Winners announced!


ICU International
Composers contest

25.11.2020 - 31.03.2021

Our team is delighted to admit an extremely high level of the sent works. The jury members marked originality and outstanding musical ideas. All that made their work a challenge and that took long hours of discussion. However, the choice has been made. Our most sincere congratulations to all the winners!

Symphonic music

We are happy to announce winners for the Symphonic music category:

  • 1 prize – “Birds Landing”  by Roman Baranskiy  
  • 2 prize – “Convergence”  by Takuto Fukuda 
  • 3 prize – “Let there be light”  by Wen Ziyang
  • 4 prize – “A Plank in Reason for Orchestra” by Yuto Obata 
  • 5 prize – “Nocturno Sinfonico” by Marcos Fernandez-Barrero

Chamber orchestra music

Chamber orchestra music category winners are:

  • 1 prize – “Nocturne”   Marc Migo  
  • 2 prize – “Wą”  Marcin Piotr Łopacki
  • 3 prize – “Acá”  Daniele Vulpiani
  • 4 prize – “Environments II”  Greg Caffrey
  • 5 prize – “Meteors” Paolo Ugoletti

All the winners will be contacted personally via email for further details. 

"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable."
Aaron Copland
About the Contest

The International Conductors Union is honoured to announce the ICU International Composers Contest. Especially in the current situation! We believe that building a creative network and bonds between composers and conductors will contribute to the development of classical music. Our goals are to find the new talents, and give them a hand in the realization of their career, bring their beautiful music to the world.
The music of the Contest winners will be performed on June the 3rd 2021 by Odessa Opera Theatre orchestra (Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestra). Also on the big stage life in 2021-2022 season.

Also, ICU Council might decide to use this music as an obligatory piece for ICU Conducting Competitions in 2021-2022 – MICM&C, VCM&C and OICC.

The ICU Composers Competition’s doors are opened for all composers over 18 y.o. regardless of their nation!

Competition regulations

In terms of providing the impartiality of judgement, we encrypt all the names of the participants. The Jury members do not have access to the actual names of the competitors. All the jury members are respected composers who represents different composing schools – Norway, Austria, Russia. More details below.

The Jury will use 100 point system to evaluate each composition. The winners will be selected by the highest scores. All the scores will be announced with the results. 

The Contest is opened for the music of two broad categories – symphonic music and chamber orchestra music. We welcome both not-performed-yet and already-performed music!  Already published music won’t be accepted for the competition.

More detailed information can be found below.

The Contest winners’ music will be performed by a professional orchestra – Odessa Opera Theatre on the big stage life in 2021-2022 season. Also, ICU Council might decide to use this music as an obligatory piece for one of ICU Conducting Competitions in 2021/22 – MICM&C, VCM&C, OICC. The information of the orchestras and dates will be announced in August 2021 directly to the winners by email.
The winners music will be published. Conditions for the publishing will be sent to the composer via email.

The Contest winners’ music will be performed by 4 professional orchestras in 2021-2022 season. 

1 prize – performance on June 3rd 2021 Odessa Opera Haus Orchestra. Other 3 performances during 2021-22 concert season will be announced later.

2 prize – performance on June 3rd 2021 Odessa Opera Haus Orchestra plus 2 performances during 2021-22 concert season will be announced later.

3 prize – performance on June 3rd 2021 Odessa Opera Haus Orchestra plus 1 performance during 2021-22 concert season will be announced later.

4 prize – Publishing 

5 prize – Publishing

Plus two special prizes from ICU.

 Conditions for the publishing will be sent to the composer via email. 

The application process is divided into two steps.

  1. Please fill the form below and apply. After applying, you will receive two emails: an auto-generated confirmation email and the one we send you an with a unique ID number(s).
  2. Please reply to our second email by sending the full score(s) and participation fee transfer confirmation. Please use received unique ID instead of your name on the scores You can require a receipt.

Each composer is allowed to send full scores for each category the maximum. The fee for each submitted composition is 40€ for the chamber orchestra music and 70€ for the symphonic music.

Application deadline is 31.03.2021


Symphonic music

This category applies for:

  • A piece(s) orchestrated for symphonic orchestra of any genre (symphoy, concerto, overture etc.)
  • May include choir or soloists (instrumental or vocal)
  • The music excerpt must be no longer than 20 minutes
  • The maximum instrumentation – Fl -3, Ob -3, Cl – 3, Fg -3, Cor – 6, Trb -3, Trbn – 3, Tb – 1, Timp. – 4 pots, Per. – 3 players, Vni.1 – 14, Vni.2 – 12, Vle -10, Vc. -10, Cb. – 4
  • Might include saxophones, flute “piccolo”, bass clarinet, corno Ingles, contrabassoon, harp, piano, celeste.
  • Please try to avoid usage rare or unusual instruments.

Chamber orchestra music

This category applies for:

  • Piece(s) composed for a chamber orchestra (symphoy, concerto, overture etc.)
  • May include choir or soloists (instrumental or vocal)  
  • The music must be no longer than 15 minutes
  • Instrumentation – 25 musicians string orchestra (V1 – 8, V2 – 8, – 4, Vc – 4, Cb – 1) plus 5 wind  instrument and set for 2 percussionists is the maximum.
  • Please try to avoid usage rare or unusual instruments


Arkadev 1 (1)

Mikhail Arkadev


Mikhail Arkadev (b. March 15, 1958) is a Russian composer, conductor, pianist, musicologist, and philosopher. He earned the title of Honored Artist of Russian Federation in 1995 and a Doctor of Science (Art Criticism) in 2003. Arkadev studied composition under A.G. Schnittke and R.S. Ledenev and conducting under V. Nelson and Yu. Simonov. Arkadev’s compositions have been performed both in Russia and abroad by A. Rudin, V. Simon, A. Safiulin, T. Kuindzhi, and others. In 1995 his Missa Brevis for mixed choir, children’s choir, and organ after Latin texts had a world premiere in Lyon, France, and was recorded by REM (1995). In April 2017 his Passacaglien for Organ, Violin and Cello, dedicated to A. Schnittke and M. Lubotsky, had a world premiere in Hamburg, Germany. Arkadev actively participated in the conception, creation, and commenting of Sviridov’s last large vocal opus, the poem «Petersburg» for voice and piano after A. Blok. In 1990-2003 Arkadev worked as a pianist with People’s Artist of Russia Dm. Hvorostovsky. As a musicologist, he developed the concept of «non-sounding», «non-acoustic» foundation as a basic element of the rhythmic system of modern European music.

Karastoyanova-Hermentin1 (1)

Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin


Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin is an Austrian composer and pianist. She studied Composition (Boguslaw Schaeffer) and Piano (Alfons Kontarsky, Dimo Dimov, Boyan Vodenitcharov, Sergei Solodovnik) at the University Mozarteum, the National Academy of Music Sofia and the Music College „Ippolitov-Ivanov“ Moscow. Her music has been performed by orchestras and ensembles such as Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Radiosymphony Orchestra Vienna, International Contemporary Ensemble, Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Zaporozhje, PHACE, oenm and has been presented by the CSO (Chamber Series), the Konzerthaus Vienna, in the Wiener Musikverein, Megaron Athene, State Opera Donetsk, as well as in the festivals Ultraschall Berlin, Klangspuren, Dialoge Salzburg. In 2007, her violin concerto “Mahagony” was premiered by David Bowlin at the Carnegie Hall. Karastoyanova-Hermentin´s work “TARSIS” was nominated for the RYCHENBERG Competition and recorded by the Musikkollegium Winterthur conducted by Pierre-Alain Monot. Her work ANNÄHERUNG, commissioned by the Government of Salzburg was premiered by the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg conducted by Johannes Kalitzke and presented in the “Viva!Mozart” exhibition in Salzburg, celebrating Mozart’s 250th birthday. She has received comissions from the Siemens Music Foundation, the Konzerthaus Vienna, the West Germany Broadcasting, the Austrian Broadcasting, Aspekte Festival. Karastoyanova-Hermentin has been recognized with the Austrian State “Outstanding Artist Award”, the Austrian State Composers Grant 2001/2006/2010, the Grant of the Province Salzburg, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra Grant, the Prize of City Vienna, the “Aaron Copland” fellowship/MacDowell Colony, the Theodor-Körner Award.


Rune Rebne


Rune Rebne is a Norwegian composer. He began his studies in music as a trombone player in 1985 and finished his diploma in composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in 1997. He is currently an Associate Professor in Composition and a PhD Research Fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music. 

Rune Rebne has composed both instrumental- and electroacoustic music, and also music for modern dance and theatre. He has been performed at festivals in Norway and abroad. He received the price for the Work of the Year from Norwegian Composers Union in 1995. Rune Rebne worked as a director for the theatre plays «Blod, Jern og Olje».

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