I look forward to hearing what you come up with!
Best of luck,
We are looking for the most musical, creative and realistically orchestrated composition that best utilizes the available orchestra lineup within the 3-minute time limit.
There were 143 submissions from 35 countries. I’m so proud of all of you! Just submitting your work is an accomplishment. If you’re like me, sharing your music can feel exposing and vulnerable. It takes courage to put these intimate parts of you out into the world.
I’ve listened to each of your pieces at least once. Every piece I’ve listened to and every story I’ve read was touching to me in some way. I wish we could record all this music!
Here are some interesting stats from the composer contest.
Here’s the full country list (Country | # of entries): United States 38, England 27, Canada 10, Germany 7, France 6, Austria 5, Netherlands 5, Spain 4, South Africa 4, Greece 3, Italy 3, Scotland 3, Indonesia 2, Singapore 2, Finland 2, Wales 2, Brazil 2, Nepal 1, India 1, Israel 1, Budapest 1, Australia 1, Chile 1, Colombia 1, Brussels 1, Jamaica 1, Peru 1, Switzerland 1, Serbia 1, Turkey 1, Hungary 1, Armenia 1, Mexico 1, Ireland 1, Belgium 1
The Challenge of Judging
In a field of wild flowers, how do you pick which flower is the most beautiful? Amongst a litter of puppies, how do you choose which one to take home with you? And surrounded by all this beautiful and powerful music, how am I supposed to choose?
There are of course technical things to consider and craft, but everyone is at a different place in their journey. The innocence of music that comes from the heart without any formal training can be just as moving as proficient writing by someone with a masters degree. To me, it comes down to how it feels to experience the music and what kind of journey it takes me on.
I certainly have a preference for musical styles and I also tune into each composer’s intention and what they’re communicating through their music. I’ve felt moved by so many of your pieces and it’s been really hard to switch on my mind to narrow things down to a group of finalist.
Top 10 Finalists
After listening to the 143 submissions these 10 compositions stood out for their creativity, compositional structure, orchestration and practicality of being recorded in the 15-minute time slot. In this video I share 1-minute snippets from each of the top compositions.
Here are the full recordings of the top 10 finalists (ordered alphabetically by song title).
Winner & Top Rankings
Please join me in congratulating, Andrés Hernández, a pianist and composer from Santiago, Chile. All the judges and I unanimously agreed that his piece was the clear winner. This is a well-deserved accomplishment for Andrés and I’m so happy for him and very excited to hear his piece recorded by the 34-piece ensemble of the Northern Film Orchestra on May 27th. Check out the video below to experience a behind-the-scenes look at the final judging session and hear an interview with Andrés during which he is unaware that he is the winner (this is a secret I share with him later in our discussion and his raw reaction is priceless).
I'm really excited to share the final performance of the contest winner's piece! We recorded Andrés Hernández's winning composition "Village of Lumina" with the 34-piece ensemble of the Northern Film Orchestra on May 27th, 2023. In the video below, I share the final performance of his piece followed by an interview where we talk about his experience recording with an orchestra for the first time. Finally, I’ll share a "fly on the wall" perspective of the 15 minute recording session. In this segment you’ll see how the conductor works with the musicians to record a piece of music they've never seen before from start to finish.