News Releases

The 5th Annual Cooper International Competition Takes Place July 17-26, 2014

January 16, 2014

Conservatory Communications Staff

Pianist performs with orchestra
Leonardo Colafelice of Italy, champion of the 2012 Cooper International Competition, performs in the Concerto Finals with the Cleveland Orchestra.

Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

The Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition, one of the nation's premier competitive performance opportunities for young pianists, returns to the Oberlin campus July 17-26, 2014.

Now in its fifth year, the Cooper Competition welcomes top piano students from across America and around the world to vie for a grand prize of $10,000, in addition to cash prizes for each of the top six finishers and full scholarships to attend the Oberlin Conservatory for each of the competition’s three finalists.

Preliminary rounds will be held at Oberlin beginning July 17. Concerto Finals will take place on July 26 in Cleveland’s Severance Hall, where each of the top three finalists will perform a complete concerto with the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra.

"The Cooper Competition offers three young pianists the invaluable chance to play with the Cleveland Orchestra. But it offers all the competitors the chance to hear and get to know their peers—the people who are going to be important in the piano field throughout their lives—and get to know great artists and teachers from Oberlin and around the world,” says Robert Shannon, professor of piano at Oberlin and director of the 2014 Cooper Competition. “This is a unique and potentially life-changing event."

The jury for the 2014 Cooper Competition includes renowned teacher-performers Dan Zhaoyi, Christopher Elton, Thomas Hecht, John O’Conor, and Nancy Weems, along with Oberlin piano faculty Angela Cheng, Alvin Chow, Monique Duphil, Haewon Song, Peter Takács, and Shannon.

Application deadline for the 2014 Cooper International Competition is April 15. For more information, visit

ABOUT THE COOPER COMPETITION: Sponsored by Thomas and Evon Cooper, the Cooper International Competition debuted in summer 2010 for pianists, followed in 2011 by a competition for violinists, and alternates annually between the two instruments. Both formats are open to musicians ages 13 to 18. Mr. Cooper is a 1978 Oberlin College graduate and a member of Oberlin’s Board of Trustees; his wife, Evon, is a pianist and private piano teacher. They reside near Boston, Mass.

OBERLIN AND THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA: The relationship between Oberlin and the Cleveland Orchestra dates back nearly a century, beginning with the philanthropy of John Long Severance, an 1885 Oberlin graduate and flutist who founded the Musical Arts Association, under which the Cleveland Orchestra was established in 1918. Severance and his wife were major donors for the construction of the Cleveland Orchestra’s home, Severance Hall. The Cleveland Orchestra first performed at Oberlin in 1919, and has returned each season since—totaling more than 200 performances to date.

You may also like…