Classical Piano

Des Moines Area Piano Festival

The third annual event will be held on Sunday, February 27, 2022 at the Salisbury House & Gardens in Des Moines.


Information and Registration

12:30 p.m., Sunday, February 27, 2022
Salisbury House & Gardens (4025 Tonawanda Drive, Des Moines IA 50312)

Thank you for your interest in the 2022 Des Moines Area Piano Festival, a professionally-adjudicated performance opportunity for students in a friendly, welcoming environment.

About the Festival:

This year's Festival will be held 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 27, 2022 at the Salisbury House & Gardens. Pianists in grades K-12 from the Des Moines metro area (Des Moines and all surrounding suburbs) are invited to participate. 2022 participants will be capped at 120.


To register, please complete the following steps: 

1. Fill out the forthcoming registration form.

2. Pay the $15 registration fee (payable via the link on the registration form).

The registration form and payment must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 18 before a student is registered to participate in the 2022 Des Moines Area Piano Festival and/or the Victor Borge Legacy Award Competition. Participants will be notified of their audition time by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 21. All performance times are final and no refunds will be offered.

Audition Information: 

Please be on time for your assigned audition time. 

Audition Criteria & Evaluation:

All participants will be evaluated by a professional adjudicator and will receive a rating and judge's comments. Each student will begin with the technical exercise (below) and then perform a memorized piece that showcases the student's current playing level. Each audition is a maximum of five minutes total per student. The rating and comments will be sent to the student's instructor. 

Technical Exercise Requirements:

Please consult with your student's instructor regarding your student's current playing level. Scales and cadence patterns are to be in the key of the memorized audition piece: 

Beginner: Play a one-octave scale and a I-V7-I pattern with both hands (chords may be simplified).

Intermediate: Play a two-octave scale and a I-IV-I-V7-I pattern with both hands. 

Advanced: Play a four-octave scale and a I-IV-I-V7-I pattern with both hands.

Victor Borge Legacy Award Competition: 

If the Piano Festival entrant is at an advanced playing level and in grades 8-12, he/she is invited to participate in the Victor Borge Legacy Award Competition at the 2021 Des Moines Area Piano Festival. No additional repertoire is required, and the student will be adjudicated as part of his/her Piano Festival audition. 

Previous second place Victor Borge Legacy Award winners are eligible to enter; previous first place Legacy Award winners are ineligible to enter. 

First and second place winners will receive an award of $1,000 and $500, respectively, which will be given to the winners after they perform at least two memorized, classical pieces (10 minutes total) in a recital (date TBD) on the Victor Borge piano at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. Failure to perform in the recital will result in forfeiting the award money.

In addition, winners will submit a 500-word essay about the legacy of Victor Borge (due April 2, 2022), which will be judged by a panel that includes Borge's daughter, Janet Borge Crowle, for an additional $500 cash prize.

Funding for the Victor Borge Legacy Award is provided through a generous gift from R. James and Janet Borge Crowle, Saint Michaels, Maryland. Additional support provided by the Charles W. and Norma J. Wilson Foundation and the Eric & Joan Norgaard Charitable Trust.


With questions, please email Des Moines Area Piano Festival Director Sophia S. Ahmad at

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