Entries for the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition 2024 now open

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 8th December 2023.

Winner of the 2023 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition, Laura Heneghan, had her work premiered by Chamber Choir Ireland and conductor Sofi Jeannin at Cork International Choral Festival 2023. Photo by Jed Niezgoda.

Cork International Choral Festival and Chamber Choir Ireland are delighted to announce the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition for 2024.

Applications are now open to composers born or resident in Ireland, and are welcomed from both established and emerging composers. The winner of this esteemed competition will have their work premiered by Chamber Choir Ireland at Cork International Choral Festival in May 2024.

Submitted scores should be original works, written for a cappella choir, and up to 5 minutes in duration. It should be in 4 parts, and the selected text may be original or existing, in the English, or Irish, language.

Judged by a panel of experts and composers of international renown, the competition awards a cash prize (kindly donated by the Ó Ríada family) and the Seán Ó Riada Trophy to the winning composer, and the selected piece will receive its premiere performance by Chamber Choir Ireland at the Festival’s Gala Concert held in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral on Friday, 3rd May 2024.

The Seán Ó Riada Competition was created in 1972 in recognition of the creative life and work of Seán Ó Riada (1931-71), and is delivered in collaboration with the Ó Riada Family Trust. While the format has evolved over the years, the focus has always been on bringing both traditional and new pieces of Irish music to life and to new audiences, as well as encouraging the composition of contemporary music as Gaeilge. The current format focuses on new works from Irish composers, with scores entered under pseudonym to protect the identity of the composer. The winning composition will be selected by a panel comprising of composers and choral experts.

Since the new format was introduced 13 years ago, 277 original compositions have been entered, which highlights the renewed interest in, and healthy state of Irish composition. Previous winners of the competition include Solfa Carlile, Rhona Clarke, Patrick Connolly, Frank Corcoran, Séamas de Barra, Eoghan Desmond, Amanda Feery, Michael Holohan, Marian Ingoldsby, Donal Mac Erlaine, Simon MacHale, Michael McGlynn, Kevin O’Connell, Criostóir Ó Loingsigh, Donal Sarsfield, James May, Peter Leavy, Norah Constance Walsh, Daragh Black Hynes and last year’s winner, Laura Henegan. Several of these works have been published by international choral publishing houses.

Read more on the Cork International Choral Festival website.