Now in its sixteenth season, the RED NOTE New Music Festival at Illinois State University is a week-long event which features outstanding performances of contemporary concert music. Highlights of past seasons include appearances by Ensemble Dal Niente, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Del Sol Quartet, Fifth House Ensemble, Iridium Quartet, and loadbang. Featured guest composers have included William Bolcom, Chen Yi, Stephen Hartke, Bright Sheng, Missy Mazzoli, Steven Stucky, Martin Bresnick, and Joan Tower. RED NOTE also holds an annual Composition Competition which brings in entries from around the world.

This year, we are pleased to host featured guest composers George Tsontakis and Melinda Wagner, as well as featured guest ensembles Utari Duo and Momenta Quartet. Together with the Illinois State University music composition faculty, George Tsontakis, Melinda Wagner, and the two guest ensembles will lead a Composition Workshop which is open to all student composers.

Composition Competition

The RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Competition is an annual competition open to all composers, regardless of age or nationality. The competition is judged by composition faculty and ensemble directors at the Illinois State University School of Music as well as by nationally and internationally recognized composers. The composer of the winning piece in each category receives a $1000 prize and a performance at the RED NOTE New Music Festival.

Composition Competition Rules and Guidelines

The competition is open to all composers, regardless of age or nationality. This year there are three categories: Category A (Works for Chamber Ensemble), Category B (Works for Full Orchestra), and Category C (Works for Chorus). The information below provides details about the separate categories.

  • Works may include non-interactive electroacoustic elements (e.g., fixed media).
  • Works may have been performed before, but should not have been composed before the year 2000.
  • An entry fee of $25 must be included with the first score submitted, regardless of category. There is an entry fee of $20 for each additional score submitted, regardless of category. For example, a composer who submits one score to Category A and another to Category B must submit a $45 entry fee. Composers may submit as many works as they like in any category.
  • Previous winners in any category of the RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Competition may not enter.
  • Students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Illinois State University may not enter.
  • Attendance at the festival is encouraged but not required.
  • In the unlikely event that no entry is worthy of the award in a given category, the University reserves the right to award no prizes or prize money in that category.
  • SUBMISSION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 1, 2022.
  • Submitted works may be scored for any combination of up to sixteen instrumentalists and/or vocalists.
  • Works must not exceed 15 minutes in duration.
  • The final round of the competition will be judged by nationally and internationally recognized composers.
  • Results will be announced by December 15, 2022.
  • The composer of the winning work in Category A will receive a $1,000 prize, and the winning work will be performed by faculty members of the Illinois State University School of Music at the RED NOTE New Music Festival in Normal, Illinois, on March 28, 2023.
  • The winning composer must agree to provide parts by January 15, 2023 in order to guarantee performance.
  • If the instrumentation of the winning work is for some subset of the guest ensembles’ instrumentations, it may instead be considered by Momenta Quartet or Utari Duo for performance at the RED NOTE New Music Festival.

Submitted works should be scored for orchestra, with the following maximum instrumentation:

3 Flutes (1 dbl. Piccolo or Alto Flute)
3 Oboes (1 dbl. English Horn)
3 B-flat Clarinets (1 dbl. A, E-flat, or bass clarinet)
3 Bassoons (1 dbl. Contrabassoon)
4 Horns
3 Trumpets
3 Trombones
1 Tuba
Keyboard
Timpani + 4 Percussionists
No Harp
Strings

  • Doublings not listed above may be permissible at the discretion of Dr. Glenn Block, conductor of the Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra.
  • Works must not exceed 12 minutes in duration.
  • The ISU Symphony Orchestra is an advanced ensemble which features the School of Music’s top performers. However, judges reserve the right to consider playability in their deliberations.
  • Works featuring soloists (e.g., concertos) may be submitted with the understanding that the soloist must be supplied at no expense to the ISU Symphony Orchestra, and that the soloist must be able to attend at least one full rehearsal with the orchestra in advance of the concert date, as well as the dress rehearsal before the concert.
  • The final round of the competition will be judged by Dr. Block.
  • Results will be announced by December 1, 2022.
  • The composer of the winning work in Category B will receive a $1000 prize, and the work will be performed by the Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Glenn Block, at the RED NOTE New Music Festival in Normal, Illinois, on March 30, 2023.
  • The winning composer must agree to provide parts by December 15, 2022, in order to guarantee performance.
  • Submitted works must be scored for mixed choir in 4-6 parts, with moderate divisi.
  • Works may be with or without keyboard accompaniment.
  • Works with non-keyboard accompaniment may be permissible at the discretion of Dr. Mark Grizzard, interim director of Choral Activities at Illinois State University (please inquire).
  • Works may be untexted or set to text of any language.
  • Works must not exceed 15 minutes in duration.
  • The final round of the competition will be judged by Dr. Grizzard.
  • Results will be announced by December 1, 2022.
  • The composer of the winning work in Category C will receive a $1,000 prize, and the work will be performed by the Illinois State University Concert Choir at the RED NOTE New Music Festival in Normal, Illinois, on March 30, 2023.