Aspiring composers, or composers just looking for a challenge, take note. Registration for the third annual Rapido! Composition Contest officially opened Monday. The contest, founded by the Atlanta Chamber Players and the Antinori Foundation in 2009, promotes new chamber music and gives national exposure to aspiring and underrepresented composers.
It challenges composers nationwide to write an original chamber work, four to six minutes long, in only 14 days. Selected works are performed by professional ensembles nationwide, and the finalists receive cash prizes. This year’s competition also includes a new prize for the winner: a commission by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
The deadline to enter is June 1. Registration, which is open to composers of all ages and levels of experience, is divided into five geographic regions, and only the first 100 applicants in each region are accepted, so applicants are encouraged to register early. A $35 entry fee must be paid at the time of registration.
The competition will begin at 9 a.m. June 11. Participants are given strict guidelines for composing and submitting their work. Among other things, they must use classical instrumentation and traditional form and must submit work electronically and anonymously. Those who don’t follow the requirements won’t be judged.
By August 6, an anonymous panel of musicians, composers and musical dignitaries will select 15 semi-finalist works — three from each region –to be performed in the fall by five Rapido! chamber ensembles in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco. At each concert judges will announce a finalist, whose work will compete in the National Finals Concert on January 20, 2013, in Atlanta. There, the finals judging team, led by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano, will name a winner.
The winning composer will receive a $7,500 prize and a commission to expand his or her winning work by 10 to 12 minutes. Five regional chamber ensembles will perform the expanded compositions during fall 2013. Additionally, the winner will create a new composition to be premiered by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra the following spring.