International Composition Competition for Orchestra


Submission period

Tue Jun 1 at 11 AM UTC

End of submission period

Wed Nov 3 at 11:59 AM UTC

Results date

Thu Nov 25 at 11:59 AM UTC


Applicants must be born after 1st of January 1990


IRCAM and the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, two musical bodies with a strong commitment to promoting contemporary creations and a new generation of artists, are joining forces to create the Élan Award, a new international composition competition for an orchestral work, including the “Île de créations” (the orchestral composition competition created in 2010 by the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France) at the IRCAM Academy. The young composers shortlisted to compete in the Élan Award will enjoy an exceptional creation support platform that combines the expertise of the two bodies in terms of training on composing a work for orchestra and electronic music. They will be guided in their composition work both by musicians at the Orchestra and by IRCAM’s teams, as well as by guest artists who will join the supervising team each year.

As part of the ManiFeste festival academy, the finalists will attend an orchestral composition workshop and will take part in the rehearsals of the piano concertos they have composed for the competition. These will be played by the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France at the Philharmonie de Paris, conducted by Rebecca Tong. Following this public concert, the Élan Award ceremony will be held, endowed by France Musique and the Maison de la Musique Contemporaine.  The winning composition will be played on France Musique radio station during Anne Montaron’s programme “Création mondiale” and the score will be published by Durand-Salabert-Eschig / UMPC.

The winner will also receive a commission from IRCAM and the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France to compose a new work for solo instrument, orchestra and electronic music, which will be developed during the following year’s ManiFeste festival. As part of the winner’s training in electronic music, they will receive teaching and advice from IRCAM’s computer music producers.

The compositions of the Élan Award winner will be performed during the Orchestra’s seasons, on tour in the Île-de-France region around Paris and in other regions across France to guarantee their very broad dissemination.

A genuine springboard for the career of young composers, the Élan Award is designed to promote their outreach and provide them with professional support over several years.



1. Candidate profiles

The competition is open to composers of all nationalities born after 1 January 1990.

A candidate may not take part in the competition more than two times.

A candidate who has already attended the ManiFeste Academy twice cannot take part in the competition. 


2. The work

The candidate will compose a concerto work for piano and orchestra.

This work must be composed specifically for this competition, must be original and must never have been performed, in full or in part.

This condition is mandatory and suspensive.


The piano may under no circumstances be prepared, either in the strings or the keys. 

This condition is mandatory and suspensive.


The orchestra number must not exceed the following list:

12 first violins, 10 second violins, 8 violas, 6 cellos, 4 double basses, 2 flutes (the second of which can play piccolo), 2 oboes (the second of which can play English horn), 2 clarinets (the second of which can play bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (the second of which can play contrabassoon), 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 2 percussions (one of which can play timpani): snare drum, bass drum, tom, tambourine / vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel en valise / tubular bells, suspended cymbals, pair of orchestra cymbals, sizzle cymbals, crotales, triangle, tam tam (Chinese gong), windchimes / rain stick, wood blocks and temple blocks, castanets, claves, rattle, flexatone, slide whistle, whip, sleighbells, guiro, maracas, vibraslap, whistles, klaxon horns (auto-horn, taxi-horn, motor-horn)

This condition is mandatory and suspensive.


The work must be ten minutes in length, broken down into five movements each lasting two minutes, which may be continuous.

This condition is mandatory and suspensive. 


Candidates are required to mark the metronomic tempo of each movement on the score. 

Candidates are informed that the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France will only have two hours’ service for each work shortlisted for the final.

The rehearsal schedule will be sent to candidates one month prior.

The work programme will be decided by the conductor upon assessment of the work time required for each work. 



The candidate must submit the full bid on the ULYSSES platform - www.ulysses-network.eu - by Wednesday 3 November 2021 at 1pm CEST.

Candidates are informed by email that their submission has been received.

Final entry constitutes acceptance of the conditions defined in these rules. 



 1. First round 

The candidate must have written two full movements of the score in pdf format. 

The selection panel will shortlist four scores from those received.

The results of the first round will be announced on Thursday 25 November 2021 at 1pm CEST.


2. Selection panel 

The selection panel will be made up of the Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Orchestre national d’ÎIe-de-France, Case Scaglione, composer Augusta Read Thomas who will be this year’s guest judge and mentor, composer Stefano Gervasoni, soloist Marie-Ange Nguci who will perform the work and a musician representative of the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France 1st solo cellist Natacha Colmez-Collard.


3. Second round 

Composers whose works have been shortlisted following the first round: 

-        will receive a master class with Augusta Read Thomas, composer and guest judge and mentor of this year’s award, a work session with Marie-Ange Nguci, the soloist who will perform the shortlisted works and a work session with the Orchestra’s musicians. Date to be set in December 2021 and / or January 2022. The master classes will take place on-line. 

-        will submit the full composition by email, i.e. ten minutes of music, by Tuesday 1 March 2022 at 1pm CEST at the latest. Mandatory and suspensive condition.


They will contact the Orchestra’s librarian, Ms Lucie Moreau (lucie.moreau@orchestre-ile.com/ + 33(0), to prepare the orchestra material in digital format, according to the rules she will provide. They will send to her by email: 

-  The full digital conductor’s score in pdf format, 

-  The separate parts of the full score, in digital format. 


4. Jury

The jury, which will select by secret ballot the winning work out of those chosen by the selection panel, will be comprised of: guest judge and mentor, composer Augusta Read Thomas, composer Stefano Gervasoni, the conductor who will lead the final Rebecca Tong, the soloist who will perform the work Marie-Ange Nguci, the director of IRCAM, a representative of France Musique, a representative of the Maison de la Musique Contemporaine, a representative of the Durand-Salabert-Eschig publishing house / UMPC, a musician of the Orchestra. A representative of SACEM will attend the deliberations as an observer. In the event of a tie, the jury chairperson will have the casting vote.


5. The final

The jury will meet at the Philharmonie de Paris (221 avenue Jean-Jaurès – 75019 Paris), on Friday 1 July 2022 at 8.30pm CEST to select the winning work.

Each of the works shortlisted for the final will be performed in public by the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France and the soloist Marie-Ange Nguci, conducted by Rebecca Tong, with the jury and finalist composers in attendance. 


6. Results

The finalists will be informed of the results of the second round after the public final. 



The winner selected by the jury will receive the “2022 Élan Award - International Composition Competition for an orchestral work - Orchestre national d’Île-de-France – IRCAM”.

The Maison de la Musique Contemporaine will award the winner with a prize of a gross amount of €2500 following the performance.

The winning work will be performed by the Orchestre national d’Île de France and the soloist Marie-Ange Nguci, conducted by Rebecca Tong, and will be broadcast in Anne Montaron’s “Création Mondiale” programme on France Musique during 2022. The winner will receive from France Musique a gross amount of €1000 following the performance.

Durand-Salabert-Eschig / UMPC will publish the score. 

The winning work will be performed again during a series of concerts during the 2022/2023 season. 

In addition, the winner will receive a joint commission from the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France and IRCAM for a new 10-minute work for solo instrument and orchestra with electronic music for a gross amount of €6000. The winner will be welcomed to IRCAM’s studios during the 2022/2023 season to work closely with a computer music producer who will provide assistance and advice and will support them for the electronic part of the work. The work will be performed in public during the concert for the Competition final in 2023.

The audience attending the final will vote for the “Public choice” work. The winner of the “Public choice” work will receive a reward from Durand-Salabert-Eschig / UMPC publishing house.

The musicians of the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France will vote for their “Orchestra’s choice” work.

The four finalist composers will receive a recording of their works for promotional purposes.



1. Communications

The composers shortlisted for the second round will send the following to Vanessa Gasztowtt (vanessa.gasztowtt@orchestre-ile.com / +33 () and Julie Mercier (julie.mercier@orchestre-ile.com / +33 (0) by Monday 6 December 2021: 

  • a short biography in French and English (1500 characters maximum), 
  • a digital photo (300 Dpi minimum), 
  • a statement of intent in French and English (1000 characters maximum).


2. Publishing

On the conductor’s score and on all future communication media concerning this work, the words “Commission of the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France and France Musique, as part of the 2022 Élan Award and in partnership with IRCAM” must be stated. 

The conductor’s score and the material of the winning work will be published by Durand-Salabert-Eschig / UMPC. The winning composer will have to send the final material to the publisher within 48 hours of their naming as winner. He/she undertakes to register this work with a copyright company, in France or abroad. 


3. Recording and radio broadcasting

The works of the finalist composers will be recorded during the rehearsal services scheduled with the orchestra for the final by the Ecole nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière.

They will receive a promotional copy of these recordings. 

The winning work will be recorded and broadcast on France Musique in 2022. Radio France may broadcast the work in its entirety four times. 

The composer will receive royalties from their copyright company for radio broadcasting. 



1. Finalists

The finalists undertake to attend: 

  • In December 2021 and in January 2022, three on-line work sessions (one with Augusta Read Thomas, one with Marie-Ange Nguci and one with musicians of the Orchestra)
  • From Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July 2022: 
    • all rehearsals scheduled with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, including those of the other finalists which will be held at the Maison de l’Orchestre (general and concert rehearsals at the Philharmonie de Paris); 
    • individual meetings with Augusta Read Thomas which will take place at IRCAM; 
    • work sessions led by Augusta Read Thomas with the group of finalists which will be held either at IRCAM or at the Maison de l’Orchestre;
    • the conference that Augusta Read Thomas will give as part of the 2022 ManiFeste Academy to all interns of the Academy which will take place at IRCAM;
  • in the spring of 2022, the cultural initiatives conducted in relation to the competition and organised by the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France.


The finalists are cordially invited to attend the other activities of the 2022 ManiFeste Academy which will take place from 20 June to 2 July 2022 in Paris (programme under development).

The finalists will have no subscription fee to pay.

They must take in charge their own travel and find their own housing.

2. The winner

The winner undertakes to take part in:

- the cultural initiatives conducted in relation to their work and organised by the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France;

- the recording of the work and the editing of the programmes dedicated to them;

- the work sessions in the IRCAM studio for the creation of the joint commission from Orchestre national d’Île-de-France/IRCAM.



Candidates must create an account (or use a pre-existing account) on the ULYSSES platform www.ulysses-network.eu, fill in their profile and click on “Apply” on the page “Élan 2022 – International Composition Prize for Orchestra”, then:

  • enter personal details (full name, gender, age, nationality, addresses, mobile telephone number, ID photo, a headshot which may be used by IRCAM and the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France for access passes);
  • write a short biography (800 characters MAXIMUM) 
  • list their education and professional experience, awards and scholarships won;
  • present two recent works they have composed, possibly with electronic music (audio mp3 and pdf of the conductor’s score);
  • write a statement of intent presenting the concerto work entered for the competition (1500 characters MAXIMUM);
  • present the first two movements of the concerto work entered for the competition (Cf. article 1.6), conductor’s score in pdf format. 




1, place Igor Stravinsky – 75004 Paris

Artistic coordinator 

Natacha Moënne-Loccoz: academie[at]IRCAM.fr / Tel + 33 (0)1 44 78 45 66 



Orchestre national d’Île-de-France - Maison de l’Orchestre 

19, rue des Écoles - 94140 Alfortville

Tel +33(0)1 41 79 03 40 / Fax +33(0)1 41 79 03 50 


Cultural outreach manager

Vanessa Gasztowtt: vanessa.gasztowtt[at]orchestre-ile.com  / Tel + 33(0)1 41 79 03 43

Cultural outreach officer 

Julie Mercier: julie.mercier[at]orchestre-ile.com / Tel + 33(0)1 41 79 39 30


Lucie Moreau: lucie.moreau[at]orchestre-ile.com / Tel+ 33(0)1 41 79 03 49 



Picture Augusta Read Thomas by Anthony Barlich ©