Call for Scores 2024

String Quartet Composition Competition
for Irish citizens/residents under 35

The winning works will be premiered at
The West Cork Chamber Music Festival in 2024

2024 Call for Scores

We are delighted to announce that the West Cork Chamber Music Young Composers’ Competition is now open for entries. We welcome submissions from all Irish and Irish-resident  composers under 35.

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

This year’s judge will be Bushra El-Turk

Past winners of the Competition include Seán Doherty (whose 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: Wednesday 13th March 2024
  • 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 2024 West Cork  Chamber Music Festival.

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

Each of the three composers will receive:

  •  €1,000 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 as part of the Young Musicians Series during the Festival.
  • The first performance will be at a workshop attended by all three composers and the  public on Monday 1st July. 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  Young Composers Forum.
  • Competition entry is free. 

Conditions of entry:

  1. Entrants must be under the age of 35 on 1st January 2024.
  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 (28 June – 7 July 2024) are not eligible for consideration.
  6. Scores must be submitted to West Cork Music by 23:59 on Wednesday 13th March 2024.  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 2024 when submitting.
  7. Compositions will be assessed by an adjudicator chosen by West Cork Music.
  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 our Competition webpages in May 2024. The three winning composers will be notified directly by email.
  10. All winning composers must submit instrumental parts by Friday 10th May 2024 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  Monday 1st July at 15.00. 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.

Submitting the Work:

Please submit the full score electronically to Helen Dawson at:

This competition only accepts entries by email.

  1. Attachment in PDF format
  2. MIDI sound file
  3. Please use subject line YCC 2024
  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

Download a full list of criteria
Download a submission form

Good Luck!

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