Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra

Bushell Concerto Competition

2015 Bushell Concerto Competition

The Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for the 2015 Bushell Concerto Competition.  The competition is open to musicians age 16 and over, who are Washington state residents.

Applicants must submit a completed application form, as well as a recording demonstrating their skill level. The Bushell Competition committee will review all applications and select the 25 candidates most qualified to compete in the 2015 competition. Entry fees are non-refundable; any CDs sent will not be returned.

Applications must be received online or postmarked on or before March 1, 2015. Finalists will be announced to all applicants by email on March 9, 2015.

Competition Date: Sunday, May 3, 2015

Competition Site: Seattle Pacific University | Crawford Music Building | 3214 4th Ave W | Seattle, WA

Please read these document carefully before applying.

2015 Bushell Policies

Online Application

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Barb Hunter
2015 Bushell Competition Chair
Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra


2014 Winner Announced

Congratulations to our 2014 Don Bushell Concerto Competition winner, Felicity James.

Miss James will perform the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No.3 with the Seattle Philharmonic during our 2014-15 season.

Since her solo orchestral debut at the age of eleven, violinist Felicity James has appeared with many prominent orchestras of the Pacific Northwest, including the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene Symphonies and the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Ludovic Morlot. Previously a prizewinner of the Stradivarius International Violin Competition and winner of the Aspen Music Festival’s Mozart violin competition, Ms. James has performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the New York String Orchestra Seminar and was also featured on NPR’s From the Top with pianist Christopher O’Riley. An avid chamber musician, Ms. James has played in various ensembles at the Aspen, Sarasota and Methow Valley Music Festivals and performs regularly with her quartet at the Colburn School, where her coaches are Arnold Steinhardt, Clive Greensmith and Martin Beaver. Ms. James is currently a Bachelor of Music candidate at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she studies with Robert Lipsett. 

The full results of the 2014 Don Bushell Concerto Competition are:

WinnerFelicity James (violin)

First Runner-Up Honors – Aaron Alfonso Petit (piano)

Second Runner-Up Honors – Debra McKinney (voice)


The Bushell Concerto Competition is named in honor of the SPO’s first Music Director, Don Bushell, who started this annual event in 1946 to provide a performance opportunity for aspiring musicians. Every year since, this prestigious competition has provided professional development and an exclusive concert performance opportunity for outstanding area soloists.

Upcoming Concert:

“Heirs and Rebels”: Vaughan Williams and Holst

May 30, 2015 at 2pm | Benaroya Hall

Musical BFF's Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst are united in an exciting season finale. Acknowledged as his first true masterpiece, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is an homage to the English church music that the composer so deeply loved. Holst's The Planets, a work of stunning brilliance and immense imagination, never fails to move, intrigue and delight audiences. The concert also features a rare U.S. performance of Vaughan Williams' Piano Concerto.

Benaroya Hall

Benaroya Hall houses two performance halls in a complex that is thoroughly integrated into downtown Seattle. Occupying an entire city block at the very core of the city, the development celebrates the vital role of performance events while maintaining the continuity of commercial life along one avenue and providing a much-needed public space, in the form of a terraced garden, along another.

Parking Information is available here.

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Vaughan Williams

Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
    Cristina Valdes, piano


The Planets

Buy Tickets

Buy tickets for “Heirs and Rebels”: Vaughan Williams and Holst

Select your quantity.

type price quantity
Adult $30
Student $20
Seniors (age 65+) $20
Youth (16 and under)* free
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*Youth 16 years and younger are invited to enjoy Phil concerts at no charge when they present this voucher. Concerts may not be appropriate for the very young. Verbalizations from infants and small children disrupt the performance and disturb other patrons.

Seating is general admission. All tickets are held at Will Call unless advanced mailing is requested by emailing