Composition Competition

String Quartet Composition Competition
for Irish citizens/residents under 35

The winning works are premiered at
The West Cork Chamber Music Festival that year

Our annual competition is for the composition of a new string quartet by young Irish and Irish-resident composers. Our Call for Scores goes out in November every year. The four winners are announced by May. Their winning works are rehearsed and premiered at that year’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival in June/July.

Past judges of this competition include Donnacha Dennehy, Lera Auerbach, Brett Dean and Deirdre Gribbin.


2022 Festival

Sadly, there will be no new call for submissions for the 2022 Festival.

The winners from the 2020 and 2021 competitions will premiere their works at the 2022 Festival and take part in the Young Composers Forum, where their works will be workshopped with Deirdre Gribbin.


2021 Competition Winners

The 2021 Winners of the 14th String Quartet Composition Competition for young composers, have been selected by Deirdre Gribbin.

Many congratulations to the three winners:

Kevin Terry – Ground Loop/Articulations
Lindsey Vincent – Apex
Luke Smyth – Jules Valensaut

Many thanks to Deirdre for adjudicating this year, where there were a very large number of submissions.


Previous Winners

We send our congratulations again to our 2020 winners: Ultan O’Brien, Niall Tormey, Liam Dougherty and  Luke Smyth.

And many thanks to Deirdre Gribbin for judging the competition.

Earlier winners of the Competition include:

  • Seán Doherty (Assistant Professor of Music at Dublin City University)
  • Solfa Carlisle and Amanda Feery (both winners of the Seán Ó Riada competition)
  • Robert Coleman (NCH Jerome Hynes competition winner)
  • Finola Merivale (a Benjamin Franklin fellow at the University of Pennsylvania).

To view a full list of previous winners from 2008 to date, see our Winners pages.

Robert Colemen composer

Shelly Dooley Composer


Arts Council 70
Crespo Foundation
Fáilte Ireland
Wild Atlantic Way
Cork County Council
Pure Cork
RTE Lyric FM
Maritime Hotel