London Composition Youth Awards

Eligibility and instrumentation


The London Composition Youth Awards is an international competition open to emerging composers from all around the globe under the age of 18. Entrants are asked to submit an original composition, 2 to 8 minutes in length, that complies with one of the following instrumentation categories:

1. Orchestral Composition (Symphony Orchestra)

2. Orchestral Composition (Chamber Orchestra)

3. Chamber Composition (Piano Trio)

4. Chamber Composition (String Quartet)

5. Chamber Composition (Other String Ensemble)

6. Chamber Composition (Wind Ensemble)

7. Chamber Composition (Choral Ensemble)

8. Chamber Composition (Other/Mixed Ensemble)

9. Solo Composition (With Accompaniment)

10. Solo Composition (Without Accompaniment – Piano)

11. Solo Composition (Without Accompaniment – Other Solo Instrument)


If you are confused by the requirements of the above options regarding instrumentation, here are the specifications that allow a piece to qualify for each category:

1. Symphony Orchestra

Woodwinds: At least 2, 2, 2, 2. Extra parts and doubling optional.

Brass: At least 4, 3, 3, 1. Extra parts and doubling optional.

Percussion: At least Timp. Other percussion parts (tuned and untuned) optional.

Strings: Large string section. Harp, violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, basses.

Other: Piano, celesta, harpsichord, organ, and any non-standard or electric instruments are optional. Choirs/vocalists and instrumental soloists are also optional.

2. Chamber Orchestra

Woodwinds: At least 2 woodwind parts in total.

Brass: Optional.

Percussion: Optional.

Strings: Moderate string section. Violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, basses.

Other: Harp, piano, celesta, harpsichord, organ, and any non-standard or electric instruments are optional. Vocalists and instrumental soloists are also optional.

3. Piano Trio

Piano + violin + cello.


Piano + 2 other solo instruments.

4. String Quartet

Violin I, violin II, viola, cello.


5. Other String Ensemble

Any combination of at least 3, but no more than 10 string instruments.


6. Wind Ensemble

Any combination of at least 3, but no more than 10 woodwind and brass instruments.

7. Choral Ensemble

Any vocal ensemble with at least 3 parts; can be as large as a full-sized choir. Can be written for any assortment of voices (SATB, SSAA, TTBB, etc.) Piano or organ accompaniment is optional.

8. Other/Mixed Ensemble

Any combination of at least 3, but no more than 10 instruments (either standard or non-standard or electric).


9. Solo Instrument With Accompaniment

One solo instrument (piano accepted) and one accompaniment (harp, piano, harpsichord, or other).


10. Solo Piano Without Accompaniment

Solo piano.

11. Other Solo Instrument Without Accompaniment

Solo instrument (any excluding piano).


**Exceptions regarding exact instrumentation can be made, but these must be minimal.**

Awards and nominations


By November 2nd, five composers will receive nominations in each of the above categories, and ten shall be nominated for Best Overall Composition. A week later, by November 9th, a winner is declared with for each individual award, and prizes are given out.


The winner of each award will receive a £200 cash prize, as well as an assortment of virtual prizes (notation software, digital audio workstations, virtual instruments, etc.), fully disclosed here. The winner of the Best Overall Composition category shall receive a £400 cash prize, and a separate collection of virtual prizes. Nominees in each category also receive a small prize package.



Entries for the London Composition Youth Awards open on July 3rd. The early deadline occurs at 23:59 GMT on August 2nd, the standard deadline at the same time on September 2nd, and the final deadline on October 11th. Understand that there is no penalty for works submitted at any point before the final deadline, and that all entries, no matter the date on which they are submitted, are judged anonymously and equally. After October 11th, all entries close, the list of applicants is finalised, and the judging process begins.


Entry fees


When completing the entry form (below), applicants are prompted to pay an entry fee, the amount of which is determined by the deadline before which you are submitting your entry. Before the early deadline, the required entry fee is £10. Before the standard deadline, it is raised to £15, and then once again to £20 before the final deadline.



Terms of entry


The following terms of entry must be complied with in order for an applicant’s composition to be accepted.

1.1 All required fields of the entry form must be filled out appropriately.

1.2 The date of birth provided on the entry form must declare that the entrant was under the age of 18 on July 1st, 2019.

1.3 A legible PDF file of the full score must be uploaded to the entry form.

1.4 A digitally rendered or live-performed audio file of the same work must be submitted.

1.5 Only one work may be submitted per entrant.

2.1 The work submitted must have an estimated performance time of at least 2 minutes, but must not exceed 8 minutes..

2.2 The work submitted must comply with the restrictions of the instrumentation chosen with minimal, if any, discrepancies.

3.1 The entry form must be completed and submitted by, at very latest, the final deadline at 23:59 GMT on October 11th.

3.2 Parental consent, as well as a parent or guardian’s name and email address, must be provided on the entry form.

3.3 The relevant entry fee must be payed when completing the entry form.

NOTE: If an entry does not comply with one or more of the above terms, it may risk disqualification from the competition. All disqualified entrants receive full refunds of the entry fee, if payed.


Updates and results


Keep an eye on our Latest page for any news regarding this competition or others. We'll also be in touch with all entrants via email when nominees and winners are revealed.


Entry form