2024 Frank Robert Abell Young Composers Competition for New Chamber Music

Presented by the University of Louisville

First Prize: $10,000 USD

Second Prize: $6,000 USD

The deadline for 2024 is now closed. Thank you to all who submitted! We will notify the winners via email at the end of the jury process. The call for works for 2025 will be announced later this year.

This Award was established by a generous bequest from the estate of Frank Robert Abell, a longtime Louisville philanthropist with close ties to the University of Louisville School of Music. He had a deep love for contemporary music and a strong desire to help younger composers.

Eligibility: Composers residing in any country, age 18-26 on the deadline for submission, January 5, 2024. Faculty and staff of the University of Louisville and their spouses and children are not eligible to enter.  Current and former students of the University of Louisville and their spouses, are not eligible to enter.

The University of Louisville School of Music will seek out opportunities to perform the winning works, especially at the annual New Music Festival (mid-November), but such performances are not guaranteed. In the event of a performance, the Award Committee will underwrite the composer’s expenses (travel, lodging and meals) to Louisville to attend rehearsals and the performance. The winning composers agree to give a presentation about their music to the Composition Seminar and engage in other similar activities while in Louisville.

Rules and Guidelines

  • Deadline: Jan 5, 2024. All materials must be received by this date.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • Only one entry per composer.
  • Maximum length: 25 minutes.
  • Single or multiple movements are acceptable.
  • For 3-8 instrumental performers from the following combination of SOLO instruments: Flute (or auxiliary), Clarinet (or auxiliary), Bassoon, Piano, Percussion, Violin, Viola, Cello. Two on a part is not possible, so works for ensembles such as string quartet will not be accepted.
  • Works may include electronics (live and/or fixed media). Electronics personnel should be limited to one performer/technician and is not included in the 8-performer limit. Works with electronics are required to include a tech rider.
  • All materials should be submitted digitally. A complete score is required. No works in progress or revisions after the call will be accepted. A recording is highly encouraged but not required. MIDI mockups are acceptable in absence of a recording.
  • The online entry form must be completed, and a brief bio in English submitted along with it.
  • Winners agree that the University of Louisville School of Music may perform and/or record the winning works without fee or royalty in perpetuity. The winners agree to the use of their names, in addition to video and audio recordings of their work for publicity purposes.
  • The Committee reserves the right to withhold either or both prizes.
  • Questions should be directed to Dr. Zach Thomas at the University of Louisville via email.