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SHSU-BMF International Composition Competition

Internation Composition Competition


The 2015 SHSU-BMF International Composition Competition

Presented by

Sam Houston State University and the Bolivian Music Festival

Calling for Original Works for Two Violins and Orchestra

The goal of this call for scores is to promote the creation of original works for this under-exploited genre that might serve as companion pieces to the Bach Double Violin Concerto BWV 1043. Winners will be selected by an international panel of judges: Javier Pinell, Oldrich Halas, Carter Pann, Alberto Villalpando Buitrago and Kevin Beavers.


Over the past four years in July, nearly 200 Bolivian musicians have gathered in the city of La Paz to create the Bolivian Music Festival Orchestra and Chorus (Encuentro de Jóvenes Músicos Bolivianos) to have master classes with distinguished guest professors and participate in performance, conducting and composition competitions. In anticipation of 2015, representatives of the Bolivian Music Festival and Sam Houston State University have made plans for new and dynamic musical collaborations, part of which involve the creation of the 2015 SHSU/BMF International Composition Competition.


1. Composers of any nationality or currently living in any country are eligible to apply.
2. Works that already exist and have been performed but have not been published are eligible.
3. Preference will be given to works between 10 and 25 minutes in length.
4. Works must be for two violin soloists and orchestra. Solo parts may be of any difficulty level. Orchestra writing must be accessible for intermediate-level orchestras. Maximum orchestral forces: strings (10/10/8/6/4); woodwinds (2Fl-Picc/2ob/2cl-Bscl/2bs); brass (4hr/2trpt/3trb/1tuba); percussion (timpani plus max. 4 other percuss.).
5. There are no limits or preferences with regard to style, movement format or programmatic elements.


1st Prize

  • $1,200
  • Performances of the winning work by the Bolivian Music Festival Orchestra in La Paz, Bolivia, and the Sam Houston Symphony Orchestra in Huntsville, TX, with featured violin soloists Javier Pinell and Naomi Gjevre. The winner will receive partial financial assistance to attend the performance of his or her choosing.
  • Given current agreements between the Bolivian Music Festival with Cantus Producciones and Cilnius, the live Bolivian performance will be recorded by Cantus Producciones and a copy will be mailed to the composer. With the winning composer’s permission, the full score and parts as well as the recorded live performance will be published on the Cilnius website.
  • The winner will receive an official first prize award certificate from Sam Houston State University and the Bolivian Music Festival.

2nd Prize and Honorable Mentions

  • All runners-up will receive an official award certificate from Sam Houston State University and the Bolivian Music Festival.

How to Apply:

1. Create a pdf file which lists the following information: composer’s full name, mailing address (include country), country of citizenship, e-mail address, phone number, website (optional), title of work submitted, program notes (less than 250 words) and composer biography (less than 250 words).
2. Send ONE email to kdk001@shsu.edu (Kyle Kindred, Director of Composition Studies at Sam Houston State University) including the following items as attachments:

• one pdf version of composer and submission information
• one pdf score of your original work for two violins and orchestra
• one MP3 sound file (MIDI realizations are welcome) of your original work

3. Use “2015 SHSU-BMF ICC” as your subject heading
4. No entry fee is required for this competition.

E-mail questions to kdk001@shsu.edu.

Electronic Submission Deadline: March 1, 2015
Award Announcement (e-mail notification): April 1, 2015


Questions and Answers:

Q: Will harp, piano or celesta be allowable with regard to instrumentation?

A: Piano and/or celesta is acceptable. We will not be able to accommodate harp parts for this competition.


Q: Will works involving electronics be allowed?

A: Works involving electronics that can be executed using a simple 2-speaker stereo set up are encouraged. Scores requiring specialized hardware/software or live manipulation of electronic sounds will not be conisdered.






Javier Pinell Photo

Javier Pinell is Associate Professor of Violin and chairperson of the String Studies Area at Sam Houston State University. With a broad teaching experience he also served for eleven summers on the violin faculty at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. As a recipient of the prestigious Theodor Presser Award, Dr. Pinell has done pioneer research on compositions for the violin by contemporary Bolivian composers. The release of the groundbreaking compact disc recording Bolivia: The Unknown Sounds in 1998, which includes much of this newly discovered repertoire, was recognized by the Ministry of Education of the Bolivian Government. Other scholarly endeavors include the recording of works by German composers Felix Draeseke and Arnold Krug (2005). A first of its kind, this historical recording was made using the originally intended type of string instruments; a matching set of violins, viola, violotta, cello, and cellone designed by physicist Alfred Stelzner. As a performer he has traveled extensively including appearances with orchestras in Bolivia, Venezuela, Japan, Germany, Luxemburg, Peru, and throughout the U.S. Recent international chamber music concerts include appearances in the German cities of Manheim, Heidelberg, Markneukirchen, Speyer, Saarburg, and Coburg; Ebensee, Austria; Shanghai, China; and the Bolivian cities of La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Sucre, and El Alto. Appearances at festivals include the Echternach Festival in Luxembourg, the Saarburg and Mosel Musikfestival in Germany, the Festival Internacional de la Cultura in Sucre, Bolivia, the Festival Internacional de Música COFES in Bolivia, and the Festival de Música deTrujillo in Peru, among others. In addition, he represented Bolivia in the World Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli) in Tokyo, Japan; and in the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Caracas (José Antonio Abreu), Venezuela.


Oldrich Halas Vargas Photo

Born to a Bolivian mother and a Czech father, Oldrich Halas Vargas is considered one of the most important contemporary Bolivian composers. He was born in 1967 in Potosi. He completed studies in compsoition at Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1993. He was awarded the first prize at the "Ana Maria Rivera of Stahlie” Childrens Piano Works Competition for his work "Album para un ratón criollo". He participated in 2002 in the 4th Latin American gathering of composers and performers in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil where his Cantos Liticos Op. 16 were performed. The National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia premiered in 2003 his piano concerto op.23. As an educator he has been Professor of the Universidad Católica Boliviana and is currently Dean and Chief Executive Officer of the National Conservatory of Music of Bolivia. In 2005 he received a distinction granted by the Bolivian Congress in recognition to his career as a musician and educator.


Carter Pann Photo

Carter Pann is a composer/pianist who performs with and has written for musicians around the world, garnering performances by ensembles including the London and City of Birmingham Symphonies, the Tchaikovsky Symphony in Moscow, Radio Symphonies around Europe, The Seattle Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra and countless bands around the world. He has written for the Takacs String Quartet, Richard Stoltzman, the Antares Ensemble, the Capitol Saxophone Quartet, the West Coast Wind Quintet, The River Oaks Chamber Ensemble, and various concert pianists. Awards include 5 ASCAPs (including a Leo Kaplan award) and he was a finalist in the first Masterprize Competition (London). In 2000 he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his first Piano Concerto (released on Naxos). The 20+ albums including his works can be found and listened to online. Pann studied at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan where his instructors were William Bolcom, Joseph Schwantner, Warren Benson, William Albright and Samuel Adler. Pann is currently on faculty teaching composition at the University of Colorado in Boulder.


Alberto Villalpando Buitrago Photo

Undoubtedly, Alberto Villalpando Buitrago is the most important musician in the history of Bolivia. He studied piano and composition at the Conservatorio Nacional “Carlos L. Buchardo” in Buenos Aires, Argentina with professors Jurafsky, Castro, Alberto Ginastera, Garcia Morillo and others. He was awarded a scholarship to continue composition studies in the Centro Latinoamericanos de Altos Estudios Musicales in the Torcuato Di Tella Academy, also in Buenos Aires, where he studied with Alberto Ginastera, Riccardo Malipiero, Luigi Dallapiccola, Olivier Messiaen and other composers. In 1964 he won first prize in the “Lua Mila Patiño” Composition Competition with two works for chamber ensembles.

In the field of cinema, he is also the most important Bolivian composer; he has composed music for important Bolivian movies during the period 1952 -1985 directed by Jorge Ruiz, Jorge Sanjinés, Antonio Eguino, Paolo Agazzi and Juan Miranda. Some films with his music are: Aysa (1965); Ukamau (1966); Mina Alaska (1968); Yawar Mallku (1969); Small town (1974); Chuquiago (1977); Mi Socio (1982); Amargo Mar (1984) Tinku (1985) and Los Andes no creen en Dios (2006)

Along with Carlos Rosso, he directed music workshops in the Catholic University of Bolivia which made an invaluable contribution to the growth of musicians, composers and directors in Bolivia. He received the National Prize of Culture (1998) granted by the Bolivian State as the highest recognition for his work.

More than one hundred works have been composed by Alberto Villalpando Buitrago including works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, choir and symphonic works. In 1995, his Opera Manchaypuito premiered at the Municipal Theatre of the city of La Paz, on libretto written by Néstor Taboada Terán. This October will bring about the premiere of his Triple Concerto for alto saxophone, violin, piano and Orchestra, commissioned by the Goethe-Institut de La Paz, and written especially for the Comet Trio, of Germany, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of this Institute in Bolivia.


Kevin Beavers Photo

Kevin Beavers (b. 1971, Medellín, Colombia) spent his early years in
Keyser, West Virginia, a small town along the Potomac River in
Appalachia. He has degrees from West Virginia University (BM) and
the University of Michigan (MM and DMA) and has studied at
Tanglewood Music Festival and in Amsterdam (Fulbright). His
teachers have included William Albright, Leslie Bassett, John Beall,
William Bolcom, Evan Chambers, and Theo Loevendie. Beavers has
taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp, the University of Texas in Austin, and at Colorado University (Boulder). He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and commissions including the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Centennial Composition Competition, the
Nissim Prize from ASCAP, and has received commissions from many
major orchestras and chamber music organizations. He has also held a three year residency with the California Symphony. His compositions include a range of orchestral, band, chamber, and vocal works. Additionally, Beavers is an experienced yoga teacher and practitioner.


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