2020 Call for Scores!

The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music Budapest as the founder of Bartók World Competition announces the Competition for composers to create pieces for string quartet according to the following guidelines:

  • The works should give the members of a string quartet the opportunity to show both their musical and technical abilities, as well as their qualities as chamber musicians.
  • Length of composition: from 6 to 8 minutes. One or more movements of a longer piece can be submitted as well if fitting to all other criteria. Entries lasting less than 5:40 minutes or longer than 8:20 will not be considered.
  • The composition needs to be composed for the classical string quartet set-up: violin I, violin II, viola, violoncello
  • The composition cannot include use of fixed audio media or any other instruments.
  • Extended techniques that are used by Béla Bartók in his string quartets are allowed.
  • No scordatura allowed.

Deadline: 10 August 2020

submission information

The competition is open to composers of all nationalities born on or after September 1, 1980.

The submitted work must be

  • unpublished, unlisted
  • without any prize at national or international composition competition
  • without any commercial recording
  • without public performance prior November 28, 2020

Submission until August 10, 2020 electronically by uploading the requested material to www.bartokworldcompetition.hu

The submitting material must include:

  • The score for string quartet in PDF format (A4 sheet music).
  • All scores must be sent anonymously; only a pseudonym can appear on the score pages. The file is to be named: chosenpseudonym_Bartok2020.pdf
  • A scanned printout of the registration fee payment
    • Registration fee: EUR 50 (57 USD) per composition, to be paid through bank transfer (info here)
  • Program notes on the composition (max. 1000 characters) (not part of the evaluation process)
  • Scanned ID or passport
  • A biography of the composer (max. 1500 character)
  • A headshot (min. 1 MB, 300 dpi)
  • The submitting material may contain an mp3 recording of a non-commercial recording or a non-public performance. (MIDI or other purely technical realizations are not accepted.)
    • The file is to be named: chosenpseudonym_Bartok2020.mp3

A coordinator is the only person to see your submitted material. Only the sheet music with your pseudonym and the optional mp3 sound track file is going to be circulated among the judges. All PDFs and mp3’s will be deleted after the competition. Only the composers of the prize winning and honorable mention works will become known to judges and public.

One composer may submit several works each with separate submission.

Selection and performance

A Selection Committee that consists of faculty members of the Liszt Academy Budapest will shortlist all submissions and choose 15 pieces for the international Jury who will decide on the final results.

The Jury’s decision is final.

Prizes: 1st Prize EUR 5,000 (5695 USD)

2nd Prize EUR 3,000 (3416 USD)

3rd Prize EUR 2,000 (2277 USD)

The Jury may decide to divide the prizes or not to award a prize.

The Jury may select also works for honorable mention.

    Prizes are subject to tax according to Hungarian taxation law.

The prize winning works will be presented at a Gala Concert at the Solti Hall of the Liszt Academy Budapest on November 28, 2020, where the prizes will be handed over to the winners. The Gala Concert can be followed online through live stream and on public radio and television channels.

Composers of the pieces to be performed will be invited to the Gala Concert in Budapest. The organizers will cover the travel and 2 nights of accommodation.

One piece – selected from among the prize winning or honorable mention works – will be included into the repertoire of the Bartók World Competition – String Quartet competition’s semi-final. This work is to be published by Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest.


Questions should be addressed to office@bartokworldcompetition.hu