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Organ in St Laurentius Kirche in Wuppertal


May 01 2020 - Sep 01 2020


08:00 - 17:00



Royal College of Organists Composition Competition 2020

About the Competition

The Royal College of Organists has announced a composition competition as part of its offer to all organists and composers during the Covid-19 period of social isolation.



The competition will have two categories:

(1) applicants who are under 25 years of age at the submission deadline
(2) applicants who are 25 years of age and over (there is no upper age limit) at the submission deadline

The submitted composition should be for solo organ OR for organ and one instrument or voice. The writing for organ should be playable comfortably on an instrument of at least two manuals and pedal. The use of pedal and more than one manual is expected. Where the composer is not an organist a general guide to required dynamics and timbres may be provided on the score rather than a detailed registration scheme. Where a text is set, the text can be either sacred or secular. Text which is in copyright may be used but permission will need to sought by the applicant, and confirmed and (if appropriate) purchased, before submitting the work.

Compositions should have the following timings in performance:

(1) under 25 years of age: 3–6 mins
(2) 25 years of age and over: 5–8 mins

A submitted composition should not have been performed or published before.



The jury will be chaired by Mr Gerard Brooks, the RCO President. He will be joined by Ms Judith Weir CBE, Master of the Queen’s Music, and Mr Thomas Trotter, international concert organist and organist of Birmingham Town Hall.



A first and a runner-up prize will be available in each category. A first prizewinner will have his or her work played at College concerts and events, recorded for permanent upload to iRCO (the College’s digital content hub), and published by the RCO. The College will endeavour to promote its first prizewinners through a variety of means. A runner-up will have his or her work featured in performances at College-organised events.


How to enter

  • The closing date for the submission of entries is 17.00 BST on Tuesday 1 September 2020. There is no charge for submission.
  • Entries should be clearly labelled as ‘RCO Composition Competition 2020’ and submitted by e-mail to: admin@rco.org.uk
  • The score (and part as appropriate) should be submitted as a PDF (or PDFs where an additional part is involved). The material can be a scan of handwritten manuscript (please ensure legibility) or output from a notation programme. Do not send native files. Do not put your own name on the score itself; instead, please use a pseudonym.
  • When submitting the PDF(s), in the accompanying e-mail to admin@rco.org.uk please supply your name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number, and confirmation of the pseudonym you have used on your score. Also required are a short biography and a statement by you as the composer that your submitted composition is entirely your own, original work, and that it has never been published or performed in public.
  • After the deadline the anonymised scores will be forwarded to the jury for shortlisting and for final adjudication. The panel will reach its decisions and notify the RCO of its decisions using the provided pseudonyms, thus preserving complete anonymity. The RCO will notify the winners and publish the results.


Additional information

By submitting an entry an applicant grants permission to the RCO in the event of a first or runner-up placement to make arrangements as per the prize statement above, and also to make a public announcement in printed and electronic form.

The jury reserves the right not to award the prizes and its decision will be final and may not be appealed against.


Royal College of Organists

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: May 01 2020 - Sep 01 2020
  • Time: 03:00 - 12:00

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