Aliénor Harpsichord Composition Competition

alienor_logoAbout Aliénor

The Aliénor Harpsichord Composition Competition was started in 1980 and run by the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society (SEHKS) to promote the creation of new music for the harpsichord, encourage composers’ interest in the harpsichord, and enrich the repertory of contemporary harpsichord music.

Aliénor is now an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible. Aliénor runs an international harpsichord composition competition, publishes winning compositions, and commissions new works for the harpsichord.

There have been eight competitions thus far, with over 500 new scores generated from composers around the world. The 2008 competition had 113 entries, with compositions coming from 23 states in America, as well as Australia, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Israel, and numerous European countries. The 2012 competition brought in 75 scores from as far away as Croatia and New Zealand. Performances of new harpsichord works have been premiered on five continents.


Aliénor promotes the creation, advancement, and understanding of contemporary harpsichord music by encouraging composers, performers, and other artists to expand the repertoire through concerts, competitions, and commissions. We value creativity, daring, scholarship, artistry, historical context, global aspirations, and local roots.


Aliénor was named in honor of Eleanor of Aquitaine, a famed 12th century patron of the arts.

Eleanor was the richest woman in Europe and one of the most notable women in European history. She was married successively to King Louis VII of France and King Henry II of England and was the mother of Eleanor was mother to the English kings Richard the Lionharted and John Lackland. Her name was actually Alia Enor (literally “another Enor,” since her mother was named Enor), and the elision of “Alia Enor” gives Aliénor its name.


Elaine Funaro, Artistic Director

Board of Directors Advisory Board
Paul Baerman Dorothy Freeman
Mark Firley, Treasurer Edward Kottick
Jeanne Jennings George Lucktenberg
Charlene M. Reiss, Secretary Pamela Nash, Manchester, UK
Bob Upchurch Larry Palmer, Dallas, TX
Vicki Willard, President Florence Peacock, Chapel Hill, NC
Emily Mann Peck, Raleigh, NC