Site Search

Other Resources
News Archive

The 2019 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition

 The 2019 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition
Summary:Choral Competition for Irish Composers
Deadline: 07 December 2018
Date Posted: 08 November 2018
Details: What is the Seán Ó Riada Competition?
The Seán Ó Riada Competition is a composition competition which invites the submission of new works from Irish composers. The competition is a collaboration between the Cork International Choral Festival and Chamber Choir Ireland. The winning composition will be selected by a panel, comprising of composers and choral experts, and will be a featured work at the Seminar on New Choral Music, organised as part of the Festival’s Choral Symposium. This Seminar will feature Chamber Choir Ireland and its internationally renowned conductor, Paul Hillier, as artists in residence. The selected composition will receive its premiere performance during the Festival at a Gala Concert given by Chamber Choir Ireland, conducted by Paul Hillier. The composer of the work will be invited to attend the Festival as its guest and play an active part in the Choral Symposium.

What composers are eligible?
Composers born, or resident, in Ireland are eligible to apply. Applications are welcomed from both established and emerging composers.

What general compositional parameters apply?
The performance in which the winning entry will be premiered will be a programme entitled ‘Before Bach and After’ as part of a series of programmes by Chamber Choir Ireland in which the motet will be explored in all its forms from the earliest medieval representations of the early motets through to contemporary interpretations – full details of the programmes can be viewed at With this in mind, we ask that applicants consider the motet as a form in writing for the competition and write their interpretation of a motet, or write in response to the rest of the programme being performed. An essay by Paul Hillier on the motet and this series of concerts by Chamber Choir Ireland can be downloaded directly here.

While Chamber Choir Ireland (CCI)—a chamber choir of 16 voices—will give the premiere performance of the work, it should have the potential to be accessible for performance by a wider range of high standard amateur Irish choirs.

The following parameters apply:
• An original work
• Written for a cappella choir
• Up to 5 minutes in duration
• 4 parts (SATB with no divisi)
• The selected text may be original or existing, in the English, or Irish, language. If in Irish, it is requested that the applicants provide a pronunciation guide/phonetic guide to account for dialect.
• Texts should be non-liturgical.
• Any rights related to the use of existing/copyright texts are a matter for the composer to clarify, and receive permission for their use.

Presentation format of score?
The work must be presented in computerised notation A4 format (Sibelius or other). The text utilised, including its writer and source, should be detailed on a separate page and form part of the score presentation.

Application Process?
In keeping with best practice, and to ensure the anonymity of composers’ identities in the application, assessment, and selection process the method of application will be as follows.

• All applications will be in hard copy and forwarded by registered post to the Cork International Choral Festival, Civic Trust House, 50 Pope’s Quay, Cork.
• The composer should use a pseudonym on the printed score.
• Five (5) unbound copies of the score should be provided.
• The composer should retain the original manuscript.
• Each entry should be accompanied by a sealed envelope (one), enclosing the attached form, detailing the name and contact details of the composer. The pseudonym of the composer should be clearly detailed on the exterior of this envelope.
• Should the composer require confirmation of receipt, a pre addressed envelope to an address of the composer’s choice (utilising your pseudonym) or an independent email address, should be included with the application. Festival staff will confirm receipt.
• Subsequent to the decision of the Assessment Board, the sealed envelope will be opened and the composer will be informed of the success or otherwise of their application.
• Confidentiality will be maintained by Festival staff about composers’ identities in relation to any specific queries received from the composer.