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International Choral Composition Contest: B I G Prizes!

For all composers born after 1/1/1973 there is a choral composition contest waiting for you in Switzerland!
The Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana (the University School of Music where I teach) organizes the GIANNI BERGAMO CLASSIC MUSIC AWARD 
and this year the competition consists in a composition for two or three part children's choir, max. duration: 8 minutes.
Prizes: 10'000 EURO
Deadline: August 20, 2013
music composer
Replies (20): Threaded | Chronological
on February 27, 2013 1:05pm
Excited to see another great opportunity. Frustrated to see that is has an arbitrary age limit. (Entrants must be under 40.)
Brad Burrill
Applauded by an audience of 5
on February 27, 2013 3:36pm
Yes, a great opportunity indeed.
I too am 'frustrated' by age discrimination. At some point this sort of thing may become equivalent to gender discrimination. I assume someone putting up a prize in such a competition would be looking for the best music possible, but this is of course not so. By all means have a competition open only to students (of any age, of course), but leave it at that!
There has to be a reason for it– any ideas out there? It all runs contrary to the notion of excellence (and common sense).
Donald Patriquin
Applauded by an audience of 2
on February 27, 2013 10:25pm
Brad and Donald,
I completely agree with you. I'm not the organizer of this composition contest. I also don't understand this age limit.
I can understand the differentiation between young composers competition (until 30?) and open competition. I will ask the organizers and come back to you.
I'm also concerned.....I would have done this competition very gladly but unfortunately I will be 50, this coming Summer.
So, let's go on with the blog....
Have a nice day :-)
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 28, 2013 2:58am
I'm back to you...well, the aim of the Gianni Bergamo foundation is to help young composers. Normally, young is considered a 18-25 years old person. 
Another aim of the foundation is to award high quality compositions. But this often happens later than at that age. So, they fixed the limit at 40, which is a good compromise, I think.
Furthermore you don't have to pay a fee and it is open to all nationalities. 
It's not discrimination, there are many composition contests that are open to all ages, I won and was awarded in many of them, and I did my first one when I was 44...
This Summer I will retire, I think.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 28, 2013 6:13pm
Do you know what their instrumentation preferences are? Piano? Orchestral? A capella? Or the ability levels of the singing group?
Thank you! I have emailed them but no reply yet...
on February 28, 2013 9:18pm
Hi Joy,
I spoke yesterday with them and they told me that although it is not very clear from the rules, the submitted piece/s should be A CAPPELLA.
Good luck:-)
on March 1, 2013 6:02am
Art. II.1
The Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award announces for 2013 a competition for a composition for a two or three part children's choir, maximum duration: 8 minutes.
Thanks for checking; the term 'a cappella' was missing.
on March 1, 2013 12:41pm
Please tell us where we can acquire the particulars to join this competition. 
on March 1, 2013 1:10pm
It's in Italian and in English
on March 1, 2013 1:34pm
Thank you!
on March 8, 2013 1:05pm
I'm sorry, Joy, I did not reply to ALL your questions :-(
The ability of the groups? 
Well, I should ask. As already written, I'm not the organizer.
The only thing that I can do is to forward your request to the organizing board.
on March 8, 2013 1:05pm
I'm sorry, Joy, I did not reply to ALL your questions :-(
The ability of the groups? 
Well, I should ask. As already written, I'm not the organizer.
The only thing that I can do is to forward your request to the organizing board.
on March 8, 2013 1:55pm
Thank you, Ivo!
on March 1, 2013 5:49am
Interesting observations.
I am wondering if composers write measurably 'higher quality' music when they are, say, 50 as opposed to 40 years of age. (Don't ask Mozart!) Personally I doubt it, so why set 40 as an (artificial) limit, persuading one's self that it is somehow a 'fair' compromise. I.e. what is the difference between an 18 year old competing against excellent 40 year-old as opposed to 75 year-old composers?
On the other hand, one can always argue that if someone/an iinstitution wants to give give a prize they are surely free to set the parameters. I suppose they are, but then try organising a competition for men only and see where that would get you! 
Ivo, you would never have won ANY prizes if the 'compromise' mentality had pervaded all competitions! I would say retain competitions generally for 'young' (student?) composers, or make them totally open, but don't try to compromise! (I realise you did not set the parameters for this competition, Ivo)
Bravo for 'No Fee'!!! This is a great move and much worthy of imitation.
Donald (Not nearly ready to retire!)
Applauded by an audience of 2
on March 1, 2013 11:23am
Wonder no more, Donald!  Verdi was 84 when he still working on a great opera.  Bach was still composing wonderful music when he was 65, even though he was blind.  Stravinsky was still creating music in his late seventies.
One lifetime is far too little in order to learn much about composition; therefore, it is logical that longevity brings more knowledge, just as age brings fine wine more taste and appreciation.  In October, I'll be 81.  At that time, I'll complete an opera that I've been composing since the year 1998.  After that, I intend to write my fifth opera.
Composition contests are tantamount to "crap games."  Gamble for free, but rarely pay for the privilege, i.e., unless you can afford to lose your money.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on March 1, 2013 1:06pm
I did not mean that I will retire from composing. I was only saying that at some point we should (this is my opinion) leave the seat for younger composers and leave the competitions (I don't like this word) for them. I hope I will compose until my brain, my hands and my heart will work.
Personally, I think that my compositions are now MUCH better than when I was 18 or 25. I can understand that this is not always so. This is my personal experience.
About the competition for men only.....well, there are instead many composition contests for WOMEN ONLY (The Elaine Lebenbom Annual Memorial Award for Female Composers, International Alliance for Women in Music,  Composition Competition for European Women Composers, and so on....there are really many!). But I don't understand where the problem is? As you wrote, an institution is surely free to set the parameters. 
I think also that if we seriously do a competition sending a good piece (so, expecting to win:-) 20 dollars are really a very reasonable sum. be continued....
on March 1, 2013 10:19am
Thank you for your efforts with regard to the age discrimination issue.  I understand you are not responsible for the rules of the call for scores.  I would simply like to add my voice to those who challenge this discrimination.  I do not agree that age 40 is a reasonable compromise.  If they want to help young composers, they might have a separate call for scores for young composers, or they might make two categories for this call, one for young composers (i.e., under age 25) and one open to all ages.  Drawing a line at age 40 is unsupportable.
Bravo for having no entry fee and for being open to all nationalities!
best,  Greg
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 1, 2013 12:03pm
I agree with the objection to age discrimination.  However, objection to a nominal fee is, in my opinion, just sour grapes.
I have entered several competitions, all of which requested a fee of $20-30.  I've won prizes in several, including two outside the United States, and have lost several.  The ones I won gave me great exposure for my work, a cash prize, and good things to put in my promotion and tenure portfolio.
This year I'm also running a competition for the second year, sponsored by my community choir.  Processing and reviewing a composer's score takes time, and a contest takes money to run; unlike a publisher, there's no monetary gain for the organization.  Any money brought in goes right back into the prize money and/or costs of running the competition.  We received a grant from the local arts commission to help cover advertising and the expense of bringing winning composers here for the premiere of their works, but we still take on the cost of making copies of the scores, paying instrumentalists for the premieres, etc. 
Speaking as both a competition entrant and a competition host, a $20 fee is entirely reasonable for the benefits and exposure.  When you do your taxes, it counts as negative income on your Schedule C.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 10, 2013 3:36pm
Interesting contest! Two questions for any of you who might be in the know:
1. Is a specific children's choir going to be performing this? Are there recordings of them online if so?
2. Could anyone suggest a ballpark realistic range for a children's choir? This is crucial to me in the approach to three-part harmony, if I decide to go that route.
-David G.
on March 11, 2013 5:33am
please write directly to the organizers:
Good luck,
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