The 2016-2017 Composer Competition is now closed. We thank everyone who submitted pieces, which we will be judging over the summer.
IGNITE: The C4 Commissioning Competition 2017-18
IGNITE, C4’s Commissioning Competition, will give three finalists the opportunity to compose new works for C4: the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective. All three pieces will be premiered in June 2018, in New York City. Prior to the performance, first, second, and third place winners will be chosen, with awards of $1,500, $1,000, and $600 respectively.
About the ensemble
C4 exists to enrich artists and audiences alike, through passionate advocacy of new choral works, performing pieces written within the last 25 years, premiering and commissioning new choral works, and mentoring emerging singers, composers, and conductors of today's choral music. C4 is collectively run by its members, and is one of the few choruses in America dedicated exclusively to performing contemporary music. C4 performs adventurous contemporary programming at a professional level, with stipends to its members making it a semi-professional ensemble. In addition to presenting the music of its own composer members, C4 programs the music of other emerging composers along with that of more established composers, filling an important niche in the cultural life of New York City.
Any composer may apply, regardless of age, career level or nationality. C4 welcomes stylistic diversity and encourages composers with fresh ideas in choral writing. Submitted works will be judged according to the following criteria:
- Freshness/originality of ideas
- Proficiency in choral writing
- Sensitivity to/skill in setting text
- Clarity of notation
Composers should submit materials electronically, as explained below, by May 1, 2017. A panel of judges, consisting of C4 members, will select approximately twenty semi-finalists. A second panel of distinguished judges from outside of C4, consisting of James Bassi, Tarik O’Regan and Bruce Saylor, will select three finalists. The finalists will be notified by August 1, 2017.
The finalists will then compose new works for C4, to be completed by January 1, 2018. The works should be a cappella and between four and seven minutes in length. If using text, composers must show proof that rights have been secured, or that they are in the public domain. Winning pieces must clearly state “Commissioned by C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective as part of the 2017-18 IGNITE competition.”
Prior to the performance, the distinguished panel of judges will review the commissioned pieces and select first, second and third place winners. The finalists will be notified of which designation they receive before the premiere of their works. All three commissioned works will be premiered by C4 in early June 2018, in New York City.
Finalists are expected to remain in active communication with C4 throughout the composition process. Finalists are encouraged to attend rehearsals and/or listen to rehearsal recordings. They may also revise their compositions during the process as they see fit. C4 rehearses on Thursday evenings in Midtown Manhattan and will begin rehearsing the commissioned works in March 2018.
Both concerts will be recorded and the composers will receive copies. All finalists are strongly encouraged to attend one or both performances of the commissioned works. A travel stipend of up to $500 per composer will defray the cost of travel for the winning composers; all additional travel costs are the responsibility of the composer. Accommodations with C4 members will be provided as needed. The finalists should submit receipts for all of their travel expenses to C4’s treasurer, by one week following the concerts.
C4 reserves the right to perform the commissioned works indefinitely.
The commissioned works may not be premiered by another ensemble in advance of C4's June 2018 performances.
When the finalists come to New York City for the premiere, they are eligible to receive one mentoring/professional development session with one of the three distinguished judges. They will be set up by C4 and will be at the convenience of both the judges and the winners.
How to apply
Online entry is at the IGNITE Entry Form
Please submit the following by May 1, 2017:
Two (2) recent contrasting works.
Two (2) recent contrasting works.
- One must be for a cappella chorus representing the composer’s current style or approach. This piece may be for any choral voicing and an unlimited number of parts.
- The second work should be a contrasting choral work, if possible. If the applicant does not have a second choral work to submit, a non-choral work will be accepted, with a preference for a vocal work of some type.
Submitted scores may be published or unpublished, previously performed or yet to be premiered.
Both scores must be in PDF format, and must have the composer’s name and identifying marks removed; this also includes any identifying marks such as a publishing company owned by the individual, the name of the performing ensemble or dedications.
Recordings of the submitted works should be in be in mp3 format. MIDI recordings will be accepted provided that they have been converted to mp3 format. The composer’s name must not appear in the audio file names. Recordings are optional but strongly encouraged.
There is a $10 administrative fee which should be paid by PayPal during the submission process.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!