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Call for Scores 2020 - CLOSED

2020 Call For Scores - Closed

String Quartet Composition Competition
for Irish citizens/residents under 35

The winning works will be premiered at
The 25th West Cork Chamber Music Festival in 2021

2020 Call for Scores Closed

We are delighted to announce that the winners of our 13th West Cork Chamber Music Young Composers’ Competition have been selected. Find out more here.

Past judges of this competition include Donnacha Dennehy, Lera Auerbach, Brett Dean and Andrea Tarrodi. The adjudicator for the 2020 Competition is the great Irish composer, Deirdre Gribbin.

Past winners of the Competition include Seán Doherty (whose most recent work ‘I am the World’ was commissioned by the European Federation for Choral Music), Solfa Carlile and Amanda Feery, (both winners of the Seán Ó Riada competition), Robert Coleman (NCH Jerome Hynes competition winner) and Finola Merivale (a Dean’s Fellow at Columbia University).

Instructions for Submissions

  • Closing date for entries: Tuesday 17th March 2020
  • Competition Entry is free

The work:

  • Scored for string quartet (2 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello). Works requiring other instruments, pre-recorded sounds or electronics are not eligible for consideration.
  • 5-8 minutes duration.
  • Has not been performed in concert prior to its performances at the 2020 West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

The competition will be judged anonymously and the international judge will select four winning scores on equal footing.

Each of the four composers will receive:

  • €750 prize money.
  • 3 nights’ accommodation at the festival.
  • 2 public performances of their work by a conservatoire quartet at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. The second will be the official World Premiere played at the quartet’s Town Concert (a date in early July).
  • The first performance will be at a workshop attended by all four composers and the public. The composer will have a chance to discuss their work with the international adjudicator and the musicians. The assigned conservatoire quartets will perform the works as they are workshopped and experiment with compositional suggestions.
  • Each composer will have an opportunity to work with the performers prior to the work’s Town Concert performance.
  • Competition entry is free.

Conditions of entry:

  1. Entrants must be under the age of 35 on 1st January 2020.
  2. Entrants must either hold Irish nationality, be born in or resident on the island of Ireland, have an Irish-national parent, be an International student at an Irish third-level institution, or have lived in Ireland for at least one year.
  3. Each entrant can submit one work only each year.
  4. We can accept submissions from previous entrants and past winners under the age limit. Any works entered in previous years cannot be resubmitted.  
  5. Works that have been performed in public prior to the Festival (26 June – 5 July, 2020) are not eligible for consideration.
  6. Scores must be submitted to West Cork Music by 23:59 on Tuesday 17th March 2020. All scores must be submitted electronically. Submission must include a sound MIDI file of the composition, clearly labelled with the composition title. Please use the subject line YCC 2020 when submitting.
  7. Compositions will be assessed by an adjudicator chosen by West Cork Music. West Cork Music reserves the right to change the adjudicator in extremis.
  8. This competition is adjudicated anonymously. Any indication of the composer’s name or address on the score or on the MIDI file will lead to disqualification.
  9. Winning compositions will be announced on by Wednesday 22nd April 2020. The four winning composers will be notified directly by email.
  10. All winning composers must submit instrumental parts by Thursday 30th April 2020 for distribution among members of the conservatoire quartets.
  11. It is a condition of entry that composers agree to attend the workshop in Bantry on Sunday 28th June at 14.00. In the event of non-attendance, prizes will be withheld. The festival will offer 3 nights’ accommodation to facilitate the composers’ attendance. All other expenses incurred are the responsibility of the winning composers.
  12. West Cork Music reserves the right to alter dates and times of the Young Composers Forum and subsequent performances.


Failure to meet these criteria will result in disqualification and withdrawal of prizes.

Please submit the full score electronically to Helen Dawson at:

Submitting the Work:

This competition only accepts entries by email.

  1. Attachment in PDF format
  2. MIDI sound file
  3. Please use subject line YCC 2020
  4. Please include the following information:
    – Composer’s name
    – Title of composition
    – Date of birth
    – Current address
    – Details of Irish citizenship/residency
    – Phone number
    – Current place of study/work
    – How you heard about the competition, e.g. university email or noticeboard/WCM website/past-entrant/word of mouth/teacher

Good Luck!

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