Please Yourself Composition Competition

Compose or submit an original work

of any duration and scale,

from a solo piece to chamber orchestra*

First prize £1000

The Mullord Award £500

Closing date September 30th 2020

For the tenth occasion, the Álvarez Chamber Orchestra (ÁCO) is inviting composers of any age and nationality to submit works for an annual composition competition.

There is no specification as to the length or nature of the work.
If electronics are used, if not notated conventionally and fully in the score, a CD or mp3 should be supplied.
A recording of the work should also be submitted if the score is notated graphically or in any other unconventional format.
There is no restriction on the number of works submitted by each composer but each piece will incur the same entry fee of £26.
The work may be a new piece or may have been written at any time in the composer’s career.
Each piece should have only its title printed on the cover: the identity of the composer, including address, email, phone number, biography, photograph and programme notes should be placed in a separate sealed envelope also marked with the same title.
All scores must be submitted electronically as pdf files to the address of the competition administrator, Trevor Huntley: The electronic version of the score should have only its title displayed on the front page and there should be no mention of the composer's name or include any markings by which the composer could be identified.
A second and separate email should be sent at the same time as the score submission and this should include the identity of the composer, their address, email, contact telephone number, short biography, photograph and programme notes. No hard copies of scores will be accepted.
Composers submitting their scores via a link on a file sharing site such as Dropbox should ensure the files remain uploaded until receipt of the written adjudication following the conclusion of the competition. All entries that the ACO receives will be acknowledged prior to adjudication. Composers will be notified if any files of an electronic submission are corrupt or missing. It is the responsibility of the composer to provide the ACO with pdf files that can be opened. If the composer is unable to supply the requested downloadable and readable files within the time limits detailed above, the entry will be deemed disqualified.
Please contact the adminstrator, Tevor Huntly for further clarification.

The maximum* size of the orchestra is as follows:

2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo)

2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais)

2 clarinets (2nd doubling bass clarinet)

2 bassoons (2nd doublng contrabassoon)

2 horns




timpani (doubling second percussionist)

percussion (one player)



any keyboard

8 violins
4 violas
4 cellos
2 double bass.

Minimum specification is a single performer

In addition to the prizes, there is the possibility of a performance

by the Álvarez Chamber Orchestra at a future season.

The entry fee is £26 per work Payments may be made via Paypal by clicking on the website:

If entering the details via paypal independently of this link, please use this email address, not the one given earlier for the submission of scores:

If you prefer, we accept payment by bank transfer to the ACO bank account: The Alvarez Chamber Orchestra

Account No. 65268120 Sort Code 089299
We no longer accept payment by cheque

The adjudicators will include some of the following:

David Collins Composer: D. Phil. University of York
Linda Hirst: Professor of Vocal Studies,
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Silvina Milstein: Professor of Composition and Analysis,
University of Cambridge and King's College, London
Edwin Roxburgh: Composer and conductor:
awarded the Cobbett Medal for Services to Music.
Formerly Professor at the Royal College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire
Giles Swayne: Composer in Residence, Clare College, Cambridge
Richard Stoker: Formerly Professor at the Royal Academy of Music
Robert Walker: Composer, Formerly BBC Broadcaster, Professor Silpakorn University' Bangkok
Geoffrey Álvarez: Composer, Conductor, The Álvarez Chamber Orchestra

The competition will be administered by ÁCO treasurer Trevor Huntley, and secretary Phillip Costen.

The decision of the jury will be final and binding.

All competitors whose entries comply with the competition regulations will receive a brief comment about their work based on the jury's assessment.

All printed submissions will be returned.

The jury reserve the right not to award a prize if the submissions are not of sufficient quality.

Further details:
Dr Geoffrey Álvarez
Artistic Director/Conductor
The Álvarez Chamber Orchestra

Registered Charity No. 1120668
Company Limited by Guarantee No. 6227728.
Registered in England and Wales.
Registered Office: 5 Rensburg Road London E17 7HL
Telephone: +4420 8521 7642
Mobile: 07710 427 923

30 Sep 2020
British Pound (GBP)