International Composition Competition

The International Summer Academy Alden Biesen, in cooperation with Musica Sacra Basiliek Tongeren vzw, is organising a composition competition for new choir music. The aim is to encourage contemporary composers to write innovative religious choir music that is suitable for concert as well as for contemporary-dynamic liturgy.

The composition competition is held biennially and took place for the first time in 2018. The winner of this first edition was Herman Lemmens (* 1961).

The composition competition comprises the writing of:

  • Option 1: a MAGNIFICAT
  • Option 2: a Maria antiphon.
    Choose between: Sub tuum praesidium or Salve Regina

UPDATE Covid-19

An expert jury chaired by Hans Leenders (NL) is to evaluate the submitted works. The jury reserves the right not to select a winner in case none of the submitted works meet their quality standards.

The other members of the jury are: Luc Ponet, Jan Schumacher (D), Piet Swerts en Jan Peeters.

Judging will be done via Skype.

The winning works will be published by EUPRINT publishing.

These compositions shall be rehearsed in the course of the INTERNATIONAL SUMMER ACADEMY 2020. The Marian antiphon will be performed during the radio Mass (Radio 1) on the occasion of the Feast of Assuption on 15 August at 10 a.m., broadcast live from the Basilica of Our Lady in Tongeren. The Magnificat will be premiered during the final concert of the summer academy on the same day at 3 p.m. Both works will be conducted by Jan Peeters (music director).

The winners will be invited to the International Summer Academy 2020 at the expense of the organising committee. They will stay for the entire duration (from 11 to 15 August) at the castle of Alden Biesen (at full board) and may attend all lectures and concerts.

The laureates will be asked to give a presentation of their vision on contemporary choral music, with reference to their own repertoire and, in particular, an explanation of the winning work.

Download the competition rules.

If, due to COVID-19, it’s impossible to send us a hardscore, you may digitally mail your composition to our secretariat: info@organum-aldenbiesen.beFrom there the composition will be anonymously distributed to the members of the jury.