score competition

July 17, 2023 — Cantori New York seeks original music for chorus and up to 5 instruments, between 15 and 30 minutes in duration.

Cash prizes will be awarded to our top three selections: $4000, $2000, and $1000. Additionally, the first-place winner will be performed in NYC.

To apply, please submit an engraved full score including any program notes. Submission fee is $10, which may be waived upon request.

Submissions are due on November 17, 2023.

Winners will be announced on this page and by email in Spring 2024.

Terms & Conditions

Submission Overview

  1. Google Account: in order for Google to accept large file uploads via our submission form, applicants must be logged in. If you don’t use Gmail (or simply want to keep your Google identity private), feel free to create a new one for this purpose. We will send all communications to the email address you enter in Question #1, not the Google Account used to fill out the form. If this presents a technical challenge, please contact us at the address below.
  2. Number of Submissions: up to 3 (but see below for fees).
  3. Performance Duration: 15-30 minutes.
  4. Chorus: approximately 40 adults, mixed voices (SSAATTBB maximum divisi).
  5. Accompaniment: works may be a cappella, or require up to 5 guest performers. By “guest performer” we mean an instrumentalist (from any musical tradition), vocal soloist, speaker, operator of electronics, etc. Piano is discouraged.
  6. Text: any author or theme is permitted. It is the responsibility of the composer to secure permission before submitting. If any text is not in the public domain, please provide proof of permission to use it (an email from the author or publisher will suffice). No vocalises please.
  7. Language: the text can be in any language or combination of languages. If the language uses a non-Latin alphabet, a singable transliteration must be engraved in the score. For all texts not in English, a translation must appear in the front matter.
  8. Program Notes: highly encouraged!
  9. Audio Recordings: if your composition includes sounds that may elude detailed notation, such as electronics, field recordings, improvisation, traditional styles, etc., your submission may include audio demonstrations. If you include audio demonstrations as part of your submission, please clearly indicate the corresponding filename(s) in the score. Audio mockups of the work as a whole are also permitted, but are NOT a factor in judging.
  10. Fee: first score is $10 (may be waived upon request — see below). Additional submissions are accepted, but cost $30 each. All fees will be used to offset the cost of our professional judging staff.
  11. Payment Methods: the application form will ask you to submit a receipt from one of the following payment vendors. You may also submit a written statement of hardship in lieu of a receipt.
  12. Deadline: submit the form by November 17, 2023 at 11:59pm.


  1. Age limit: none.
  2. Nationality: any.
  3. Demographics: we collect information on age, gender, ethnicity, etc to assess how well we are attracting applicants from different backgrounds. This information will NOT be shared with judges.
  4. Composition date: we are happy to consider any music written by a living composer, subject to the restrictions below.
  5. Past performances: Cantori’s mission is to champion new music and neglected works that deserve the public’s attention. As such, we DO accept music read in a workshop setting (such as a school or festival performance). However, works that have been performed by a professional ensemble, released on a commercial recording, or performed more than twice in any setting are NOT eligible.
  6. Cantori New York affiliation: composers whose work has previously been premiered by Cantori are NOT eligible. Cantori singers, alumni, staff, board members, and their immediate families are NOT eligible.


  1. Full Score: must be engraved or impeccably handwritten, showing all parts (transposed), submitted as a PDF. If a handwritten score is selected for performance, the submitter must supply a fully engraved score and parts according to our specifications.
  2. Piano/Vocal Score: if the work calls for 3 or more instruments, an additional engraved vocal score with piano reduction is recommended. (Piano playability will not be judged.)
  3. Instrumental Parts: should NOT be submitted. If selected for performance, winner(s) will be required to supply instrumental parts at a later date.
  4. Rastral Size: staves that singers are intended to perform from should be no less than 6.5mm. If submitting a piano/vocal score, then its piano reduction can be smaller, as can the vocal lines in the full score — but no less than 5mm.
  5. Page Layout: 9” x 12” concert size is ideal for full scores (8.5” x 11” will suffice). Piano/vocal scores should be 8.5” x 11”. Portrait layout only. Landscape scores will NOT be accepted.
  6. Front Matter: include text (with English translation, if the original text is in another language), composer and author names, a detailed list of instrumentation, duration, program notes, and dedication if you have one. The instrumentation list must include the highest level of useful detail: for example, if your composition includes marimba, specify the size. As applicable, front matter must also include confirmation of permission to use the text.
  7. Lyrics: please emphasize the readability of all text within the score.
  8. Page Turns: please avoid awkward page or system breaks for singers where possible.
  9. Other: please refer to MOLA guidelines for additional tips.


  1. Prize Money: $4,000 for the 1st place winner; $2,000 for 2nd place; $1,000 for 3rd place.
  2. Additional Prize: a premiere performance of the 1st prize winner performed by Cantori New York, including a live recording. The work will be programmed no later than the 2025-26 season.
  3. Judges: our judging panel will be drawn from composers, teachers, instrumentalists, singers, and other members of the Cantori community led by our Artistic Director, Mark Shapiro.
  4. Process: all scores will be reviewed by at least 2 judges. If an assigned judge feels that they cannot be impartial to a particular submission (e.g. their student), we will have an additional judge review it.
  5. Announcement: winners will be announced in Spring 2024 on our website and by email.
  6. Parts: winners will be expected to engrave individual parts for each instrument upon request.
  7. Copyright: composers retain ownership of their submissions, including the exclusive rights to publish, arrange, perform, record, or synchronize it.  Composers who receive a cash prize grant Cantori New York a permanent license to perform the submitted work, and to display the live performance on our website & social media channels for noncommercial purposes.  Any further uses by Cantori New York (e.g. a commercial album) will be negotiated separately.


For any questions not answered here or on the submission form, please write to: [email protected]