Composition Competition

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 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.

2024 Festival Call For Scores

The Young Composers Competition for the West Cork Chamber Music Festival is now open for submissions

” I really felt that the festival was invested in realisation of my music, something that I can’t say I’ve experienced much with festivals in the past.” – Kevin Terry, 2021 winner

• €1000 prize money
• 3 nights at the 2024 Festival 28 June to 7 July
• 2 public performances
• Workshop with competition adjudicator
• Submission deadline: 13 March 2024

We are delighted to announce that Bushra El-Turk will adjudicate the 2024 Competition

Entrants must be under 35 years old on 1 January 2024. The work must be scored for string quartet and has not been performed prior to the 2024 Festival

Download the full list of criteria here

Download a submission form

Previous Winners

We send our congratulations again to our 2023 winners: Murrough Connolly, Timothy Doyle and Leah Mullen

And many thanks to Donnacha Dennehy 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.

Arts Council - funding music
Crespo Foundation
Fáilte Ireland
Wild Atlantic Way
Cork County Council
Pure Cork
RTE Lyric FM
Creative Places West Cork Islands
Irish Examiner
Maritime Hotel
IMRO - Irish Music Rights Organisation