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Call for Scores: String Quartet Works for Bartok World Competition and Festival

The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music Budapest, as the founder of Bartók World Competition, announced the Competition for composers to create compositions for string quartet.


  • The works should give the members of a string quartet the opportunity to show both their musical and technical abilities, as well as their qualities as chamber musicians.

  • Length of composition: 6-8 minutes. One or more movements of a longer piece can be submitted as well if fitting to all other criteria. Entries lasting less than 5:40 minutes or longer than 8:20 will not be considered.

  • The composition needs to be composed for the classical string quartet set-up: violin I, violin II, viola, violoncello

  • No use of fixed audio media or any other instruments.

  • Extended techniques that are used by Béla Bartók in his string quartets are allowed.

  • No scordatura allowed.

The submitted work must be

  • unpublished, unlisted

  • without any prize at national or international composition competition

  • without any commercial recording

  • without public performance prior 28 November 2020.

Candidates: The competition is open to composers of all nationalities born on or after1 September 1980.

One composer may submit several works each with separate submission.

Deadline: 10 Aug 2020 (M)

Registration fee: EUR 20 (visit the website for details, link below)

Submit by uploading the requested material to the organisers’ website (link below).

Please include:

  • a composition’s score for string quartet in PDF format (A4 sheet music). All scores must be sent anonymously; only a pseudonym can appear on the score pages. Name your file as: chosenpseudonym_Bartok2020[dot]pdf

  • a scanned printout of the registration fee payment

  • program notes on the composition (max. 1000 characters) – not being part of the evaluation process!

  • scanned ID or passport

  • a biography of the composer (max. 1500 character)

  • a portrait photo (min. 1 MB, 300 dpi)

You may also submit an mp3 recording of a non-commercial recording or a non-public performance. (MIDI or other purely technical realisations are not accepted.) Name your file as: chosenpseudonym_Bartok2020[dot]mp3

The coordinators are the only ones to see your submitted material. Only the sheet music with your pseudonym and the optional mp3 sound track file will be circulated among the judges. All PDFs and mp3s will be deleted after the competition. Only the composers of the prize winning and honorable mention works will become known to judges and public.

Selection and Jury:

A Selection Committee that consists of faculty members of the Liszt Academy Budapest will shortlist all submissions and choose 15 pieces for the international Jury who will decide on the final results.

Members of the International Jury are:

  • Peter Eötvös (H, D) – president

  • Unsuk Chin (ROK, D)

  • Chaya Czernowin (IL, USA)

  • Gyula Fekete (H)

  • Johannes Meissl (A)

The Jury’s decision is final.

Competitors may not contact or speak with any member of the jury as long as they continue to participate in the competition with the exception of contacting with their own professors on regular educational topics. Any violation of this rule may disqualify the competitor.


  • 1st Prize EUR 5.000

  • 2nd Prize EUR 3.000

  • 3rd Prize EUR 2.000

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

The Jury may select also works for honorable mention.

Prizes are subject to tax according to Hungarian taxation law.

The prize winning works will be presented at a Gala Concert at the Solti Hall of the Liszt Academy Budapest on 28 Nov 2020 (Sa), where the prizes will be handed over to the winners. The Gala Concert can be followed online through live stream and on public radio and television channels.

Composers of the pieces to be performed are welcome on the Gala Concert in Budapest. The organizers will cover the travel and 2 nights of accommodation.

One piece – selected from among the prize winning works or the works with honorable mention – will be included into the repertoire of the Bartók World Competition – String Quartet competition’s semi-final. This work is to be published by Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest.

Questions should be addressed to office[at]bartokworldcompetition[dot]hu .



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