Phyllis Rappeport Piano Competition 2023


The Phyllis Rappeport Piano Competition is dedicated to upholding the values Phyllis ardently and lovingly proffered to hundreds of students throughout her lifetime. Phyllis had no limits to her generosity. She was charitable with her time, she consistently supported the arts and art education in large and small ways, and she was enthusiastically forthcoming in sharing her knowledge. Dedicated to the highest ideals, Phyllis also modeled that the exchange of musical ideas and the personal impact of music could be available to everyone. In her honor, we strive to avail educational opportunities and support to students and teachers, alike.

The repertoire chosen for the competition represents Phyllis’s bailiwicks, the Classical style music and Modern music. The music of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven revealed Phyllis’s superior attention to detail and to her, it was intrinsic to musical study. Her dedication to modern music was a function of her close associations with several composers and her penchant for staying current. We encourage the dedicated study of both styles as a tribute to her.

Jonathan Chapman Cook grew up in Kalamazoo and studied with the beloved Jill Christian: he later continued his studies at Western Michigan University with Lori Sims and at the University of Michigan with Christopher Harding. Jonathan was a dedicated teacher, composer and pianist, frequently composing creative and exciting works for his students, as well as teaching them to compose and improvise. A spiritual and profoundly empathic human being, Jonathan touched many lives with his musical endeavors. We recognize his impact by continuing his creative mission.

competition information and repertoire

Saturday, February 18, 2023
Dalton Center Recital Hall
Western Michigan University
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2023
  • Application Fee: $25


1st Prize: $1,000 in scholarship money towards studies at the Irving S. Gilmore School of Music for an incoming student during the academic year 2023/2024 for those students who are eligible

2nd Prize: $500 Cash Award

3rd Prize: $250 in scholarship money toward participation at WMU’s SEMINAR 2023 for those students who are eligible

Special Prize in memory of Jonathan Cook: $200.00 Cash Award for a work composed and performed by the competitor


The competition is open to all pre-college students, ages 12-18 as of February 18, 2023.

  1. Contestants are to perform two pieces from the following time periods:
    a. One classical sonata or sonatina movement, composed between 1770 – 1815
    b. One piano work, composed after 1945
  2. The classical piano movement is to be performed from memory. The piano work, composed after 1945, can be performed with the score.
  3. Only complete, unabridged solo piano works in the original form and key will be accepted. No concertos or arrangements may be used.