Ricciotti’s Composition Contest 2020
©Wout Nooitgedagt

Through Ricciotti’s Composition Contest we challenge composers to write a piece for an orchestra with musicians on 2 m distance (1,5 m for the strings). What impact will the 2 m distance of musicians have on the sound of an entire orchestra? Which possibilities are created when an orchestra and its conductor are set up in a more spacious way than usual? The Ricciotti ensemble is used to playing at unusual places and in challenging set ups. The ensemble is therefore the ultimate guinea pig for any composer, who would like to experiment with space. We would like to invite you to write an innovative composition that contains a spatial plan for the players and the conductor. This means the music itself, but also the performance practice of the piece will play an important part. The composition contest is open for anyone, who would like to participate: professional, student, amateur. Can we challenge you?

Compositions need to be submitted before the first of August and are being judged on quality, resourcefulness and whether the performance is achievable. Besides that, the Ricciotti-factor plays a big part: is the piece street wise, a bit daring, is it devoting? Is it a composition that can address a broad audience?

The professional jury consists of composer Daan Manneke (‘Kapellmeister of spaciality), Leonard Evers (composer and former conductor and artistic director of the Ricciotti ensemble) and Coen Stuit (current conductor and artistic director of the Ricciotti ensemble). The three best compositions will be live performed by the Ricciotti ensemble. The winners of the competition will receive a prize of: €2500 for the first place, €2000 for the second place and €1500 for the third place.

Creating a new perspective
Although this is a challenging time for everyone, with this composition contest the Ricciotti ensemble would like to give a positive spin to a difficult situation. We would like to focus on things that are still possible under the new circumstances. Due to the corona pandemic, two of our three tours in 2020 were canceled, and with that also our annual composers project for student composers was canceled. Besides that, many composers have seen their income vanish because of this crisis. The time is right to offer some new perspective for established composers, as well as up and coming or amateur ones.

Competition Rules
• We expect participants to come up with a spatial plan for the musicians and the conductor.
• The work must be feasible in accordance with the applicable government regulations. That means a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between the strings and 2 meters between wind instruments and also 2 meters for the conductor. Please note that government regulations are subject to change. View the protocol of the KNMO of 8 June 2020.
• The composition must be suitable for an open air performance.
• The duration of the piece can be a maximum of 4 minutes, but shorter is also possible.
• The piece must be submitted before the 1st of August 2020.
• The piece must be written for the orchestration of the Ricciotti ensemble.
• The score must be supplied digitally in PDF (transposed) and in MP3.
• If your composition is selected for the final, you will be expected to supply the separate music parts as well.
• The date of the final is yet to be announced.
• The safety of our orchestra members and bystanders is paramount and is judged by the staff of the Ricciotti during the rehearsals and the final.
• Check our website regularly for an update of the game rules.

The deadline for submitting the form has already passed

Orchestration Ricciotti ensemble (42 musicians)
• 2 flutes (ad. Lib. 1 double on piccolo)
• 2 oboes
• 2 Bb-clarinets
• 2 bassoons
• 2 alto-saxophones
• 2 french horns in F
• 2 Bb-trumpets
• 1 trombone
• Percussion (drum set, chimes, 2 rototoms, small percussion)
• 8 1st violins
• 6 2nd violins
• 5 violas
• 4 violoncellos
• 3 basses (1 bass can be jazzbass/electric bass)

Live stream for the winning compositions
If the circumstances will allow it, the winning compositions will be performed at the end of August 2020. We want to make sure that as many people as possible are able to enjoy this performance. A live stream is the best solution to achieve this. The last couple of months we received some Corona donations of people that want to support as a little bit more during these strange times. We would like to invest this money in something special that also contributes to society. The donations, however, do not cover all costs, so any donations are more than welcome. More information on this topic can be found at us

Questions about the contest? You can contact or or you can phone us at: 06 53471215

Check the video for an impression of the orchestra
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