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Gaudeamus Award 2018

In 1957 the very first Gaudeamus Award was awarded to a promising young composer, the 22-year-old Peter Schat. Since then professional juries have annually selected compositions, chosen from hundreds of submissions and nominated these works for the Gaudeamus Award. Only five composers younger than 30 years will be eligible for the Award. Winning the Gaudeamus Award is seen as an international recognition of a young composer and his work and an important springboard into their career.

Composers of any ethnicity, citizenship, gender and background who were born after October 1, 1987 may enter their works. Please note that all scores should be anonymous, since all works will be objectively judged by the jury.

The deadline for registration was 1 October 2017. As of August 1 2018 it is possible to register for the 2019 Gaudeamus Award.  If you would like to receive regular updates about all our calls, please register as a professional.

Registration for the Gaudeamus Award 2018 is closed



Large ensemble: Asko|Schönberg | Insomnio | Ensemble Modelo62
Instruments: 1 flute (+ picc, alto, bass), 1 clarinet (+ bass), 1 oboe, 1 bassoon (no cbsn), 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, 1 French horn, 1 tuba, 1 guitar (electric + acoustic), 1 percussionist, 1 piano (harmonium), 1 harp, 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 doublebass. Maximum number of players is 16; minimum number of players is 6. Soloist is possible. Amplification and electronics are possible.

Category 2 | Various Dutch Ensembles

Electric ensemble: Ensemble Klang
Instrumentation to be selected from: 2 saxophones (all types), 1 trombone (tenor/alto), 1 piano (or keyboard), 1 percussion and 1 electric guitar (or electric bass guitar). Amplification and electronics are possible.
About Ensemble Klang: Its unique yet versatile instrumentation – saxophones, trombone, keyboards, percussion, guitar, electronics – generates the energetic drive and passion of a band.

Small vocal ensemble: Silbersee
From 1 to a maximum of 6 voices, to be selected from: soprano, mezzo, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass. Amplification and electronics are optional. Composers should be aware that there are no practical possibilities for staging: all selected works will be performed in concert form.
About Silbersee: Silbersee specializes in contemporary vocal music and innovative music theatre.

Harp solo (+electronics): Miriam Overlach
Instrumentation: harp solo. Electronics possible, also as a duo for harp and electronics. Theatrical elements appreciated.
Miriam Overlach is an unconventional harpist rooted in the classical tradition but specialized in contemporary music and the development of the newest musical ideas. She loves to work together with composers. Check  and for more information.

Piano+electronics: Saskia Lankhoorn
Instrumentation: piano solo. Electronics possible.
Saskia Lankhoorn challenges young composers to write for the piano in two sonic ways.
Either an acoustic chamber work that deals with the possibilities of the instrument as it was designed for classical chamber music using keys and the natural sounds of the strings. Or by using extended techniques, electronics and/or pre-recorded piano material, exploring a larger sound world, making the piano sound larger than live, reflecting this time and reflecting on our perception of time.
Check for more information

Category 3 | Open Category

Music installations or works for any other instrumentation, up to a maximum of 12 instrumentalists. Also solo works are possible. The use of video and / or (live-) electronics is encouraged.

Please read the information below and the terms & conditions before submitting your work.


A maximum of five composers can be nominated for the Gaudeamus Award. From all nominated composers the main entry (category piece) will be shortlisted for the competition, but the other two pieces by the selected composers will also be performed during the festival. This provides the nominees with an opportunity to demonstrate other aspects of their talents instead of being judged solely on the basis of a single work. More than ever before, Gaudeamus Muziekweek is a showcase where audiences and (international) professionals in the field can get an in-depth overview of the nominees’ work. Being shortlisted for the Gaudeamus Award means that your work will not just be performed once during the festival, but will be performed at other festivals and by other ensembles worldwide.

This is what we ask from participating composers:

  • To consider which work best represents your current style and really measures up to the status of the Gaudeamus Award. In order to optimize the involvement of the ensembles, submissions will now be limited to certain categories, as specified under “Categories/ Ensembles.”
  • To consider which other two works give a good overview of your activities. The instrumentation is free (up to 15 instruments, electronics, video, etc.) and doesn't have to fit into the categories.

The jury for the Gaudeamus Award 2018 consists of Nicole Lizee, Richard Ayres and Pierluigi Billone. Representatives from the ensembles involved in the festival will also participate in the selection process.

The jury will select a maximum of 5 composers for performances during the festival. We will try to program 2 proposed works. Finally we ask the selected composers to make a new work for the ensemble-in-residence; that work will also be programmed during the festival. In 2017 there will be two ensembles in residence: Nikel Ensemble and Slagwerk Den Haag.

Nikel Ensemble
Nikel Ensemble is a quartet consisting of saxophone, electric guitar, percussion and piano. These instruments, mostly evolving in the 20th century were joined together to form a new chamber music output where electric and acoustic sounds are to be melted into a unified organism bridging between, not only different sources of mechanical waves, but also aesthetic prejudice and dichotomies of musical genres.
* duration between 8 and 12 minutes

Slagwerk Den Haag (Percussion The Hague)
Each of the five nominated composers will be invited to write a new piece for Slagwerk Den Haag within the thematic context “controllers” (in the broadest sense of the word). To challenge the composers, several game rules have been established. The new piece has to:
* be electro-acoustic with a duration between 8 and 12 minutes
* consist of min. 2 and max. 4 percussionists
* use only live amplification/processing/triggering (no tapes with clicktrack)
* enable the percussionists to control/manipulate/adapt the acoustic material live on stage (no external controller)
Slagwerk Den Haag will work intensively with the composers to help them elaborate their ideas. Each composer will have a budget at their disposal to develop “new” percussion instruments and/or sound sources.
Instruments: 2-4 percussionists/performers.

Academy 2018
The Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy will run from Thursday 30 August through Wednesday 5 September 2018 followed by the Gaudeamus Muziekweek from 5 through 9 September 2018. During the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy, the 5 nominated composers will work with the ensembles and rehearse the selected works. Members of the jury will facilitate discussions between composers and musicians. The Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy will be devoted to the composers in the interest of research, reflection, and development, but will also feature meetings and workshops open to the general public.

Career Support
After the festival, Gaudeamus will continue to support the nominated composers. Selected works may be performed elsewhere and composers will be regularly involved in festivals and co-productions with other organizations. The intention is to further the career development of young composers.

Registration fee & accommodation
As the nominated composers will derive extra benefit from their participation in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy and several performances of their works during the festival, an extra financial contribution is required once you are shortlisted. The registration fee for the competition is € 35. After you are selected, an extra € 500 is due as a contribution to your accommodation costs (10 days) and participation in the Academy and festival.

lf you have any questions about the registration, please contact us via

About the Gaudeamus Award
The annual Gaudeamus Muziekweek focuses on music by young composers. Although the first Gaudeamus Muziekweek, staged shortly after World War II, was devoted to Dutch composers only, the Muziekweek was soon open to composers worldwide. Each year new works by composers are presented, with emphasis on young composers and music pioneers. The Gaudeamus Award was first awarded in 1957 to Peter Schat. The Gaudeamus Award, as of 2015 a commission of € 5000 for new work, is meant as a help in the career of the composer. This commissioned work will premiere during Gaudeamus Muziekweek. Since 2014 the Muziekweek is preceded by the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy. All winners of the Gaudeamus Award are mentioned in the Gaudeamus Hall of Fame

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