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Eighth Aliénor International Harpsichord Composition Competition

(Please note that this now closed!)

March 21-25, 2012
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music,
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Joint meeting of the Midwestern and Southeastern Historical Keyboard Societies

Purpose: To encourage the composition of solo music for harpsichord and chamber music for harpsichord with modern or period instruments.

Aliénor Awards Solo category: Up to 6 finalists will be awarded $600 each plus additional prizes at the final concert. Chamber category: Up to 3 finalists will be awarded $800 each plus additional prizes at the final concert.

Category 1: Harpsichord Solo: Microcosmos for Harpsichord 2012

Solo harpsichord composition for students or amateurs. Three or more pieces with a total duration of 6-10 minutes, using Bartok’s Mikrokosmos as an inspiration. In Bartok’s words “Mikrokosmos may be interpreted as a series of pieces in many different styles, representing a small world”. Of particular interest are pieces that explore various aspects of harpsichord technique employing different textural combinations, meters and rhythms, or perhaps written within the framework of different folk idioms. Pieces may increase in technical and musical difficulty, but still be suitable for non-professional amateurs or students.

Category 2: Chamber Music with Singer and Instrumentalist

Harpsichord composition with one singer and one acoustic instrument (modern or period) in addition to harpsichord. The piece should not exceed 10 minutes duration in one or more movements, and may be composed for a professional skill level. If text is used that has been written by someone other than the composer, please indicate that the text is in the public domain, or that you have obtained permission from the copyright holder for the use of the text in conjunction with the music in print, performance and recording. Should the piece be selected, the composer will be asked to provide proof of acquired permission obtained from the copyright holder.


  • Only one entry per composer may be submitted in each category
  • The competition is open to any composer regardless of age or nationality.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • The composer’s name must not appear on the score or CD.
  • No amplification, live electronics, or prerecorded media is to be used.

Winners Posted