Dolce Suono Ensemble Young Composers Competition



Dolce Suono Ensemble invites young composers to participate in its project “Debussy in Our Midst: A Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Claude Debussy (1862-1918),” a season-long exploration of the chamber and vocal works of this monumental composer. Debussy revolutionized the music of his time and the music that followed him, exerting a powerful influence on composers to this day.

The competition is part of our concert program “Debussy as Painter of Song,” which will focus on Debussy as song composer and creator of exquisite miniatures. Debussy wrote over 60 songs throughout his life, as well as brief works for solo piano and solo flute which, despite their limited length and instrumental forces, display a dazzling range of color and emotion. Composers are asked to write brief works inspired by Debussy’s songs and miniatures.

Winning entries will receive world premiere performances on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 3:00pm at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia. Winners must be in attendance at the concert. They will receive a $200 award, participate in a post-concert conversation with the artists and composers, and receive an archival recording of the concert. The artists are Sarah Shafer, soprano, Mimi Stillman, flute and Natalie Zhu, piano.


Length and Instrumentation: Works must be no more than three minutes in duration. They must be scored for soprano and piano, flute and piano, or soprano, flute, and piano. Piccolo and alto flute may also be used.

Eligibility: Composers under 30 who are U.S. citizens or residents, or who are enrolled as students in an accredited U.S. institution. Works must never have been performed publicly. All genres are eligible, including classical, jazz, rock, and world music, so long as the score is fully notated. Recordings (of a reading or a MIDI version) will be accepted along with the score, but they are not required. Winners must be present at the concert on Sunday, May 19, 2013.

Deadlines: Submissions are due by January 4, 2013. Winners announced March 1, 2013.

Adjudication: Dolce Suono Ensemble members and outside panelists will evaluate the submissions in two rounds. The panel of judges includes composers David Ludwig and Steven Stucky, and soprano Lucy Shelton.


With questions and for information about vocal range and tessitura, email

Mail submissions to:

Dolce Suono Ensemble

135 N. 22nd St.

Philadelphia, PA 19103 USA