What is the Composition Contest?

In addition to supporting new music by performing works by living composers throughout Camerata’s life of 30 years and counting, we are pleased to sponsor the Cincinnati Camerata Composition Contest. We invite you to submit a suitable score to be judged by our distinguished jury which includes our Artistic Director as well as a member of the composition faculty at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). They will evaluate the entries for quality as well as compliance with the competition guidelines. The winner will receive a cash prize of $500. Depending on seasonal programming and time commitments, Camerata may perform the winning composition live in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Camerata may also choose to record a winning composition, in which case a copy will be provided to the composer. Cincinnati Camerata reserves the right to not declare a winner.

Who can enter?

The Camerata Composition Contest is open to anyone of any age or nationality anywhere in the world.

What are the entry criteria?

  • The submission must be scored for mixed voices with a duration no longer than 5 minutes.
  • The submission may be acappella or accompanied by one of the following instruments: piano, organ, harpsichord, or malleted percussion. An additional solo instrument is allowed if desired. A keyboard reduction should be provided under each system if the piece is a cappella.
  • The submission should adhere to the theme for our spring concert: Jewish music suitable for performance in a temple.
  • Texts may be sacred or secular.
  • A letter of permission from the copyright owner must accompany any submissions using text not in the public domain. No exceptions.
  • Anonymous submission: Your contact information will be stored separately from your score to maintain anonymity throughout the judging process. The submitted score must contain the title of the work but not the composer’s name or other identifying information. Once the judging is complete the winning score will be matched to the contact information and the composer will be notified.
  • The entry fee of $35 must be paid online through PayPal (no checks). The entry fee of $35 must be paid in order for the submission process to go forward. If the application fee presents a financial barrier to apply, composers who demonstrate financial need can have the fee reduced to $15. Contact Ellen Harrison at [email protected] to inquire about this.
  • One score per composer per entry
  • Past winners may enter again two years following their winning submission.
  • Recordings are welcome but not required. Please submit any recordings in MP3 format.
  • Submissions must be unpremiered, that is, the work should not have been performed at ticketed events by professional ensembles.

Who has won in the past?

2020: Dr. Ellen Vilson Goth “Above Gravity” https://www.ellengilsonvoth.net/
2014: Loretta Notreschi “One Leaf” http://lorettanotareschi.com/
2013: Michael Gilbertson “Where the Words Go” https://michaelgilbertson.net/

What is the deadline for submission? When will the winners be announced?

The deadline for submission is November 1, 2023. Entries will not be accepted after this date. The winner be announced at Cincinnaticamerata.com no later than December 15, 2023.

How do I enter?

Complete the registration submission at the bottom of this page.

Please submit any questions you may have about eligibility or details of your entry to Ellen Harrison, Jury Chair at [email protected]. Please contact
[email protected] for any technical issues with your submission or payment.