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String Orchestra Competitions & Call for pieces

 London Music Society 2017 International Composer's Competition
Summary:String Orchestra Competition
Deadline: 07 July 2017
Date Posted: 26 April 2017
Details: London Music Society was established to find and promote talented composers and soloists from around the world. We aim to provide opportunities for talented musicians through performance opportunities, recordings, and contacts with music agencies.

London Music Society 2017 International Composer's Competition

• London Music Society 2017 International Composer's Competition is designed to provide an opportunity for composers to showcase their work.
• The competition is open to all nationalities with no age restriction.
• Interested candidates are required to present a work of maximum 12 min in duration for string orchestra.


• 1st Prize: The highest scoring work among the finalists shall be featured as the winning work in the Autumn 2017 performance by the London City Philharmonic. The 1st prize winner composition may also be included in a recording of works by contemporary composers by the London City Philharmonic.
• 2nd and 3rd Prize winners will be given a performance by the London City Philharmonic at a later date during the 2018/19 season.
• A maximum of six honorary mentions will be given by a distinguished panel from the works submitted. These composers will receive a certificate from the London Music Society and will have their names published on the London Music Society website.


• The work shall not exceed 12 minutes in duration.
• The string section must be no more than 6-4-4-4-2. There should be no more than 3 divisi for the 1st Violins, 2 divisi 2nd Violins, 2 divisi Violas, 2 divisi Cellos, no divisi Double Basses.
• The applicants are welcome to name the submitted work and apply under a pseudonym. Said pseudonym, however, may only be used until the start of the competition. All applicants are requested to submit their scores without featuring their name. The composer’s full name and address should be included in a separate paper/note enclosed with the application, so the Competition Office may process the application correctly.
• The submitted work need not to have been composed exclusively for the London Music Society 2017 International Composer's Competition.
• The work may have been performed earlier but it may not have been awarded a prize.
• In case the work has already been performed and recorded, a recording of the performance in three copies could follow the application when is possible, or a link to its performance online must be sent to . The composer may also submit a mp3 file of the notation program playback.
• The panel will meet in July and the winners are expected to be announced by the end of July 2017. There will be a limit number of 50 applications, if the number of applicants will be too high, the Competition has the right to close all applications before the deadline. In order to secure a place in the competition, the applicant should pay the participation fee in Euros €50 or British Sterling £50 (payment details below).

Deadline and How to Apply

• Deadline for submissions of the composition and the payment of the registration fee is Friday 7 July 2017. Works submitted after this date, or candidates who have not paid the registration fee shall not be considered.
• The composer’s full name, postal address, email address and telephone number should be included in separate paper/note inside the postal application, so the Competition Office may process the application correctly.
• Composers must submit three hardcopies to: London Music Society 15 Shire Place, The Ham, Brentford, London, UK Post Code: TW8 8HE.
• The date on a postal stamp will suffice as evidence in last minute applications.

• The entry fee for the competition is Euros €50 or British Sterling £50 payable and due by the submission deadline to either one of the following accounts. The application fee will be accepted either in Euros or British Sterling and must to be paid before the deadline 7 July 2017.

Euro fee €50
British Sterling fee £50


Summary:Orchestra Seeks Composer
Deadline: 31 July 2017
Date Posted: 12 April 2017
Details: New Music Commission 2017-18

Inspired by the success of YLSS’s previous commissions*, we are now inviting entries for our 2017-18 New Music Commission. Four of the submitted pieces will be chosen for a Workshop with eminent composer and Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, and YLSS players, and from these one piece will be selected for performance in 2018.

Our aims for the commission are to:

· Create an original piece of music of high quality, which is inspiring, challenging yet technically accessible for YLSS. This will add to the very limited repertoire specifically written for similar orchestras of adult learners.
· Give YLSS the experience of being part of the creative process and of working with a composer. The process of selecting the composer and working on the piece will be designed to involve all YLSS members who wish to take part. Entrants will be encouraged to share with YLSS the inspiration for their piece and discuss the process of composition, to enhance players’ understanding and performance of the music.
· Broaden YLSS’s musical horizons, giving an impetus to developing more adventurous playing and more confident performance.
· Enable an established or emerging composer to work with YLSS in creating a new piece for performance.

* 2007-8 Winner - Paul Burnell ‘3 Pieces for Strings’, premièred at CoMA Contemporary Music Festival July 2008 and featured on BBC Radio 3 ‘Play to the Nation’ October 2008. Guest composer: Philip Cashian.
2009-10 Winner - Laurence Rose ‘a theory of nothing’, premièred at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival November 2010. Guest composer: Joe Cutler.
2011-12 Winner - Alison Wrenn ‘Battle of the Winwaed’, premièred at Headingley Music Festival June 2012. Guest composer: Sally Beamish.
2013-14 Winner - Elaine Levene ‘Five Snatched Sonnets’, premièred at CoMA Leeds Concert at Heart June 2014. Guest composer: Emily Howard.
2015-16 Winner – Phil Taylor ‘I See Faces in Everything’, premièred at CoMA Leeds Concert at Heart June 2016. Guest composer: Michael Finnissy.

How we plan to achieve this:

· Stage 1
An open invitation to established or emerging composers to submit a 10-15 minute composition. All entries will be considered anonymously by the Selection Panel and four will be shortlisted for a Workshop.

· Stage 2
A Workshop for four shortlisted composers. Judith Weir will give feedback and coaching on each piece as it is rehearsed with YLSS and its conductor Stuart Hazelton. Judith will also offer an individual tutorial with each shortlisted composer. The Workshop and tutorials will be held in Leeds and we will meet travel expenses up to £50 each for shortlisted composers. One composition will be selected for the commission.

· Stage 3
A commission worth £500 (plus contribution towards expenses) to the selected composer to work with YLSS to develop and rehearse their piece for a performance in 2018.


Stage 1 Invite compositions for the Workshop April 2017
Closing date 31 July 2017
Shortlisting August 2017

Stage 2 Workshop Day in Leeds Sunday 29 October 2017
Tutorials (optional) Saturday 28 October 2017

Stage 3 Rehearsals with commissioned composer Jan-June 2018
First performance Date in 2018 to be finalised


· Compositions should be appropriate for YLSS (see below).
· Compositions must not have been previously performed or published.
· Compositions should be free of any copyright restrictions that may prevent public performance and copy of parts for use.
· Compositions should last between 10 and 15 minutes.
· Entrants should provide 4 copies of their score for selection and be prepared to provide at least one full set of parts on request.
· Entrants should provide a brief programme note (100-200 words) and a short biography.
· There is no age limit.
· There is no geographical limit. Entrants are however reminded that shortlisted composers must be able to attend the Workshop in Leeds and be able to work with YLSS to rehearse their piece if selected as winner.
· The score and parts must be easily legible, computer typeset is preferred.
· The winning composition will be premièred by YLSS at a performance of their choosing.
· The four composers shortlisted for the Workshop will be paid actual travel expenses incurred of up to £50 each.
· The prize for the composition which YLSS chooses to commission will be £500. In addition YLSS will pay towards expenses incurred (travel to rehearsals, copying, etc) up to a max of £200.
· The commissioned composer will be expected to attend two rehearsals to work with YLSS.
· Entries should include:
Application Form
4 anonymous copies of the Score and Programme Note
· Compositions will be returned if a suitable pre-paid addressed envelope is provided.
· If possible please send a sound file (eg MP3) or CD of your entry - this would be helpful but is not compulsory.

Entries should arrive at the address below by 31 July 2017. Entries received after that date will not be considered. All entries will be acknowledged. We look forward to receiving your entry. Please send to:

YLSS New Music
c/o 1 Meeting House Lane
York YO26 5FD

Some information about YLSS that may be helpful:

Yorkshire Late Starters Strings is a non-professional string orchestra based in Leeds but with players from as far away as Hull, Manchester and Nottingham. The orchestra takes players of any standard without audition so players cover a wide range of abilities from about Grade 2 upwards to Grade 8. The majority of players are in the middle range. The range of instruments covers violin, viola, cello and double bass, with a typical total of 30-35 players, well spread across the parts. The mix of instruments/ability can vary from week to week so a piece that is flexible enough to cope with this is desirable.

Although, as late starters, some people have not yet reached a high standard technically, players are enthusiastic and committed (see travelling distance above) and willing to tackle a wide variety of music. In the past we have played music from Lawes and Corelli to Hindemith and Pärt, and have held new music workshops. Despite this it would be unwise to depend too much on unusual notations, improvisations, etc – this is a non-professional orchestra playing to learn and for enjoyment and most players feel more comfortable with notes!

What we do want, however, is music that will be inspiring, expressive, adventurous, and yet playable for the wide range of abilities that we encompass. This is where the challenge lies for the composer – to produce a piece that all players can fully participate in and rehearse to a standard fit for performance. It would be worth thinking about different standard parts not only for first and second violin but also for first and second cello, and third parts for newer players. While the first violin and first cello parts can be technically challenging, the piece should not depend on solo players. If the piece is as good, original and exciting as we hope for, there will be opportunities for further performance by similar groups in the UK and USA with which we have links.

The winner will be chosen by the Selection Panel including composer Judith Weir, conductor Stuart Hazelton and two members of YLSS, after consultation with the orchestra.

If you have any queries about the competition please contact


 III Krzysztof Penderecki International Composers’ Competition
Summary:String Orchestra Competition
Deadline: 15 August 2017
Date Posted: 20 March 2017
Details: Radom City can be proud of its centuries-old music tradition. The most distinguished Polish composer of the Middle Ages, Nicholas of Radom, created his music in this royal city. It emphasises the standing and the importance of the centre, also on the cultural map of the Jagiellonian country. The people of Radom have always felt a strong need to create and exist in a cultural field. It is proved by organisation of the International Composers’ Competition - Certamen Compositorum Internationale ARBORETUM and the commitment of one of the most distinguished composers of our times, Krzysztof Penderecki. The Competition originated from the need to experience art, felt both by creators and the public. The regulations of the competition clearly state that Professor Krzysztof Penderecki is the person who is responsible to decide which of the composers has created a work deserving special recognition. Six compositions will be presented during the competition’s second round, concert for final selection performed by the Radom Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maciej Zoltowski. It will take place in the Krzysztof Penderecki Concert Hall in Radom on the 18th of November 2017. ARBORETUM accepts works scored for a string orchestra, which are not performed nor published before the date of the final concert.

Jury: Piotr Moss, Paul Patterson, Maciej Żółtowski
Chairman of the Jury: Prof. Krzysztof Penderecki

Deadline for entries: August 15th, 2017

Final Concert: November 18th, 2017 Krzysztof Penderecki Concert Hall in Radom

Total value of prizes: 45000 PLN