall be available on the afternoon of April 3 to perform a 60-minute concert in a community venue in the area as assigned.
  • If selected to perform at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival in June, 2022, the chosen ensemble will make themselves available on June 17, 2022. 
  • Within 10 days of receiving the invitation to participate, the ensemble shall submit a photograph and brief biography. Within 30 days, the ensemble will provide a listing of their 45-minute live competition program and a supplemental 15-minute program. PDF files of each work listed will be provided to the Competition for judges use as well.
  • Chesapeake Music may, without condition or limitation, freely use any online audition recording submitted with the application and may record any performances during the weekend Competition and shall have full rights of ownership in and use of such recorded performances.
  • Chesapeake Music may publish on its website a link to the ensemble’s official website.


The Competition provides complimentary housing for the ensembles at private homes in the Easton area.

Chesapeake Music 2019 ©

PO Box 461 | Easton, MD 21601 | Phone: 410-819-0380 |