10th International Composition Seminar

Call for composers and conductors


Submission period

Wed Apr 7 at 4 AM UTC

End of submission period

Fri Apr 30 at 9:59 PM UTC

Results date

Mon May 31 at 4 PM UTC


Composers born in 1989 or after, conductors born in 1991 or after
Hosted by the Ensemble Modern, the composer Lucia Ronchetti and the conductor Stefan Asbury, the International Composition Seminar takes place for the tenth time in 2021/22 and is once again part of the festival “cresc… – Biennial for Current Music Frankfurt Rhine Main“.

In Europe, the seminar is unique in its structure, which involves several working phases; since its founding in 2004, this seminar has launched many international careers in composition. After many years, the seminar will once again welcome conductors again!

In a first conceptual working meeting with Lucia Ronchetti, Stefan Asbury and members of Ensemble Modern, the participants’ initial compositional ideas, sound concepts and concrete technical and artistic issues will be discussed. Sketches of scores are not expected at this point.

About four months later, during reading sessions with Ensemble Modern, clearly sketched-out approaches will be rehearsed. Intensive working processes will explicitly offer the opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with the composer, conductor and musicians, gaining insights for the finalization of the new work.

After a final rehearsal phase that also leaves room for exchange and discussion, the new works are premiered.

The 10th International Composition Seminar and its final concert are integrated into the sixth edition of the festival “cresc… – Biennial for Current Music”, which takes place from February 25 to March 5, 2022 in Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main area. Thanks to its the integration into a festival and support via the media cooperation with Hessischer Rundfunk (Hessian Radio), the International Composition Seminar enjoys special media attention, giving the final concert increased recognition. cresc… 2022 is produced by Ensemble Modern and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra together with further partners.

The 2022 festival theme “ME WE” goes back to a conversation between the boxer and human rights activist Muhammad Ali and a group of Harvard students in 1975. During this encounter, a student suddenly called out: “Give us a poem!” (Not a coincidence, as Ali was famous for his spontaneous and pointedly political poetry even then.) Never batting an eyelash, Muhammad Ali answered: »ME WE«. The poem attained world fame and has since been a contender for the shortest poem in the world, with two others vying for the title. While the other festival concerts illuminate the relationship between the individual (ME) and society (WE), the composition seminar will reflect the theme “Give me a poem”.

Young Composers and conductors interested in this project are invited to participate in this project. The International Composition Seminar champions diversity and welcomes applications from qualified composers, regardless of gender, background or personal circumstances.

Age limit composers: The seminar is open to composers born in 1989 or after.
Age limit conductors: The seminar is open to conductors born in 1991 or after.

Details are available at web pages: