A distinguished preliminary judge will limit the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition up to 30 musicians and three alternates based on the contestants' submitted recordings.

Three distinguished musicians will be judges during the semi-final auditions and the evening finals. If a contestant has studied with or otherwise had close professional or personal ties with a judge, the judge will be asked to recuse himself or herself for that contestant. In that case, the scores from the other two judges will be averaged to provide a third score.

A presentation of any or all of the awards is at the judges' discretion, and their decision is final.