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ICC “The contemporary piano” (2017)

International Composition competition “The contemporary piano” (2017)

See about the previous Composition competition “The contemporary piano” | 2015 | 2016

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. 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 Unpublished works & works that have been performed previously and won competitions in the past may be submitted.

Registration fee: The registration fee is €40,00 per work / submission, paid to through bank transfer. In the grounds, provide name and deposit reason. All transfer and bank charges will be covered by the applicants.

Submissions: Submissions are to be made until March 31, 2017 electronically to including at the same email: i. An unmarked and unnamed PDF (sheet music) of a work (composition) for piano solo or piano 4 hands, duration 3 to 5 minutes, | ii. A separate file (PDF, RAR, ZIP etc) with a printout of the registration payment (bank receipt), the details of the composer (name, age, address, telephone, email, etc), a bio (biografical notes), a good foto of the composer, title and a text for their submitted work.

Committee – selection: The committee will consist of distinguished pianists and composers. Will meet in April 2017 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 distinguished pianists – members of the committee, 2) The recordings will be 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.


AN ART ARTISTRY has organized (for 3nd time) the composition competition “The contemporary piano” (2017). The submissions to the competition has ended March 31, 2017. 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 36 compositions where submitted from 15 countries (Norway, Poland, Australia, Greece, England, Italy, U.S.A., Sweden, Japan, China, Luxembourg, Austria, Spain, Portugal, France), which came to the judgment of the committee, consisting of (in alphabetical order):


The committee after carefully studied the submitted works, awards:

Prize to Salvatore Bezzi (Greece) (11 points) for his work for piano 4 hands “Leprechaun” with identifier 4273

Prize to Huei Li Lam (U.S.A.) (9 points) for her work for solo piano “Distant Structures” with identifier 4159

Prize to Vangelis Karafillidis (Greece) (9 points) for his work for solo piano “Toccata” with identifier 3042

Prize to Kotaro Morikawa (Japan) (9 points) for his work for solo piano “digital VIII” with identifier 2364


Honorable mention to David Roche (U.K.) (8 points) for his work for solo piano “Ten Acre Riots!” with identifier 3411

Honorable mention to Franciszek Araszkiewicz (Poland) (7 points) for his work for piano 4 hands “Study of Chaos” with identifier 1872

Honorable mention to Peter Underhill (U.S.A.) (7 points) for his work for solo piano “Midnight Dances” with identifier 4488

Next in score, with downgrade ranking were the works:
2057, 2511, 2698: 6 points
1455, 2191: 5 points
4352, 3746, 2483, 1561: 4 points
1633, 1745, 2786, 3971, 4082 : 3 points
1966, 2257, 3159: 2 points
1235, 2816, 3246, 3574, 3612: 1 point
1024, 1342, 2964, 3326, 3829, 4537, 4641: 0 points

Distinguished pianists – members of the committee will record (audio & video) the 4 prize winning works. The works will be presented in a high quality AN ART ARTISTRY production, as described in the rules of the competition, until the end of the year (2017).

Our warmest congratulations to the winners!
AN ART ARTISTRY – Athens May 2nd, 2017





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.

1024 Many writing errors, as if played on a midi keybord… Irrelevant elements between them. Thematic material is not being developed. Very bad notation. Semi-written writing. Inconsistency of synthetic material. (AM7345)

1235 Consistent writing, good material homogeneity. Convincing contrasts. A tip: if we want to hear from human beeing what we are composing, we have to keep in mind that not everything can be played and hear nice on the piano. (DG2364)

1342 Good writing, notation and good pianism. Nice motif thought. I wonder what’s going on in m. 62 – 63. Bb – Ab – Db – Bb? Pentatonic scale, interesting to refer to a familiar classical theme m. 32 – 50. (AM7345)

1455 Ιntelligent harmonic thought, small notation errors (m.25, m.11 versus m.25), Less helpful lines would help. Three pieces in small forms, but they are very convincing. Outstanding influences from well-known composers. Very demanding work pianistically. It is not written for an average pianistic hand. (DG2364)

Despite their complexity, these pieces are really clearly composed, and also beautifully written for the piano. The use of the instrument is very successful. The harmonic language is rich and explores many interesting and in places beautiful sonorities and colours. Maybe the excessive use of passagework is an obstacle to the coherence of style and atmosphere. Some repetitions, especially in the 3rd piece, make sections too long for no apparent reason. I strongly believe that the composer could strive for more simplicity. (RG9561)

A very solid composition. Combines an interesting harmonic structure with melodic invention. In my opinion over elaborated at places. Impressive climaxes in the grand manner. (MK3511)

1561 Technical exercises: Liszt, Brahms, Bartok, Hanon 8 years old. Chopstics! (AM7345)

There is an interesting use of repetition here, which has the exciting effect of minimalistic writing. This etude is an exhaustive study of the particular technique, reminiscent of traditional 5-finger exercises, where the pianistic writing is absolutely appropriate and maybe suitable even for educational purpose. The influence (conscious or not) from other composers such as Debussy and Ligeti is very useful, and maybe some closer study of their works could lead to other successful etudes by the candidate. (RG9561)

Very smart idea and imaginative development even that is based only in two notes. (SP9972)

1633 Interesting harmonic thought, pure writing, seems like a part of something bigger. It is not self-asserted as an autonomous composition. (DG2364)

Atmospheric and melodious. Very well written for the piano. (MK3511)

1745 Which pianists would read this score? Although we did, the impression we made is that it’s a midi played composition. Aleatorism! (AM7345)

1872 Virtuoso writing. It has tremendous rhythmic drive. It looks very exciting on paper but I believe that it requires a very skillful piano duo to be effective in performance. (MK3511)

1966 His odor throws notes badly in pentagram. Cartoon writing. Counterpoint techniques do not mean anything on their own. Poor pianist writing and no-content music. (AM7345)

2057 Bad writing, unreadable. Particularly unnecessary complicated writing. If the composer does not know what he wants to say, then how will the performer discover, let alone the listener? (DG2364)

2191 An artistic composition with very fresh writing. (SA5152)

2257 Inventive, with very nice content. (AM7345)

2364 Consistent with the title, well written, nintendo! (DG2364)

The form of this piece is relatively simple but effective, and the composition is clear and unpretentious. The ostinato that characterizes the left hand is probably a safe choice, but it is very successful as it gives cohesion and consistency in style and texture. It is also a very pianistically written piece. Perhaps some cuts would help to avoid garrulousness. (RG9561)

A short but very well proportioned piece. Exciting ostinato figure for the left hand. Great rhythmic drive and élan. (MK3511)

Very dynamic piece keeping strongly the real meaning of its title (digital) as it has the precision and the rhythmic perfection of any kind of a digital thing, throughout the piece. Thanks to the alertness of the music composed, the listener cannot escape from the piece till the last note. Finally, the imaginative classic perfect cadence at the end, creates a feeling that someone unplugs the “machine” and..back to reality! (SP9972)

2483 Well done for trying! Seems like a young “cocktail pianist’s” music, beautiful well-known melodies, harmonies and rhythmic shapes that alternate with a drink when flirting in a bar… Many problems in notation. Hears to Hoagy Carmichael, Dave Brubeck, Sade etc. (DG2364)

Very interesting piece in three sections where every one of them is connected with Jazz elements but in a different way. Nice, harmonically abstract introduction (1st section), keeps the piece alive till the next section, mainly, thanks to its polytonality. The 2nd section (swing) manages to keep the aliveness of the piece, through the interesting harmonies in the left hand plus the improvising melodic line of the right hand. In the last section the jazz elements are still present but in a more rhythmically complicated way. The peaceful interlude being combined with the climax of the last bars brings to the listener a very pleasant and full of powerful feelings experience. (SP9972)

2511 Interesting work, well written. There is a lot of elements left behind. The motif degradation at the end of the piece presents many problems with its rhythmic choices. In the title is the word liberamente. Freedom does not mean anarchy. (DG2364)

2698 Unintelligible 2X11X12. Unfortunately, I did not “see” in the piece either a perfect melancholy neither a melancholique perfection. (AM7345)

Work with artistic requirements from the performer and proper guidance. (SA5152)

This is a simple and short piece, which nevertheless makes excellent use of the dynamics and the pedal in order to create atmospheres. Some deeper study and development of the material will probably lead to a remarkable composition. Moreover, complexity in terms of rhythmical patterns is probably not needed in this context. Simplified writing helps the performer a great deal. (RG9561)

2786 Beautiful programmatique statement. Although there is content I find it problematic, particularly in the rhythmic element of the two preludes. I would suggest continuing your study into composition. (DG2364)

Solid craftsmanship. Sombre and dissonant. Well written for the piano. (MK3511)

2816 Hommage to Zimermann! You have to send it to the Piano Guys. Poor harmony, bad notation. (DG2364)

Impressive piece for both the listener and the player. Virtuosic with nice development. (SP9972)

2964 Hommage to Michael Newmann and Yian Tiersen. (DG2364)

3042 Very good writing. Consistent form – content. (AM7345)

An exciting and very pianistic virtuoso work. It combines rhythmic drive and élan with impressive melodic invention. Expertly written for the piano. (MK3511)

3246 Hommage to Hindemith! (DG2364)

3326 Attention to notation, poor – incomplete harmonious development. Harmony without target, unconnected material. (AM7345)

3411 The theory is good, but it’s far far away from the act! (AM7345)

3574 Very interesting work – harmony, beautiful motifs – themes but way too many. Plenty does not mean good! (DG2364)

Dark and atmospheric opening section. In my opinion it loses momentum in the contrapuntal writing of the second section which I don’t find very pianistic. (MK3511)

3612 Poor harmony and poor notation. They easily became difficult. (DG2364)

Beautiful piece with very nice development using smart rhythmic changes. (SP9972)

3746 This is a really impressive idea with outstanding precision in composition. The only disadvantage of the piece is the difficulty in preparation and actual realization. Perhaps a simplified way of putting gestures into a score could lead to many more interpretations of the piece, that are really well deserved. (RG9561)

A musical composition consists of many elements, inherent in it: Sound, poetry, symbolism, theatricality, position-opposition-synthesis, etc. I think a successful musical composition must have these elements in balance between them. Something that does not happen in this case. (DG2364)

3829 Obviously this is someone very young, composition. If you are under the age of 10, then keep doing a good job! (AM7345)

3971 Very good writing. Consistent form – content. (DG2364)

Beautiful composition with balanced development and a solid pianistic writing. (SA5152)

4082 This is a piece with effective and easily conceived form, good pianisic writing and a clear goal in terms of the mood and the sentiment it conveys. The exploration of tonality and harmony is interesting and clever, and it is applied to the keyboard successfully (white and black keys). The composition will gain a lot if there is more focus and attention to the lines of the different voices (probably more contrary motion), and there is a lot of ground for more imagination in melodies. (RG9561)

4159 Clear script, Scriabin. (DG2364)

4273 An excellent work for piano duet. Very fluently and expertly written . It combines wit with a graceful melodic invention. (MK3511)

A real exciting experience for the two pianists playing this piece as there are plenty of roles to share but with an “identity” role for each pianist. A composition with continuous intense, dynamic character and energy. Some score-writing issues and the fact that there is no title are not enough for someone not to love this piece. Simple harmony and use of chromatic scales and modulations manage to create a pleasant confusion for the listener making him/her fell relief after the powerful “finale”. (SP9972)

4352 A few pianistic problems. (AM7345)

4488 A piece full of energy and very interesting harmonic and rhythmic changes throughout. Especially in terms of rhythm, there are some challenging passages that will create a very powerful and exciting feeling to the listener if the interpretation is accurate. Clear and “pianistic” writing. The lack of time signature in the introduction creates a “searching” feeling to the listener/player who tries to guess what is coming after, making this piece and its development even more interesting. (SP9972)

4537 Too many notation errors, notation flaws, ambiguity. What does the composer want to say? He has to learn. Bad pianism, you did not see the score on the piano. Unspecified notation. (DG2364)

ICC "The contemporary Guitar" (2017)
Travlos, Michail