Composition Contests

The 2016 Frank Robert Abell Young Composer Competition for New Chamber Music is now open!

This Award was established by a generous bequest from the estate of Frank Robert Abell, a longtime Louisville philanthropist with close ties to the University of Louisville School of Music.  He had a deep love for contemporary music and a strong desire to help younger composers.

Eligibility:  Any composer residing anywhere in the world, age 18-26 on the date of the deadline for submission, June 1, 2016.  Faculty and staff of the University of Louisville or Indiana University Southeast, and their spouses and children, are not eligible to enter.  Current and former students of the University of Louisville or Indiana University Southeast, and their spouses, are not eligible to enter. Winners will be required to confirm their date of birth before the Award is conferred.

First Prize, $10,000 USD
Second Prize, $6,000 USD

Deadline:  June 1, 2016

Submit a composition to this contest.

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Louisville KY, Sept. 1, 2015

The University of Louisville School of Music is pleased to announce the results of the 2015 Frank Robert Abell Young Composer Competition for New Chamber Music.  The Award is for new pieces for chamber ensembles by composers aged 18-26.

The Award was endowed by a generous bequest from the estate of Louisville philanthropist Frank Robert Abell.  Abell had a deep love for contemporary music, with a particular interest in chamber music.  Among other valuable services to new music and the Louisville arts community, he was a lay member of the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition Committee for many years.

First Prize ($10,000) goes to John Rot, currently based in New York City, for his composition glide idly by, for string octet.

Second Prize is a tie between Michael Seltenreich, also based in New York City, for his Sparks and Flares, for mixed chamber ensemble, and Jonah Gallagher, based in Los Angeles, for his string quartet entitled Wandering Companionless:  Pale for Weariness.  Each of these composers will receive a cash award of $4,500.

John Rot, originally from Elgin, Illinois, is pursuing a doctorate at Columbia University in New York City under the tutelage of Georg Friedrich Haas.  He also holds a degree from the Oberlin Conservatory.  Among the groups performing his music in recent years are JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Ensemble Court-Circuit, andPlay duo, the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble and others.

Michael Seltenreich, originally from Israel, is also based in New York, where he is pursuing a master’s degree at the Juilliard School, working with Matthias Pintscher.  His music has been performed by The Israel Philharmonic, The Israel Opera and The National Radio Orchestra.  He has also been employed by the Israel Opera as their lead orchestrator.

Jonah Gallagher, a native of Chicago, is studying composition at Biola University in Los Angeles, where his teacher is Robert Denham.  His music has been awarded several prizes and performed in various venues around the USA.  After completing his degree he hopes to continue writing concert music and pursue further studies in graduate school.

Efforts are under way to bring all the winning composers to Louisville in the spring of 2016 for performances of their winning works.

For further information contact Award Director Marc Satterwhite at marc.satterwhite@louisville.edu.