The 2023 Clara Wells Fellowships

Pennsylvania State University  
State College, Pennsylvania
June 28-July 1, 2023


Two fellows, selected through competition, are to be in residence at the 2023 Matthay Piano Festival at Pennsylvania State University (State College, Pennsylvania) from June 28 to July 1, 2023.

This year's Fellows will receive:
1.    Full tuition to the 2023 AMAP Festival
2.    Financial support for expenses, up to $1000 per student
3.    Mentorship by distinguished AMA members
4.    Two performance opportunities during the Festival:
                A. The Clara Wells Fellows Recital
                B. Performance in the festival masterclass led by Alexander Kobrin (2005 Cliburn Gold Medalist; Professor of Piano, Eastman School of Music)
5.    A complimentary copy of England's Piano Sage: The Life and Teachings of Tobias Matthay by Stephen Siek and a selection of recently released or re-published recordings of Matthay and his famous pupils.  


Clara Wells was a devoted student of Tobias Matthay in the 1930s. In 1971, she was memorialized by her husband, the late Samuel Masland, who dedicated funds in her name to offer scholarships promoting knowledge of Matthay principles. Since 2015, the competition has been structured to offer two fellowships for different age categories, which underwrite residencies at AMAP Festivals. The purpose of these fellowships is to enable personalized exposure to the teachings of Tobias Matthay and to our organization.

Rules & Eligibility:

1.    Candidates must be between 15 to 30 years of age, as of June 1, 2023.
2.    Two awards of $1000.00 are available for full-time students in two divisions:
                A. High School Division
                B. College Division (Bachelor through Doctoral levels).
3.    Award winners will be chosen by the Clara Wells Fellowship Committee, a panel of members of the American Matthay Association for Piano.
4.    If there are no qualified candidates in one division, two awards may be made in the remaining division at the discretion of the Clara Wells Fellowship Committee.

Application Requirements & Instructions:

1.    A cover letter that includes the following information:

                A. Your name, age, school or college, year in school/degree pursued and contact information (address, phone and email address)
                B. Your length of piano study and names of your teachers.
                C. Your experience, including important performances, awards, scholarships, etc.
                D. Briefly state why you want to be a Clara Wells Scholar.
                E. YouTube link(s) to your performance videos (see no. 2 below)
                F. The name and contact information for your current teacher.

2.    Unedited, single-camera video recording(s) via YouTube link(s) containing two works of contrasting period, style, and tempo. The combined music must comprise a minimum of 10 minutes. In the case of a single video, editing is permitted only between selections.
3.    A response to the Writing Requirement found at the bottom of this page.
4.    PDFs of all scores performed in the YouTube video(s).
5.    Evidence of age: a scanned file of birth certificate, US driver's license, or passport.
6.    A teachers letter of recommendation, sent directly from the teacher to the chair of the Clara Wells Committee (see contact information below). Additional supporting letters may be sent in similar fashion as well, but only one is required.
7.    A check or money order made payable to the American Matthay Association for Piano," or submitted via Stripe at one of the links below. The non-refundable application fee is:

                A. $20 for students of active members of AMAP.
                B. $60 for students of non-members of AMAP.

1.    All electronic application materials: February 26, 2023.
2.    Postmark date for application fee: March 3, 2023.

Winners will be notified no later than April 1, 2023.


Please address all questions and application materials via email to:

Dr. Nicholas Susi
Please use the subject line "Clara Wells" in all email correspondence.

The application fee may be mailed to:

Signe Zale, AMAP Treasurer
PO Box 716
Adams Basin, NY 141410

or submitted via Stripe by clicking one of the links below

Writing Requirement:

The teaching and playing principles of Tobias Matthay are of paramount importance to the American Matthay Association for Piano. These principles are found in succinct form especially in three texts written in the years 1915-1930: Musical Interpretation; The Nine Steps to Finger Individualization; and The Visible and Invisible in Pianoforte Technique. A Kindle edition of the latter book is available via Amazon. While we encourage study of all this material, for this competition applicants are required only to respond to any two of these sayings from the Daily Maxims and Final Precepts at the end of The Visible and Invisible. Simply explain what your chosen two sayings mean to you.

                1. What you have to learn is to intend every note you playan intentional sound and an intentional timeand an intentional duration.
                2. Mean the moment of each sound, and see that you get it; mean the kind of sound for each note, and see that you get it.
                3. "First learn to use Arm-weight so that you can sing. After that, learn to keep the arm offso that you can run.
                4. "Arm off in between the sounding of all notes, and during all light running passages."

To submit the $20 application fee (for students of AMAP members) via Stripe, please click here.

To submit the $60 application fee (for students of non-AMAP members) via Stripe, please click here.

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