Calefax Composers Competition 2020



Calefax invites composers of all ages and nationalities to participate in the 13th annual Composers Competition for Reed Quintet. The winning composition will be announced in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, on December 28, 2020, and performed in the following year by the world-renowned Calefax Reed Quintet.

The winning composer will be awarded a prize of 2.000 EUR. (The jury has the right to appoint more than one winner and divide the prize accordingly). The winning piece will also be performed in 2021 by the world-renowned Calefax Reed Quintet.

World Wide Reed Quintet Network
Moreover, the prizewinning composition will also be performed by various outstanding reed quintets from all over the world. On top of that, some of those Quintets will also be choosing their own favorite composition, which will receive a ‘special mention’. Please keep an eye on the Calefax website for updates about participating reed quintets. In order to give all entries to the competition maximum exposure, Calefax will share the compositions with other ensembles of the World Wide Reed Quintet Network.

* Entries for the Calefax Composers Competition 2020 must be received at the latest on December 1, 2020
* The length of submitted compositions should not exceed 9 minutes
* Only one work per composer can be submitted
* Entries must be either an original work or an arrangement for Reed Quintet of an own work
* Compositions have to be feasible by five players on the following instruments:

  1. Oboe or cor anglais
  2. Clarinet in B-flat or A
  3. Alto or soprano saxophone
  4. Bassoon
  5. Bass clarinet

* If live electronic media is used, it should be operable without the composer present, using stand-alone software to be operated by the ensemble or a sound technician. Multichannel sound should be limited to a maximum of four channels.
* If a soundtrack is used, preferably without click track.

The jury of the Calefax Composers Competition consists of all five members of Calefax. The esteemed composer Joël Bons, artistic leader of the Atlas Ensemble and winner of the 2019 Grawemeyer Award will function as chairman of the jury. The jury will judge all scores anonymously. All participants will be notified about the results of the competition. The results of the jury are final.

Send your composition both as a score (in C) and as transposed parts in PDF format to Only digital scores can be submitted and submitting a midi-recording of your piece is optional. Please note that digital scores and parts should not contain the composer’s name, since the scores are to be judged anonymously by the jury!

The deadline for submissions is 1 December, 23.59 hours, 2020.

New! Webinar for Composers
In these times of physical distancing the members of Calefax take care to cherish their partners and networks. One essential group of partners is the composers. For them Calefax organizes a webinar as a way of preparation for the Composers Competition. Two session will be held on June 16th 2020 in which all five members of the quintet will be present (hopefully all in one room) in order to answer all your questions! Apply for one of the sessions by sending an e-mail to and we will inform you about the exact times. Max. 10 composers per session.

Previous winners
Previous winners of the Calefax Composers Competition were Holger de Bruin (2008, The Netherlands) Heleen Verleur (2009, The Netherlands), Jeffrey Harrington (2010, USA/France), José Mora-Jiménez (2011, Costa- Rica/The Netherlands), Didier Marc Garin (2012, France), Corey Dundee (2013, USA), Michael Walsh (2014, United Kingdom), Janco Verduin (2015, The Netherlands), Mithatcan Öcal (2017, Turkey), Yeonju Kim (2018, Korea), Yonatan Ron (2018, Israël) and Uğurcan Öztekin (2019, Turkey).