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Mauricio Kagel Composition Competition

 Mauricio Kagel Composition Competition
Summary:Call for Piano Works
Deadline: 15 August 2018
Date Posted: 14 December 2017
Details: Considering the relative overabundance of piano literature, it would be seemingly foolhardy to stage a composition competition promoting the creation of new pieces for piano. Everything appears to exist already, even pieces for children and young adults. Still, far too frequently it is precisely this contemporary „educational literature“ which proves lacking in artistic qualities; accompanying a reduction in technical difficulty, with an objectionable reduction in the notion of what children and young adults are capable of understanding – both intellectually and emotionally.

We are looking for piano pieces written for children and young adults which, although limited in their technical difficulty, remain uncompromising in their artistic aim; pieces written with a contemporary compositional technique which offer the young student stimulus, insight and new experiences: experiences about oneself and the world in which we live.

With the creation of this competition, the Ludwig van Beethoven Department of Piano and Harpsichord in Music Education would like to ensure that such quality pieces are more prevalent in the future and to this end we invite composers to accept the challenge by enrolling in the competition.

In the course of a week’s time an audience comprised of students, teachers, and performing artists will be given the chance to listen as the jury evaluates the different ways this challenge has been addressed by the composers. The jury will assess not only the artistic quality of the pieces, but also the question: what does a piano student learn from these pieces? And in addition the discussion will cover what makes a piece exciting and what is future-oriented; while at the same time never loosing sight of the technical limits implied when composing for children and young adults.

The decision of the Jury to award the prizes within the course of the Maurico Kagel composition competition is reached, therefore, in a very special way – not behind closed doors, but in open and public discussion. The winning pieces will be technically suitable for children/young adults but will not compromise their artistic aim in order to make a pedagogical impact. Instead, they will be convincing due to their compositional quality.

General Conditions

Conditions for Participation

a) The competition is open to all composers born after August 15th, 1978. Participants who were awarded prizes in 2010, 2013 and 2016 are no longer eligible to enter.

b) The submitted score should be composed for this competition. The composition must not be older than three years and should not have been performed privately or publicly, copied, distributed, broadcasted or made accessible on the internet.

c) Each composer may submit only one score in its entirety and not in part.

Details of the composition
The composition should be written for one piano (solo or for more than one pianist), and can include all facets of the instrument.

It is of great importance that the pieces be appropriate in their level of difficulty for children / young adults and be suitable for pedagogical use. Therefore the pianistic difficulties and musical challenges should be conceived with children / young adults in mind.

The score is expected to be comprehensible and clear. Instructions for performance must be written in German or English.

The piece or group of pieces is expected to have a total length of between 6 and 15 minutes.


a) The participants are to send an envelope marked on the outside with a freely chosen five-digit code which will secure the anonymity of the participant. The envelope should contain:

1. six copies of the piano score - each annotated with the same five-digit code. The composer's name should not appear on the score

2. an additional sealed envelope marked with the same code and containing the composer's personal data, a short curriculum vitae and two recent photos.

b) All entries must be postmarked no later than August 15th, 2018 and should be addressed to:

Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien
Ludwig van Beethoven Institut für Klavier und Cembalo in der Musikpädagogik
Rennweg 8
1030 Wien


Michael Jarrell
Isabel Mundry
Robert HP Platz
Rebecca Saunders
Marco Stroppa

• From the entries received, each jury member will nominate several pieces to be included in the Vienna Days of Contemporary Piano Music 2019 (February 4th - 7th, 2019), openly discussed by the jurors and considered for a prize.
• The presentation of the prizes will take place on the 7th of February, 2019 during the Vienna Days of Contemporary Piano Music 2019.
• The organizers reserve the right to find replacement jury members as seen necessary.
• The jury is free in its decision making. All decisions of the jury are final and indisputable. There can be no appeal against the jury’s judgement.


1st Prize € 5.000.-
2nd Prize € 3.000.-
3rd Prize € 2.000.-

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

Winning scores will be published together in a volume entitled K2019.

Additionally, the jury may create a list of recommended pieces.

The Ludwig van Beethoven Department of Piano and Harpsichord in Music Education will release digital recordings of the prize winning pieces and selected recommendations from the jury.