Composition Contest “4Viola”

Update 16/10/2018:

On November 24th, the winners were announced during IVC2018 in Rotterdam! See THIS ARTICLE for the results.


In the context of the 45th International Viola Congress 2018, we invite composers around the world to submit a short work for four violas (viola quartet). The contest is open to professionals, students and amateurs. A €500 cash prize is awarded for the best composition in the professionals/student category (upper age limit: 35), no cash prize for amateurs.
The best works will be performed live by the renowned Zemtsov Viola Quartet at the 4Viola Results Ceremony during the IVC2018 Congress.

Submission deadline: October 15th, 2018

Leo Samama (chairman),
Jeppe Moulijn
Mikhail Zemtsov

Note on Category definitions professionals/amateurs:
Except for the hard upper age limit in the professional category (by design), we fully appreciate that there are lots of grey zones when distinguishing “amateurs” and “professionals”. We cannot hope to close them all by definitions, nor do we have resources to background check all contestants. We encourage the prospective contestant to consult his/her own sense of “fair play” when he/she has a choice w.r.t. the Category to register in

Advance Registration is required for all contestants:
Fill in and submit the IVC2018 4Viola Contestant Registration Form (deactivated Oct 16th).
But first – please read the contest rules below carefully!

Rules for the IVC2018 4Viola Composition Contest


1. Instrumentation and Format

1.1. The composition must be for four violas

1.2. The composition must be purely acoustic, and not rely on any electronic aids (tape, amplification, looping devices etc.).

1.3. Additional instruments or acoustic sources other than the four violas are not permitted.

1.4. Specialised viola models (e.g. tenor viola, viola d’amore, baroque viola) must not be required.

1.5. The duration of each work shall be minimum 3 minutes, maximum 7 minutes


2.  Registration

2.1. Registration is mandatory for all contestants, and must be completed prior to submitting any work(s).

2.2. Registration is personal, and cannot be done on behalf of someone else.

2.3. There is no Registration fee to be paid for the contest 4Viola

2.4. The Contestant is required to submit personal information (Name, Date of Birth, e-mail address, country of residence) for the purpose of Registration.

2.5. Registration is possible in one of two categories:

  • Professionals: Students and young professionals up to 35 years of age
    (born on or after 25/11/1982)
  • Amateurs: Amateur composers (no age limit), who do not make a living by composing

2.6. The Registration information can be changed after Registration Form submission, provided that a written request is sent (by e-mail) by October 15th, 2018 to .

2.6. Cancellation of Registration may be requested in writing by sending an e-mail by October 15th, 2018 to

2.7. Registration for 4Viola does not include IVC Congress admission. Contestants who plan to attend the Congress in person (e.g. for the 4Viola Results Ceremony) must Register separately for IVC2018 Congress Participation in the Associates category (minimum 1 day pass).


3. Submission of Works

3.1. The Contestant may submit one or more works under a single Registration.

3.2. The Contestant shall guarantee that the submitted work is original and of his own creation, and more specifically:

  • The work shall not have been subject to prior public performance
  • The work shall not have been previously published or publicly distributed
  • The work shall not have been previously awarded a prize in other contests

3.3. The Score(s) must contain a proper unique Title and a Composer name. If the Contestant chooses to remain anonymous for the Jury, he/she may use a pseudonym for this purpose. Pseudonyms must by nature be clearly identifiable as such, in order not to be confused with any natural person.

3.4. The Score(s) must be submitted in fully electronic PDF format

3.5. Submission of Individual parts (also in PDF format) is recommended, but not strictly required.

3.6. Submission of an audio recording (midi, piano excerpt or live) is recommended, but not strictly required. The recommended audio file format is mp3.

3.7. Submission of the Score, parts, and audio files must be done by means of a WeTransfer transmission, or through a share link to a cloud-based storage service (Google Drive, Dropbox, OneCloud, iCloud).
The recipient of the transfer or link shall be:

3.8. Transmission of scores via e-mail (attachments) will not be accepted

3.9. Paper copies or hardware media (e.g. USB stick, CD/DVD) will not be accepted.

3.10. Submission deadline for works is October 15th, 2018, at 24:00h (midnight), Central European Time (CET).

3.11. Works received without prior Contestant Registration will not be accepted.


4. Results and Awards

4.1. Results will be communicated to the Contestants by November 10th, 2018.

4.2. The decision of the Jury is final, and cannot be appealed.

4.3. The winning work in each category will be disclosed publicly during the 4Viola Results Ceremony (November 24th, 2018) at IVC 2018 Rotterdam. The (real) name and residential country of the winning composers will be announced at this time as well.

4.4. The winning Contestant in the Professional category receives a €500,-  cash prize
For the Amateur cetegory there is no cash prize.

4.5. The winning work in each category will be performed live by the renowned Zemtsov Viola Quartet during the competition results announcement


5. Protection and Use of Data

5.1. Except as noted in 5.2 below, the Contestant’s personal information will not be disclosed to the Jury nor any third parties. It is only used by IVC2018 to establish Contestants’ identity, to verify compliance with contest rules and to have a channel of communication on matters directly related to this competition.

5.2. In case the Contestant’s work is selected as category winner, the Contestant’s real name and residential country will be announced at the 4Viola Results Ceremony.

5.3. The identify of Contestants not selected as winners will not be disclosed at any time.

5.4. Upon completed Cancellation of Registration, the IVC will erase all of the Participant’s registered information from the Registration Database.

5.5. Within 6 months of the end of the IVC (i.e. by May 24th, 2019), the Registration Database of the IVC will be deleted entirely.

5.6. The Contestant grants permission to the IVC to record (in audio and/or video) the live performance of the winning composition, and to use this recording for the purpose of promoting the Congress in (online) media. No royalty, fee, or other compensation shall become payable to the Participant by reason of such use.


6. General Regulations

6.1. In case of infringement of these rules, IVC reserves the right to refuse or cancel the Participant’s Registration.

6.2. All points not covered herein are subject to the decision of the Congress Manager.

6.3. Place of jurisdiction for disputes concerning the present agreement is Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The Registration agreement shall be governed and construed according to Dutch laws.