Composition Competition

Composers are invited to submit a new work for The Gesualdo Six’s second Composition Competition. The winning works will be premiered by the ensemble at Cadogan Hall on Thursday 7 March 2019 and will be considered for publication by Novello & Co Ltd. A prize fund of £1000 is available.

This competition is open to all composers, divided into two age categories: 21 years and under, and 22 years and above. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 18 December 2018 at 5pm. There is no entrance fee.

Six texts have been specially selected for composers to set, including poems by Christina Rossetti and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The judging panel includes Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Nigel Short, Kate Johnson, Owain Park and members of The Gesualdo Six. In addition, John Rutter will hold an online Q&A session on score presentation before the submission deadline.

Download the Competition submission pack: The Gesualdo Six Composition Competition details.

Read about the 2016 competition here.

Q&A with John Rutter CBE

We are delighted to be working with one of the world’s best-loved choral composers, John Rutter, to present a Q&A as part of our second Composition Competition. All composers are invited to learn from John’s experience – find out more here.

About the judges


Admired for her originality, fluency and professionalism, Cheryl Frances-Hoad has been composing to commission since she was fifteen. Cheryl trained as a cellist and pianist at the Menuhin School before going on to Cambridge and King’s College, London, and draws upon diverse contemporary inspirations including literature and dance to contribute to her unique creative presence. ‘Intricate in argument, sometimes impassioned, sometimes mercurial, always compelling in its authority’ (The Spectator), her output addresses all genres from opera, ballet and concerto to song, chamber and solo music.

Award-winning conductor Nigel Short has built up an enviable reputation for his recording and live performance work with leading orchestras and ensembles across the world.  He founded the virtuosic choir, Tenebrae, which has collaborated with internationally acclaimed orchestras and instrumentalists and now enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles. As a Gramophone award-winning producer, Nigel works with many of the UK’s leading professional choirs and vocal ensembles including Alamire, Ex Cathedra and The King’s Singers.

Owain Park founded The Gesualdo Six in 2014 and works with ensembles including the BBC Singers, Cappella Cracoviensis and Cambridge Chorale. His compositions are published by Novello and have been performed internationally by ensembles including the Tallis Scholars and the Aurora Orchestra. The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge released an album of Owain’s choral music on Hyperion Records in September 2018. He is a Tenebrae Associate Artist, and has worked with ensembles including Polyphony, Gabrieli Consort and The Tallis Scholars.

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