Four musicians playing stringed instruments
Composition Competition 2017-05-19T19:53:49-05:00

We Have A Winner

Congratulations to our 2017 Composition Competition winner, Roger Briggs!
Stay tuned for information on the 2018 Composition Competition, or contact us if you’d like to be notified when the competition opens.

Competition Guidelines

One winning submission will be selected to be performed by the Catalyst Quartet during ClefWorks’ March 2017 Festival. The composer of the selected composition will receive $1,000 and reasonable travel expenses to the Festival to participate in rehearsals and attend the performance.


Eligible Compositions: Compositions must be for a string quartet. Works must be original, unpublished, and not professionally recorded or performed. You may submit more than one composition, but an entry fee must accompany each submission.

Composition Length: There is no time limit, but an eight-minute maximum is ideal because the work will be performed as part of a broader Catalyst program. If a much longer composition is chosen, Catalyst might perform only one or two movements during the festival.

Electronic Submissions: 2018 submissions must include the full score attached in PDF format. Do not include the composer’s name on the PDF attachment. In the body of the e-mail, please state your name, email address, phone number, mailing address, the title of the composition and the method of payment. We will ask finalists for additional biographical information and program notes prior to the Festival. We will announce where to send your electronic submissions once the 2018 competition opens.

Recordings: If an mp3 or MIDI recording exists, you may attach the electronic file or submit a CD by US Mail. A recording might be helpful for the judges, but it is not required. Some previous winners submitted recordings and others did not, so use your judgement about how well the recording showcases your composition.

Mailing address for recordings: Once the 2018 competition opens you may mail submissions to “ClefWorks 2018 Composition Competition”, P. O. Box 242307, Montgomery, AL 36124-2307. Please do not mail paper copies of the score.

Prize: The winner will receive $1,000 as well as reasonable travel expenses to ClefWorks’ 2018 Festival from any location within the continental United States. Travel expenses for international contestants must be negotiated, but they will be paid in full if comparable to domestic airfares.

Age limit: There is no composer age limit.

Deadline for submission: 2018 deadline to be determined.

Entry fee: The competition fee is $30, payable to ClefWorks, Inc. Entry fees deadline for 2018 to be determined. PayPal payment is preferred to: We will accept a money order or personal check drawn on a U.S. bank if necessary. In your submission e-mail, please tell us how you paid so we can match scores with fees.

Festival Dates: 2018 dates to be determined.

Judges: 2018 judges to be determined. Since the judges for the Composition Competition are always the featured performing group for that year’s ClefWorks festival, judging criteria and preferences will change from year to year. Consequently, a work submitted in previous years might be viewed very differently and you are welcome to resubmit it.

Announcement of Winner: ClefWorks will publicly announce the winner at by January 22, 2018. The winning composer will also be contacted personally.

ClefWorks Acknowledgement: Programs for future performances of the winning work must acknowledge the Composition Competition award.

Questions?: Contact us