About Us

The Virginia Waring International Piano Competition

Palm Springs International Piano Competition (formerly “The Waring”) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Tax ID # 33-0025613, located in Palm Springs, California.

PSIPC brings piano music, in many genres, to Southern California, through outreach concerts to schools and the community, by presenting performances at local venues such as The McCallum Theatre and The Annenberg Theatre and by hosting an international piano competition with participants coming from around the world.

All first rounds of the Competition are free to the public (approximately 36  hours), with low ticket prices for the Solo Finals and for the Concerto Finals with Orchestra at The McCallum. Performance opportunities and cash prizes are awarded to the winners. The First Prize Award for Solo is named after Virginia Waring; and, the First Prize Award for Concerto is named in honor of Peggy & Don Cravens.

Contestants participate in both solo and concerto events as well as Master Classes in each age category-

Junior (pianists through age 12)
Intermediate (pianists ages 13 through 17)
Senior (pianists ages 18 through 30)

Winners have earned performance opportunities in Vienna, London, Rome, Carnegie Hall, Florida, Denver, Snowmass, San Francisco, as well as Palm Springs and Palm Desert, California.

A special category in the Senior Division between 2005 and 2015 was devoted to performances of the music of Ernst Krenek, the Austrian composer who for many years made the desert his home.  Sponsored by the Krenek Society and the composer’s widow, the winner in this category performed in Vienna and in Steyr, Austria.

Venue Partners for the Competition are Temple Isaiah, Palm Springs and  The McCallum Theatre. Community support includes a large cadre of volunteers who provide housing, transportation, practice space and other services throughout the competition.  The Competition is governed by an active Board of Directors.

Under the skilled direction of PSIPC’s Artistic Director, Robert Koenig, contestants are judged by professionals within the piano and music industries. Founding donors were The Annenberg Foundation, the HN and Frances C. Berger Foundation, the McCarthy Family Foundation, JoAnn McGrath and her Foundation, the City of Palm Desert, The City of Rancho Mirage, and the City of Indian Wells.