Composition Competition

Congratulations to the winner of the 2018 competition:

Gilad Hochman, “Beyond Nine Lakes”

Gilad.Hochman_3.2.lgGilad Hochman is widely considered as one of Israel’s most prominent young composers and as an original and innovative voice in the international music scene. Among his many achievements, at age 24 he became the youngest to win Israel’s prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize. A decade later his work awarded him the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award.

Born in Israel in 1982 to an Odessa-native father and a Paris-native mother, Hochman resides in Berlin since 2007. That same year, he graduated with honors from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University, where he studied composition and musicology under some of Israel’s leading senior musicians.

Hochman started studying the piano at the age of six, composing at the age of nine, and at age fourteen he began learning composition under Ilya Heifets. Since then, his music has developed its own language – constantly searching yet, at the same time, presenting a clear aesthetic approach. It uniquely merges classical music traditions with those connected to Jewish culture and other world cultures, while striving for a balance between rational and emotional expressions.

Praised by the New York Times, the BBC, France 24 and in numerous other publications, Hochman’s works were performed in venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie, the German Parliament, Carnegie Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, St James’s Piccadilly (London) and Henry Crown Symphony Hall (Jerusalem), to name a few. Additionally, his music was recorded on six albums by international orchestras, choirs and ensembles, most recently by Cantor Azi Schwartz of the Park Avenue Synagogue in NYC together with the renowned German choir, RIAS Kammerchor.

Competition Details


There is no entry fee.

Submission Criteria

  1. Original composition for a cappella, 4-6 part mixed choir, occasional divisi is acceptable;
  2. Approximately three to six minutes long;
  3. Not previously performed in Massachusetts;
  4. Anonymous submission:
    1. Remove all names and identifying marks;
    2. Provide a separate document (PDF or Word) containing your name, address, email, and phone number;
  5. Submit a legible score. In addition, recordings or synthesized versions are strongly encouraged but are not required;
  6. A maximum of two different scores may be submitted by each composer;
  7. If the text is not public domain, include written permission to use it;
  8. You must submit electronically via email to with your piece as a PDF attachment. Sibelius, Finale and other formats will not be accepted. Attachments larger than 5MB are blocked, so use a Dropbox, such as SendStuffNow, for larger audio files.
  9. The deadline for the 2019 competition is TBA.

The prize for the winning composition is $700. The piece will also be performed by the Cambridge Chamber Singers at their two concerts in the Boston area. CCS encourages the composer’s attendance.

The Cambridge Chamber Singers reserves the right to not award a prize.

There are no restrictions according to age or residency. The text may be in any language. A composer may submit no more than two pieces, but composers are welcome to resubmit non-winning works again.

Composers will receive an e-mail confirming their completed application at the close of the competition. Before that time, composers will only be contacted if their submission is incomplete.

For further information, email

Past winners:

  • 2017 David von Kampen, Lincoln, NE, USA – Here Among the Flowers
    • 2017 Honorable Mention: Jean Ahn, San Francisco, CA, USA – Folksong Revisited: Gangwondo Arirang
  • 2016 Hamid Mardkhanjari, Tehran, Iran – Konus Kale
  • 2015 Kelly-Marie Murphy, Ottowa, Canada – Miserere
  • 2014 [Administrative break]
  • 2013 [Administrative break]
  • 2012 Nick Omiccioli, Kansas City, MO – A Song of Joys
  • 2011 Gregory Zavracky, Jamaica Plain, MA – Sighs are my Food
  • 2010 Giselle Wyers, Lake Forest Park, WA- Love and Wine (commission)
  • 2009 Elizabeth Kennedy Bayer, Phoenix, AZ – One Day When It’s Winter
  • 2008 Stephen Feigenbaum, New Haven, CT – Clair de lune
  • 2007 Joshua Shank, Austin, TX – A Grass-Green Pillow
  • 2006 Abbie Betinis, Saint Paul, MN – Carmina Mei Cordis (Songs of My Heart)
  • 2005 David Schneider, Bloomington, IN, USA – O Colonia
  • 2004 Sydney Guillaume, Miami, FL, USA – Kalinda
  • 2003 Paul Carey, Oak Park, IL, USA – Esta Tarde
  • 2002 Giselle Wyers, Boise, ID, USA – Ave Maria
  • 2001 Ulrike Emanuelsson, Lund, Sweden – Rosten ur morkret sjunger
  • 2000 Julian Wachner, Boston, MA, USA – there is a moon sole
  • 1999 Jason Bahr, Urbana, IL, USA – Psaume 1
  • 1998 Forrest Pierce, Urbana, IL, USA – Song of Songs
  • 1997 Tsippi Fleischer, Tel Aviv, Israel – No Hand has Touched You