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ICC “The contemporary piano” (2016)

International Composition Competition “The contemporary piano” (2016)

See about the previous Composition competition “The contemporary piano” | 2015

AN ART ARTISTRY – Cultural Centre – Cultural Activities & Artistic Productions Services (Monis Asteriou 4, Athens)
210 3220082 (Mon-Fri, 14:00-17:00) /


Subject: Modern compositions for piano solo or piano 4 hands, duration 3 to 5 minutes.

Description: The competition is open to composers of all ages and nationalities. The selection criteria are musical and no extra-musical parameters such as gender, level of difficulty, nationality and age quotas etc will be taken into account. The only examined quality will be the text itself. Unpublished works & works that have been performed previously and won competitions in the past may be submitted. All the submitted works must be in the public domain.

Registration fee: The registration fee is €40,00 per work / submission, paid to through bank transfer. (In the grounds, provide name and deposit reason).

Submissions: Submissions are to be made until March 31, 2016 electronically to including at the same email 1) an unmarked and unnamed PDF (sheet music) of a work (composition) for piano solo or piano 4 hands, duration 3 to 5 minutes, 2) a separate file (PDF, RAR, ZIP etc) with a printout of the registration payment (bank receipt), the details of the composer (name, age, address, tel., e-mail, etc), a bio (biografical notes) and a good foto of the composer.

Committee – selection: Η The committee will consist of distinguished pianists and composers.Would meet in April 2016 and will select by voting up to four (4) works based on their musical quality rather than the degree of difficulty or other criteria. The committee’s decision is final.

Prize – recording: The winning works will receive 1) audio & video recording by the distinguished pianists Theoni Papadimitrakopoulou or Dimitris Anousis (or both of them, if it’s a work for piano 4 hands), 2) the recordings will uploaded and presented at AN ART ARTISTRY’s YOUTUBE channel, sites, social media pages, newsletters etc., 3) a page in site will be created for each one of the winning works – composers with a presentation of the works, 4) the winners will have to submit (send by mail) a text for their work by end of April 2016.


AN ART ARTISTRY has organized (for 2nd time) the composition competition “The contemporary piano 2016”. The submissions to the competition has ended March 31, 2016. The competition’s subject was modern compositions for piano solo or piano 4 hands, duration 3 to 5 minutes, and it was open to composers of all ages and nationalities. The selection criteria where only musical and no non-musical parameters such as gender, level of difficulty, nationality and age quotas has been taken into account. The only examined quality was the music text itself. A total of 25 compositions where submitted from Spain, Australia, Italy, Germany, Japan, Austria, China, Switzerland, USA, Greece, Russia, South Korea, Belgium, England & Serbia, which came to the judgment of the committee, consisting of (in alphabetical order):


The committee after carefully studied the submitted works, awards:

Prize to Sam L. Richards (USA) for his work for solo piano “Blossoms” for piano” with identifier 2533.

Prize to XY. Mike Zhou (USA) for his work for solo piano “Ordinary Landscapes-Solitude” with identifier 2099.

Prize to Philippe Mathis (Switzerland) for his work for solo piano “Toccata” with identifier 9465.


Honorable mention to Youngkwang Yang (S. Korea) for his work for solo piano “qī yàn… yǔ zhōng” with identifier 1455.

Honorable mention to Kazutomo Yamamoto (Japan) for his work for “left hand (right hand of never touch the keys and both legs)”, “Pentaphony” with identifier 3231.

Honorable mention to Paolo Prete (Italy) for his work for solo piano “triboluminescence” with identifier 5453.

Our warmest congratulations to the winners!
AN ART ARTISTRY, Athens, 17/5/2016





All comments are transferred unchanged, and express the opinions of the committee members. In no way they reflect the view – opinion or any kind of official statement of AN ART ARTISTRY.

“I want to congratulate all the participants of the competition composers. The compositions were created with technical perfection. Many works lacked contrast the simple to complex and the psychological pauses. The most important component of the competition, I think it was the musical & spiritual communication through sound. I wish you all good luck.” (PO4698)

9583 “Well-wrought piece – the theoretical craft is all there. The main objection to the end result is that there is a distance between what appears on the score and what will sound. The melodic and harmonic contour are going to create an awful lot of problems for the performers on two pianos because of basic acoustics and tuning issues, resulting in a lot more clangour than wished for in text. (UG4698)

“Στη σύνθεση “Emptiness” συναντάμε στοιχεία όπου εμπνέουν τον μουσικό διάλογο δύο εκτελεστών. Επίσης, η παρτιτούρα είναι καλογραμμένη και σαφής.” (SA5152)

1241 “There is nothing wrong with writing tonal music. I would, however, urge the composer of this work to study the works of the many composers of the past two centuries and to consider this attempt as an early sketch of his/hers. (UG4698)

5453 “Nice rhythmical texture. Interesting alterations of short fragmented events offering mood diversity. A better exploitation of the piano’s polyphonic possibilities as well as a more imaginative development would definitely enhance the overall atmosphere.” (WG6587)

“The fragmentary nature of the score is appealing. There are notational and graphical discrepancies as a result of trying to tame the template, but these are not considerable. Overall, there is good command over spasmodic pacing and sound control and, were it not for an all too obviously over-stated ending that spoils the organic and esoteric tension of the text, this is a very attractive piece.” (UG4698)

“Χρησιμοποιείται ένα διευρυμένο τονικό πεδίο. Έργο φίνο και αέρινο, χωρίς υπερβολή στις πληροφορίες. Αρπέζ, γκλισάντι, τρίλιες και η σχετικά υψηλή περιοχή, (εκτός του μέτρου 42 που ξεκινά από τη χαμηλή περιοχή και θεωρείται ως η τομή του έργου) είναι τα χαρακτηριστικά αυτής της σύνθεσης.” (ΜS4121)

“Clean writing. Bad piano positions.” (DG2364)

2213 “The piece displays a fearless use of klangfarben and bases its flow on the change of timbre and gesture. There is not much criticism one may offer and yet there is something of ‘music’ that’s missing: the intangible poetics that transform brutalism into constructivism.” (UG4698)

3231 “Appealing use of timbre as well as pedal variety, both offering remarkable tone-color diversity. Nice simultaneity sound environments. Convincing development of the main compositional ideas, forming an interesting and coherent sound idiom.” (WG6587)

“A fine combination of the theatrical, the dramatic and the musical. There is little to say other than it would be interesting to hear and play. We are all waiting for the l.h. transcription!” (UG4698)

“Στο έργο “Pentaphony” παρατηρείται αξιόλογη προσέγγιση των τεχνικών δυνατοτήτων του οργάνου (και της γραφής τους), που βρίσκονται σε ισορροπία με την αναγκαιότητα της σύνθεσης.” (SA5152)

6134 “It is somewhat unfair to not award this piece with some kind of distinction, as it is showing that the composer has considered all the poetical issues at hand. There is a need for a better understanding of the ‘moment of departure’ which never appears here. Other than that, this is a fine piece.” (UG4698)

7146 “Some invention. However, just because parallel motion was once believed to be wrong and proved to be right under certain circumstances does not mean that it cannot be very badly used under other circumstances. This appears to be such a set of circumstances. Intermediate writing skill on display resulting in a text that shows a beginner’s sense of poetics.” (UG4698)

“I found the harmonic structure of Dancing the dream very interesting with very enjoyable rhythmic motives such as the use of 7/4 which provides a sense of stability. Short in length but very tight in its connection of the material, I see this piece being an effective choice on stage. Instructions to the pianists are very clear and correct but rather many since sometimes that can limit the artistic choices of the performer.” (JD8852)

8875 “A very interesting but seemingly incomplete whisper of a music. Perhaps I am wrong but I get the sense that this could be a passage of a bigger, important work. The writing is certainly sensitive and extremely promising.” (UG4698)

“This is a piece of outstanding coherence and simplicity, through which the composer deals with the obsessive repetition in music. There is a strong idea for the piece, which the composer develops without any sense of necessity for complication. It is well-written for the piano, with clear motivation and very friendly to the performer.” (RG9561)

9465 “The mechanics of piano playing have been understood but a study of the piano repertoire is needed. Good effort, playable piece.” (UG4698)

“Toccata is a very nicely and well composed piece for solo piano. My first impression from this piece was very positive since from the first time I realised that is composed by someone who knows how to write for the instrument. I played the piece non stop from the beginning to the end and got excited to realise what was coming next in the piece. It is a very well designed piece in terms of its sections with very interesting harmonic structure as well. The connection between each phrase and section is very effective and one comes very naturally after the other. The overall material stays tightly joined throughout the composition and the structure of each passage explores the same hand movement and pattern but on a different harmony. In my opinion this is a positive aspect of the piece since the composer does not uses unnecessary experimentation but instead stays true to the original idea and that helps both the listener and the performer. Furthermore, Toccata is an easily memorisable piece, due to its natural way of connecting each phrase and section and also because of its harmonic structure. Its condensed length and the well balanced experimentation, captures the idea of the toccata. Very energetic and fast, its indication Presto appassionato equips the piece with a very well promising performing angle and suggest a fascinating and effective performance on stage.” (JD8852)

1051 “I read the piece twice. The first reading envisaged the second coming and I was nearly convinced to concede the value of atheism. The second reading, freed from the title’s programmatic abyss gave me the opportunity to discern many wonderful things, but there is something verbose and texturally incontinent about it that requires a revision and a re-evaluation of scaling and measure.” (UG4698)

1187 “Repetition is only a matter of obsession or misread reflection. This work is sufficiently obsessive and compulsive to warrant the many repetitions it is built on. There is a disappointment in the cyclic narrative and the docile ending; still bearing in mind the psychology of obsession, it is quite apt to disappoint.”(UG4698)

“Ενδιαφέρον και δεξιοτεχνικό έργο, με απαιτήσεις από τον εκτελεστή. Το αρχικό υλικό είναι ένα εξάχορδο Eb,F#,G,A,Bb,B – 3,1,2,1,1) και ένα πεντάχορδο, C,C#,D#,E,F, 1,2,1,1 (που εντάσσονται σε μία σειρά 10 φθόγγων, με κοινό φθόγγο το Eb. Οι φθόγγοι που απουσιάζουν D και Ab οι οποίοι προστίθενται αργότερα με τις μεταφορές). Γίνεται ευρεία χρήση μετρικής μετατροπίας. Χρησιμοποιούνται κυρίως τα διαστήματα της μικρής 2ης, της 5ης καθαρής, του τριτόνου και των αντιθέτων τους. Επιδιώκεται επίσης η χρήση των υψηλών αρμονικών των φθόγγων της σειράς, με την παρατεταμένη χρήση του pedal. Χρήση cluster και ανοιχτών περιοχών μέσω του sost. Pedal (μ. 48, σημείο τομής του έργου). Η επαναληπτικότητα, οι πυκές δομές και τα διαφορετικά ρυθμικά επίπεδα είναι επίσης ένα χαρακτηριστικό του έργου.” (ΜS4121)

1294 “An early work, no doubt. There are promising things, such as an early understanding of formal cohesion and melodic placing. Good effort!” (UG4698)

“Beautiful melodies. Poor harmony and insufficient development. If this is a young composer, continued to write – study.” (DG2364)

1315 “A good display of formal and melodic command. The reader is left wanting more textural variety. Good writing – a little more ‘daring’ would be welcome.” (UG4698)

“Piano bar like. A nice piece.” (DG2364)

1455 “Α poetic rhythmic and harmonic tissue, nice contrasting moods between polyphony and monophony, intervallic-melodic plot that exhibits a nice tone-color diversity.” (WG6587)

“Very interesting and captivating atmosphere. Detailed sound morphing. There is a sense that the climax never came, that the stasis was never static enough. Perhaps the music is ‘wronged’ by its piano guise. A chamber piece in the making?” (UG4698)

“There are some great ideas in this composition, as well as good use of the whole of the keyboard. The composer uses the different colour of every register in a very effective way. Some passages written in the high register especially (e.g. Bars 65-70) give some great material to the performer for experimentation with sound. There could be some more effort to find simpler ways of writing in places the the rhythmic patterns are a bit over-complicated for no apparent reason (e.g. Bars 12-13 and 52-54).” (RG9561)

“Ένα έργο ρομαντικό που το διακρίνει μια πνευματικότητα. Αρχίζει εισάγοντας κρατημένους ήχους (stopped sounds, κρατημένες οι χορδές μέσα στο πιάνο, παίζοντας στα πλήκτρα), “ξύλινους” ήχους τους ονομάζει ο συνθέτης, σε αργό τέμπο που μοιάζουν με μια εσωτερική φωνή που θέλει κάτι να σου πει. Σιγά σιγά αρχίζει να παραλλάσσει αυτές τις δύο νότες εισάγοντας και άλλες διπλανές, ενώ αυτές υποστηρίζονται από κάποιες τονικές συγχορδιακές δομές. Παράλληλα υπάρχει και μια πυκνή εναλλαγή δυναμικών. Στο μ. 31 εμφανίζεται κάτι νέο, ένα πεντάχορδο, ένα εξάχορδο και ένα επτάχορδο, όλα από το ίδιο υλικό διευρυμένο ή ελαφρώς παραλλαγμένο. Και με την παράθεση του αρχικού υλικού που τώρα παραλλάσσεται με έναν διαφορετικό τρόπο, τελειώνει το έργο, με τις δύο αρχικές νότες να εμφανίζονται και να χάνονται στο άπειρο.” (ΜS4121)

1589 “Dreamy harmonic landscape and nice sense of polyphonic treatment. Satisfactory exploitation of the piano’s range and register. Interesting rhythmic structure and horizontal intervallic interaction. ” (WG6587)

“Fluid and stagnant, abrupt and gentle. All the contrasts are here. The language is convoluted but eloquent. There is one contrast missing: beginning vs end. Still, a promising sound world. The author will write better and very captivating music, so much is obvious. ” (UG4698)

1691 “This reads like a whimsical homage to Debussy’s Cathedrale Engloutie. As such, what it is lacking in originality it recovers in peculiarity. A good effort.” (UG4698)

“Nice ideas, but to many notation problems.” (DG2364)

1782 “Convincing technique of shaping variations and a very interesting progressive transition from a purely tonal to a chromatic sound environment. Nice treatment of the instrument’s technical potential. A thoughtful exploitation of form, and a skillful manipulation of a symphonic perspective.” (WG6587)

“Great historical choice of theme. Fine, progressive development of the variations. The concept is wonderful, its execution is perhaps in need of rethinking – the scope of what can be done here has not been explored enough. Perhaps this is the first sketch of a great piece.” (UG4698)

“I got very excited from the first time I acquainted Variations on a theme of Rameau first of all because of its complete structure and the way each experimentation idea escalates to the next on each variation. With a very nice thematic material, the structure of the piece reminded me those of Mendelssohn’s Variation Sérieuses and Haydn’s F minor variations. My first impression was that this piece is written by a composer who knows very well how to write for the piano since everything comes very natural playing wise. The harmonies chosen are very interesting right from the very beginning on the first variation but the composer stays on the tonal field throughout the piece. By using rather traditional techniques such as chromaticism, glissandi, and open dampers with the sostenuto pedal, the composer is offering us a very well-thought and well-design piece, which has the sense of unity throughout. The material and the idea on each variation is very clear with no unnecessary experimentations. The writing is very clear and the instructions to the pianist very well explained. My impression while playing the piece was that I wanted to realise and reveal in a way what was coming next without stopping and that is mainly because the material in each variation is very naturally connected with each other and that is also making the pacing of the piece very fast in terms of how the performer and the listener follows the progression of the piece.” (JD8852)

1873 “Wonderful toccata-like rhythmic development and intelligent treatment of the note-pedal elements. Progressive density that captures the listener’s interest. A more solid vertical development (chord tissues, resonances) and color diversity would be appreciated.” (WG6587)

“This is based on the typical mechanical relentlessness found in a lot of new works but shows some very good signs of being able to punctuate masses of notes and runs – the moment of rest is well judged and paced. There is always a lack of purpose in linear narratives and one senses a lack of formal consideration behind this seemingly clear design. A good writer not at his/her best.” (UG4698)

“Το έργο ξεκινά με ένα Pedal το οποίο σιγά σιγά διευρύνεται ρυθμικά έως το μ. 22. Έχει συνεχείς μετρικές μετατροπίες και μια οριζόντια πολυμετρία. Απο το μ. 15 διαφαίνεται μια μελωδική κίνηση στην υψηλότερη φωνή η οποία αφήνει το E και τελικά να κορυφώνεται στο D μια 7η ψηλότερα. Από το μέτρο 24 ξεκινά μια διαφορετική χρήση στο υλικό με επαναληπτικά όμως στοιχεία και χαρακτηριστικό τις πρόσθετες νότες στην αρμονία και την κατιούσα κίνηση. Στο μ. 30 επανέρχεται το αρχικό μέρος για λίγο, ελαφρώς όμως παραλλαγμένο, ενώ εισάγεται μια πιο πυκνή αρμονία με 2ες και η αντίθετη κίνηση των χεριών. Στο μ . 37 μπαίνει ένα ακόμη στοιχείο, ένα αναλογικό ελεύθερο μέρος τριών φθόγγων, στο οποίο ο συνθέτης ζητά να παίζεται με όποιο χέρι είναι ελεύθερο. Από το μ. 52 αρχίζει μια διεύρυνση της περιοχής που εκτίθεται το υλικό, ενώ οι πρόσθετες νότες πυκνώνουν αρκετά την αρμονία. Στο μ. 61 έχουμε μια επαναφορά του αρχικού μέρους παραλλαγμένο πάλι, ενώ εμφανίζονται για πρώτη φορά και τρίηχα (μ. 68). Από το μ. 91 αρχίζει μια παράλληλη κίνηση των φωνών αρχικά στο δεξί χέρι και συνεχίζεται με αντίθετη παράλληλη κίνηση στο αριστερό χέρι. Επανέρχεται το υλικό του πρώτου μέρους παραλλαγμένο όμως πάλι και το έργο τελειώνει όπως αρχίζει, με ένα ρυθμικά παραλλαγμένο Pedal και ένα τελικό γκλισάντο στα λευκά και στα μαύρα πλήκτρα.” (ΜS4121)

1942 “There is a name on the score. I did not consider the entry. Had I considered it, it would not have been chosen.” (UG4698)

2099 “There is lyricism here and a high level of self-conscience which could be fruitful. One feels that the “mindlessly searching” section leads to the lontano of the ending in a very insatisfactory manner. A matter of scaling is still wanting.” (UG4698)

“Αξιοσημείωτο στοιχείο του έργου, είναι η ηχοτοπική διάσταση η οποία άλλοτε μας δίνει την εντύπωση του «ονείρου» και άλλοτε πιο «φανερά» δομημένη, την έννοια της ονειρικής «φαντασίωσης».” (SA5152)

2188 “This is a carefully considered piece. The quartal harmonies and visceral, jazzy figurations will make its performance fun for both performer and audience. However, there is a lack of timbral adventure and a rhythmic bareness that could benefit the work.” (UG4698)

“This is a piece of clear structure, interesting harmony and strong contrasts between sections. Despite some minor pianistic weakness at places, it generally shows good knowledge of the instrument and interesting references to some composers in terms of pianism and passage work (e.g. Debussy in fast movements). The final section creates a nice atmosphere with some beautiful sonorities.” (RG9561)

2224 “Oddly monotonous for a dance. Even if the title is disregarded as circumstantial, the text is not doing the author justice, as it is clear that he/she is capable of more invention.” (UG4698)

2354 “The gestural opening and its proportions are well paced. The second section is kindly lulling and the busy update of the third multi-sectioned part is well formed and ‘streaming’ indeed. A very Spartan ending is also well uttered. Overall, this is a fine composition with no moments of awkwardness, employing a cohesive intervallic contour and well-balanced registration. It is perhaps a tiny bit too long (or short, depending on structural overhaul) overall, but a thoughtful performer may turn this prolongation into a virtue. A thoughtful and very hard working performer will also be required.” (UG4698)

2407 “Claiming awards on account of writing cheeky conservatoire pastiche is quite humourless. To humour the author back, spending 10’ looking through this was worse than a recent gastroenteritis fit that I suffered, so “haha” to us all with bells on top! Thelonious it is not, certainly.” (UG4698)

“Βad writing. So very dissonant without any reason.” (DG2364)

2533 “Στο έργο αυτό, αν και συναντάμε μερικά «φαινομενικά» συντακτικά λάθη, στη συνέχεια του αποδεικνύονται μέρη μίας συνειδητής μουσικής σκέψης, όπου στηρίζεται στην οικονομία και στο βάθος των ηχοχρωμάτων.” (SA5152)

CC "The contemporary piano" (2015)
Strings Week 2016
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