Montreal Classical Music Festival


more than 50 years of history

Formerly a part of the NDG Arts and Letters Festival, the Montreal Classical Music Festival draws each year an increasing number of participants as well as attracting a greater public audience.

Since 2000, the QMTA has assumed directorship of the Festival, a responsibility which for many years was cared for by Mrs. Milda Ruffo, in partnership with the Borough of Verdun.

As of 2019, the event will be sponsored and hosted by the prestigious École de musique Vincent-d'Indy.

  • DESCRIPTION | The Montreal Classical Music Festival is a competition designed for young musicians aged 5 to 23 (singers 30) who are currently studying music with QMTA members, in the following categories: music writing, voice, piano, strings, violin, cello, winds, and guitar.

  • SESSIONS | Performance sessions will be held at the École de musique Vincent-d'Indy, 628, ch. Cote-Ste-Catherine, Outremont, H2V 2C5, May 16–17, 2020. All sessions are open to the public and admission is free.

  • GALA | A Gala and Awards ceremony will be presented at the École de musique Vincent-d'Indy on Saturday, June 6, 2020, at 7 p.m. General admission is $10 and free for participants and children under 12.

  • HOW TO ENTER | To enter, submit an online form or request for a printable copy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Registration period for 2020 edition will run from Feb 1 to March 15, 2020.

  • ORGANIZING COMMITTEE | The committee is comprised of David Côté as coordinator, Monique Armand as assistant-coordinator, Danielle Langevin as secretary-registrar, and Patrycia Meunier as treasurer.

  • SPONSORSHIP | We offer bursaries, prizes, and trophies to the winners. We could not do it without our sponsors' support. Learn how to BECOME A SPONSOR today.


See Festival FAQs

Contact us by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About the Festival
  • The Montreal Classical Music Festival is organized by the Quebec Music Teachers’ Association, in collaboration with the École de musique Vincent-d’Indy.

  • Performance sessions will take place on May 16–17, 2020, at the École de musique Vincent-d’Indy, in Montreal. There is only one round of competition, no semi-finals or finals.

  • The gala concert and awards ceremony will be presented on June 6, at 7 p.m.

Preliminary Notes
  • The competition is open to contestants aged 23 or younger (30 for singers).

  • All competitors must be residing or studying music in the Province of Quebec.

  • When their entry is submitted, the competitor’s music teacher must be a current active or provisional member of the Quebec Music Teachers’ Association. (List of certified QMTA members)

    All individual participants of an ensemble need not be private students of QMTA members; it is sufficient for the ensemble to be directed or coached by a member.

    Non-member teachers may join the QMTA within 7 days of their students’ entries, provided they meet the membership criteria and obligations, and pay the dues for the current year. (cf. How to become a member)

  • In submitting an entry to the Festival, the competitor and their teacher acknowledge that they have read and understood the present rules and agree to abide by them in good faith. Any infringement may result in disqualification[i].

  • The MCMF reserves the right to revise its rules until the opening of the registration period, January 15, 2020. Any amendments will be uploaded on the website without any individual notification to teachers or competitors.

  • All special requests and modifications must be addressed in writing or by email to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Additional fees may apply (cf. Entry Fees and Payments). Although every effort is made to accommodate competitors and teachers, we cannot guarantee that all requests will be fulfilled.

[i] A disqualified competitor may, at the jury’s discretion, perform their program selections, but will not earn any comments, score or prize.

Registration Procedure
  • Registration opens January 15, 2020. Candidates wishing to submit an entry to the Festival must complete the online form. A printable version (PDF) is available upon request.

  • The candidate must complete one form per class entered (cf. Categories and Age Groups). All fields are mandatory. Failure to submit a complete form may result in delays or rejection.

  • Rules regarding multiple entries:
    • In different categories: YES
    • In multiple age groups within the same category: NO
    • As a member of more than one ensemble: YES, provided the instrumental formation is different.

  • It is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that all their students’ entry forms are duly completed and submitted online or by post to the Secretary’s office by the March 31, 2020 deadline. Paper entries must be postmarked by that date. Late entries may be accepted under certain conditions. Late fees apply (cf. Entry Fees and Payments).

  • Please DO NOT mail anything to the QMTA head office in Verdun, or the École Vincent-d’Indy. The address is MCMF Secretary, 336 St. Francis Blvd, Suite 2, Chateauguay (Quebec), J6J 1Z3.

  • The candidate may cancel their entry at anytime by notifying the Secretary’s office as soon as possible. All fees are non-refundable.

  • Registration procedures for ensemble and music writing categories can be found under the respective “Specific Rules” sections.
Categories and Age Groups


  • Competitors are classified by category and age group, regardless of level.

  • Participation is open in the following categories:
    • Piano solo
    • Piano concerto
    • Violin solo[1]
    • Violin concerto
    • Cello
    • Guitar
    • Winds (all instruments)
    • Voice (all types)
    • Music writing (free instrumentation)
    • Ensemble[2] (free instrumentation)

Age Groups

  • All age groups imply the mention “and under”.

  • Age groups are :
    • Concerto, ensemble, and music writing categories: 8, 11, 15, 19, and 23 years;
    • Other categories: all ages 5 to 18 years; 23 years; 30 years (voice category only).

  • Candidates must not be older, as of January 1, 2020, than the age group in which they enter. A proof of age may be required. For guidelines regarding the ensemble category, see the "Specific Rules for Ensemble Category" section.

  • A competitor may select the age group that corresponds to their actual age or choose a higher age group considering the duration of their performance (cf. Time Limits and Repertoire). It is possible to enter in the same age group in subsequent years.

[1] Violin categories include viola.
[2] The "ensemble" category replaces and includes the former "piano ensemble" category.

Entry Fees and Payments

Please note that all changes are subject to approval by the MCMF Secretary’s office (cf. Preliminary Notes).

  • All fees are non-refundable, and non-transferable to other candidates. Any forfeited or overpaid amount will revert to the MCMF bursary fund.

[1] Cheques made out to Montreal Classical Music Festival are no longer accepted by the bank and will be returned.
[2] Any changes or updates made after April 15 will not appear on the Festival documents (convocation slip, judges’ comments sheet, program), but the judge will be notified on the day of the competition.

MCMF 2020 Entry Fees Chart
Time Limits and Repertoire Guidelines

Time Limits

  • A competitor’s performance may include one or more pieces or movements, provided the time limit is respected. If the time limit is exceeded, the performance may be interrupted by the judge.

In concerto category (piano or violin), the performance is restricted to either one (1) movement of concerto or concertino OR a total duration of five (5) minutes, regardless of the age group.

  • The total timing indicated on the entry form must include preparation time and breaks between pieces. It will be rounded up to the next 30-second interval.

  • Performance Time Limits by Age Group
    • 5, 6, 7 yrs: 5 min
    • 8, 9 yrs: 6 min
    • 10, 11 yrs: 7 min
    • 12, 13, 14 yrs: 10 min
    • 15, 16 yrs : 15 min
    • 17 yrs and over : 20 min

Repertoire Guidelines

  • Repertoire is not subject to approval by the MCMF officials, nor do pieces need to be listed in a recognized syllabus. There is no specific rule regarding their level of difficulty.

  • The chart below, offered as reference, presents general equivalences between age groups and the programs published by (a) McGill Schulich Conservatory, (b) Royal Conservatory of Music; and (c) École de musique Vincent-d’Indy.

  • The following are NOT authorized: (a) pieces of genres other than classical[1]; (b) pieces arranged or adapted for piano solo[2]; (c) reductions and abridged pieces or movements.

  • Piano and violin concertos should be entered in concerto categories. Other concertos for guitar, cello, or winds should be entered as solos and will be subject to the solo performance category rules.

  • A competitor cannot select a repertoire that has been previously performed at the MCMF.

  • A competitor who performs pieces that do not correspond to the repertoire selections listed on the entry form is liable to disqualification. For guidelines regarding repertoire modifications after an entry has been submitted, see the "Entry Fees and Payments" section.

  • Memorization of repertoire is compulsory for all categories, except ensemble and music writing.

  • Repeats are optional, provided prescribed time limits are not exceeded.

  • Concerto performances must include cadenzas, if applicable. Any official version will be accepted. 

[1] Any piece listed in a recognized syllabus will be considered classical. If in doubt, please contact the Secretary’s office.
[2] Exception: André Mathieu, Concerto de Québec, piano solo version, is accepted in piano solo class.

Suggested Minimum Level of Pieces
Schedule and Dates to Remember


  • Upon submitting their entry form, the candidate acknowledges that their category may be scheduled at any time during the MCMF performance sessions, May 16 and 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The MCMF is not responsible for scheduling conflicts that may arise.

  • The official schedule is established once all entries have been received and will be published online on April 15. Special scheduling requests will not be granted, and no refunds will be issued once the entry form has been received.

  • If for unforeseen circumstances a competitor expects to be delayed in arriving at the Festival for their performance session, they should, if possible, inform the secretary. At the discretion of the secretary, a competitor who arrives late, but before the end of his session may still be allowed to perform but will be disqualified if he remains absent.

2020 Dates to Remember

January 15: Registration opens
March 31: Registration closes
April 15: Convocation slips mailed and official schedule published
May 16-17: Performance sessions
June 6: Gala Concert and Awards Ceremony
June 23: Deadline for claiming prizes 

Venue Information and Reception
  • The 2020 edition of the Festival will be held at École de musique Vincent-d’Indy, 628 Cote‑Ste‑Catherine Rd, Montreal (Outremont), H2V 2C5 (Edouard‑Montpetit metro station).

  • On Festival days, parking is free anywhere on the property.

  • Performance sessions will be held simultaneously in three halls: Marie-Stéphane, Cécile-Romaine, and Salle de musique, on May 16 and 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Grand pianos are provided in all three halls.

  • Performance sessions are public, and admission is free.

  • Competitors must register at the reception desk 15 to 30 minutes prior to the start of their performance sessions. The presentation of their convocation slip is not required.

  • A souvenir programme of the event will be sold for $5 at the reception desk. 

  • The École Vincent-d’Indy does not provide any practice rooms. Playing the pianos (whether before, between or after the sessions), loitering in rooms and corridors other than those designated for the Festival or occupying bathrooms for practicing purposes is strictly forbidden.

  • Competitors and audience members are asked to vacate the room upon the termination of a session. 
Music Scores
  • Prior to the start of their performance session, the competitor is required to provide the judge with a copy of each piece to be performed, including concerto cadenzas if applicable. The scores must be placed in their order of performance, with the books opened to the correct pages. Failure to provide copies of music scores will lead to disqualification.

  • While each musician of an ensemble may use an individual part, the judge must be provided with an orchestral score. 

  • Accompaniment scores are not submitted to the judge, except in the music writing category.

  • All sheet music used by competitors, accompanists, and judges must be official editions, or legally downloaded copies (with proof of purchase). The use of photocopies is strictly forbidden and will be penalized. The competitor will have to, per their choice either: (1) purchase the score from the store[i]; (2) pay the MCMF a fine equivalent to the monetary value of the score; (3) remove the piece from the repertoire to be performed; (4) be disqualified[ii]

  • To enable the judge to provide more precise comments, it is suggested that the measures be numbered.

  • For rules regarding memorization, please refer to “Repertoire Guidelines and Time Limits”. 

[i] Cooperative Vincent-d’Indy, located on the premises of the École Vincent-d'Indy.
[ii] A disqualified competitor may, at the jury’s discretion, perform their program selections, but will not earn any comment, score or prize.

  • The MCMF Gala is a prestigious concert and an awards ceremony. It takes place at École de musique Vincent-d'indy, 628 Ch. Côte Ste-Catherine, Outremont, H2V 2C5, on Saturday, June 6, 2020. General admission is $10 and free for all participants and children under 12.
  • Cash prizes are offered to all winners. Trophies are presented to the winners who score the highest mark of their category.

Marie-Jeanne Fortier Trophy: piano solo 9 years and under
Henry Finkel Trophy: piano solo 13 years and under
Rose Goldblatt Trophy: piano solo 17 years and under
Coop Vincent-d'Indy Trophy: piano solo 18 years and over
John Ringwood Trophy: piano concerto
Daisy Palos Trophy: piano ensemble
Mavis Veit Trophy : voice
William Stevens Trophy: guitar
Daphne Sandercock Trophy: violin 13 years and under
Rita Barg Trophy: violin 14 years and over
Mhairi Thomson-Tessier Trophy: cello
EMV Trophy: music writing
Senior grand champion and Junior grand champion of all categories offered by Quebec Music Education Foundation.

  • Only selected winners, typically trophy recipients, will perform at the gala concert, but all must attend to receive their prizes. Candidates who are chosen to perform at the gala concert are notified by the jury on the same day.
  • Unclaimed prizes will not be sent by mail but will be available for pickup until June 23, at Co-op Vincent-d’Indy, 628 Côte Ste-Catherine, Outremont (Students Entrance), H2V 2C5 / 514 342-5106 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. After that date, any unclaimed cash prize will be deemed to have been forfeited by the winner and will revert to the Festival bursary fund. Lost or uncashed cheques will not be reissued.
  • The whole composition, including the accompaniment if applicable, must be the original work of the competitor whose name appears on the application form. A maximum of three compositions may be submitted, as long as the total performance does not exceed the time limit for the age-group entered.
  • Before the performance, competitors must supply the jury with a copy of their manuscript, including all instrumental parts, and necessary details of dynamic, editing, and tempo. Manuscripts should be neat and legibly printed by hand or by computer, in black ink, in regulation manuscript size with every 10th bar numbered.
  • Competitors may wish to play their compositions, and/or hire all players and accompanists required, at their own expense.
  • Compositions will be judged on their merit, and not on the interpretation or the technical skills of the players.
  • Prize-winning compositions will be submitted by the jury to the CFMTA Student Composer Competition.

For more information regarding the music writing competition, please contact Jean-Michel Rousseau at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 514 433-4192. 





8 years and under 5 minutes $ 30
11 years and under 7 minutes $ 35
15 years and under 10 minutes $ 40
19 years and under 15 minutes $ 45
23 years and under 20 minutes $ 50


  • All messages and convocation slips are sent through teachers, who forward them to their students.

  • All efforts will be made to ensure that all documents, convocations, certificates, etc. are drawn in the competitors preferred language, as indicated on the entry form.

  • Please promptly report any change, error or missing information to the Secretary-registrar’s office.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., assistant-coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., secretary-registrar
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., treasurer

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