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Gaudeamus Award 2019

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, 1988 may enter their works. Gaudeamus aims to make new music accessible to audiences and participants from any background, nationality, gender or religion. We want to be a diverse and inclusive organization and encourage diversity in our participants, audience as well as our own organisation. We see talent and motivation as the basis of what we are about, and diversity as unifying and empowering force.

If you would like to apply for the Gaudeamus Award 2019, please read the setup and terms & conditions here below thoroughly. Please note that all scores should be anonymous, since all works will be objectively judged by the jury.



Ensembles: Asko|Schönberg | Insomnio | Ensemble Modelo62 | New European Ensemble
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.


Electric ensemble 1: 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.

Electric ensemble 2: Nadar Ensemble (BE)
Instrumentation to be selected from: (Live)-electronics, video, violin, cello, flute (+ picc, alto, bass), clarinet (+ bass), trombone (+ bass), guitar (electric & acoustic), piano (+ keyboard) and percussion.
About Nadar Ensemble: Nadar consists of a fixed group of extremely committed and talented musicians who are all specialized in contemporary music.


Music installations or solo works with or without electronics, the use of video and / or (live-) electronics is encouraged. Up to 12 musicians/performers everything is possible, but within this category we’re not looking for regular ensemble pieces.

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.).

The jury for the Gaudeamus Award 2019 consists of Gerhard Stäbler (DE), Yannis Kyriakides (CY/NL) and Clara Iannotta (IT). 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 2019 there will be two ensembles in residence: the Belgian Nadar Ensemble and the young and promising Hague-based Catchpenny Ensemble.

Academy 2019
The Gaudeamus Academy will run from Thursday 29 August through Wednesday 4 September 2019 followed by the Gaudeamus Muziekweek from 4 through 8 September 2019. During the Gaudeamus 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 Muziekweek 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.
If you are unable to participate due to a lack of financial means, please contact us.

Should the registration fee somehow prevent you from participating in the competition, please contact us at All correspondence regarding the gaudeamus award will be handled strictly confidential.

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 is a commission of€ 5000 for new work, 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.

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

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