International Composition Competition

2nd International Composition Competition

The Central European String Quartet announces an exciting international composition competition in 2020 to support and promote a new work of a talented and deserving composer.

Conditions of participation:

  • Composers of all ages and nationalities may participate.

  • It is possible to apply with multiple pieces.

  • Freshly composed string quartets (two violins, viola, cello) lasting between 4 to 10 minutes are acceptable. Works may not have been published or performed in public until the announcement of results. The Central European String Quartet will exclusively play the first-prize winning work until 30 September 2020.

  • Electroacoustic music is not allowed.

  • The jury reserves the right not to award all prizes.

  • Ties may also be awarded.

  • Results will be announced by 15 June 2020.

  • The decisions of the jury are final and may not be contested.

  • The 1st Prize Winner must be present at the award ceremony and premiere of his/her work at the New Millennium International Chamber Music Festival in Budapest, Hungary, which will take place between 27 and 31 August 2020.* Failure to be present may revoke the prize. The organizers provide accommodation, but the travel costs must be borne by the winner. UPDATE: Due to the current pandemic, it is not necessary for the 1st Prize Winner to be present at the concert to receive hisor her prize.

Application and fees:

The application must be sent by 10 April 2020 to:

40 EUR per composition, paid via bank transfer. The applicant must pay all bank fees.

The application fee must be transferred to the following bank account:

Pista és Társa Bt.

Bank account number: 12010116-01460770-00100002

IBAN: HU 48 12010116-01460770-00200009


Note: Name, CESQ

Late applications will be accepted between 11 April and 10 May 2020, for an additional fee of 10 EUR per composition (total fee of 50 EUR)

The application fee is non-refundable.

Final application deadline: 10 May 2020

The application must include ALL of the following materials:

  • PDF file of the score of the string quartet the applicant is applying with (full score as well as parts)

  • The score and each part must be sent as a separate PDF file.

  • The name of the applicant must only be visible on the cover page of the work’s full score. All subsequent pages of the score as well as parts must be anonymous.

  • Proof of payment of the application fee

  • The scanned application form (printed and signed)

  • The applicant’s resume in English or Hungarian

  • Publicity photograph

  • Scanned copy of personal ID or passport

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


1st prize: 150.000 HUF

The winning composition will be peformed by the Central European String Quartet at the Composition Competition’s Gala Concert at the New Millennium International Chamber Music Festival (UPDATE: In case of unprecedented circumstances, the performance will take place at the 2021 edition of the festival) The Central European String Quartet will perform it at least two more times in the 2020/21 season. More venues to be announced soon!

*venues subject to change

2nd prize: 50.000 HUF

3rd prize: 35.000 HUF

Special Prizes:

- Participation at a composition master class of the Péter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation in 2020/2021.

- Package of scores from Editio Musica Budapest.

- More special prizes to be announced soon!

Selection Process:

The selection process will take place in two stages. The Central European String Quartet (CESQ) will initially receive the anonymous scores and parts of the string quartets with the composers' names completely removed by the competition secretary. Each contestant's work will be considered and played by the CESQ in its entirety. The works of the 10 finalists will again be carefully reviewed anonymously (this time with Dr. László Tihanyi) and played in their entirety by the CESQ before prizes will be awarded.


(Members of the Central European String Quartet)

Miranda Liu – violinist (USA)

Máté Soós – violinist (Hungary)

Győző Máté – violist (Hungary)

Judit Szabó – cellist (Hungary)

László Tihanyi - composer (Hungary), final round only


By submitting their works, applicants fully accept the requirements and conditions of the competition stated above. Winners agree to have their works performed by the Central European String Quartet between August 2020 and September 2021 without receiving compensation.

Previous 1st Prize Winners of the CESQ International Composition Competition are ineligible.


Due to the current pandemic, the final application deadline has been EXTENDED to 30 May. Apply by 30 April to save on the application fee! We look forward to receiving your works for string quartet.