Diabelli-Contest: A composers contest based on a predetermined theme

January 11, 2016 in All Opportunities, Composers by mwhiteside

The Diabelli Contest will change its theme on an annual basis and invite composers from around the world to create their very own variations. The entries will be published online, on a specified date, and reviewed by the public. The Top-10 compositions will then be performed in concert where a jury selects 3 winners who are presented with cash prizes.

A contest for composers is always presumed to be only for musical specialists. The Diabelli Contest has proved quite the opposite. Experience shows that Anton Diabelli’s idea even today is still attractive. During his lifetime, Diabelli sent waltzes to 50 well-known composers which he had written himself. He invited them to compose a variation based on his original works for subsequent publishing in his periodical. The most noted result was 33 Diabelli variations composed by Ludwig van Beethoven.

The first round of the Diabelli Contest during 2014/2015 used as its theme the Morse code for the word „Irini“ (Peace) and was to be written for a two-handed piano performance. The result was quite impressive. There were 134 entries from all over the world. Over 100,000 clicks via the Internet and a 6 member jury resulted in 10 nominations. The nominees competed in the final qualifying round in Munich, Germany.

A new theme has been announced for the period 2015/2016. A work is to be created for a mixed choir which this time is not a waltz, but for the sake of variety was selected as a text to the theme. Wilfried Hiller is the musical director for the Diabelli Contest and reminisces on the Wessobrunn Prayer, who Carl Orff as his teacher highly regarded and put to sheet music. The prayer is once again to be innovatively set to music. Carl Orff’s music shouldn’t be modified but serves as an inspiration.

Anyone who desires and feels inclined is invited to participate.

The most important requirement for participation is that the text (lyrics) must be entirely complete and submitted in one of the following languages: Old High German, High German, Latin, English or Spanish. In addition, the work must be between 4 and 6 minutes in duration and composed for a four-part choir (SATB). The work should be submitted by March 31, 2016 in original music notation format using a notation software program such as Capella, Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, etc.

In order to be judged by the general public, the entries will be released from April 7 until 31 May 2016 on the website www.diabelli-contest.com. The works will also be listed at www.musicalion.com. The final jury decision will take place at a closing concert during July 2016 in Munich, Germany.

The Carl Orff Foundation is offering very attractive prizes: The composers for the 10 best judged works will be invited to Munich, Germany during the period of the closing concert event; travel costs and lodging included. During the closing concert, the jury will select the winners who will receive up to 5,000 Euros in monetary prizes.

Further information is provided at the following website: www.diabelli-contest.com.