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Following last year's international success our Composition Competition is back!
This year we would like to celebrate the life and career of one of the world's leading harpsichordists Zuzana Ruzickova and her invaluable role in promoting pieces by modern composers on period instruments.

Despite suffering enormous hardship she overcame all obstacles to become a leading figure. During the pandemic we've been inspired by Zuzana's spirit and strength and we're honoured to name our competition in her memory.

Find out more about Zuzana here.

Why again?

Once again we would like to create an opportunity for all composers out there. We hope to inspire the creative process and spread some positivity during the pandemic and beyond.


The baroque violin is an instrument capable of unlimited nuance. Its tone, colour, depth of sound and expressive possibilities are entirely different from its modern counterpart.

While there is a wealth of fantastic repertoire, why should such an expressive instrument be limited to bring only 'ancient' music to life? The baroque violin offers an as yet untapped opportunity for contemporary composition and this competition seeks to change that!

The composition

We are looking for a composition written for the baroque string quartet of between 4-6 minutes duration (please see competition rules below).

Composers have taken inspiration from all manner of sources, be it nature, seasonal changes, or mythology. For this competition, however, we ask that your composition seeks its inspiration in a colour of your choosing. You may decide to depict certain images or items related to your colour, or indeed you may prefer to focus on a mood which you associate with it, making use of the unique sonorities which period instruments offer.

Whatever path you choose to take is entirely your decision and is not restricted to the two concepts mentioned above. You should, however, submit a title and a brief summary of your composition along with your score.


3 winning compositions will be selected by the jury and announced on 1st August 2021.


Viktor Kalabis Prize - 2 successful works will be recorded in video performances by director Simon Helbling and his crew in late September 2021. This alligns with our continuing focus to present music in engaging ways outside of the traditional concert hall. To find out more about our previous collaborations watch Biber's Rosary Sonata No.1 here.


Prima la musica Prize - all 3 winning compositions will be published by one of the UK's foremost early music publishers Prima la musica!

ISM Prize - a year’s free ISM early career membership to a young British composer

Winning compositions will be promoted throughout 2021/2022 by Ada Witczyk* across all social media platforms.

1 May 2021


Please send your piece within next 2 months

30 June 2021


Deadline no later than midnight (BST)

16 August 2021


Watch this space for the announcement

Curious what we did last year?

Click on the button below to read all about last year's competition


Jury members that will pick 3 winning compositions:


Ada Witczyk - please see about to find out more

Simon Standage is well known as a violinist specialising in 17th and 18th-century music. Leader and soloist with The English Concert from its foundation until 1990, he also fulfilled the same role for many years with the City of London Sinfonia.  As well as the many records he made with The English Concert (including Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, nominated for a Grammy award), he also recorded solo and chamber music, including all of Mozart's violin concertos with the Academy of Ancient Music, of which he was, with Christopher Hogwood, Associate Director from 1991 to 1995.


Since his founding, with Richard Hickox, of Collegium Musicum 90, he has made numerous recordings for Chandos Records. As soloist and director of chamber orchestras and chamber musician, he is active both in Britain and abroad. He is leader of the Salomon String Quartet (founded by him in 1981), which specialises in historical performance of the Classical repertoire. He is Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and teaches at summer courses in Europe.


He received a medal for services to Polish culture in 2008, was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in 2009, and in 2010 received the Georg Philipp Telemann Prize from the city of Magdeburg.


Nicholas Hardisty - Competition coordinator


1. Submit a 4-6 minute long composition for baroque string quartet
2. The work should be performable at A=415Hz
3. Scores and individual parts should be submitted in standard western notation and should not make use of graphical notation
4. The work should be performable live with only the instruments specified above

5. There is NO registration fee

6. There is NO age limit and the competition is open to all nationalities

7. Scores to be sent to

8. Deadline for submitting entries: 30th June 2021 (midnight BST)

9. Announcement of winners selected by the Jury: 1st August 2021 on Instagram profile @adawitczyk


How to enter:

1. Register your interest here by entering your details below

2. Submit a score and individual parts by sending it to before the deadline

3. Compositions should be submitted as PDF files. If your notation software can produce sound files these would be gratefully received.


Over the submission period we will try and share with all interested helpful information regarding period instruments, bows, differences between them and their modern counterparts as well as answer any questions you may have. We recommend following Ada's instagram account as this will be our main communication channel.

Register your interest:

Thank you for registering your interest!

Competitions don't just grow on trees

Recording space, musicians, film crews and equipment are all expensive and we are hugely grateful to everyone who has helped support our work last year.
With your help we can create something really special ONCE AGAIN!

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* Copyright in the work(s) will remain with the composer(s) but Ada Witczyk will have a perpetual licence to use the work(s) herself for any purpose.​​