THE 2017 submission period will be from January 1st to February 28th.
The Lake George Music Festival is a strong supporter of contemporary classical music, and annually hosts an international competition to promote its continued development and dissemination. Our mission is to find and recruit the next generation of leading composers and promote their work to the world at large. We will pair the most promising works with our roster of exceptional performers, fostering long-lasting relationships between artists of the highest caliber. By promoting the movement that contemporary music is alive, inspirational, and relevant to every community, we are doing our part to connect Lake George with the evolution of this tradition.
Composers must be between the ages of 18 and 35 at the time of submission. Previous winners (finalists ok) and current students of the jury may not enter. Composers of any nationality are eligible.
  • an original work of chamber music composed after January 1st, 2012.
  • a complete work – no single movements of multi-movement works will be accepted.
  • work must be in its original form – no arrangements; example: no piece originally intended for string orchestra submitted as a string quintet will be accepted.
  • between 7 and 12 minutes in duration.
  • scored for 3 to 8 players (not including a conductor, if applicable).
  • written for the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, piccolo, oboe, english horn, b-flat clarinet, A clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, piano, percussion.
  • pieces scored for percussion must follow these additional guidelines.
  • any combination of the above instruments is acceptable, however only two of the same instrument may be included; example: maximum of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 percussionists, piano four hands, etc; with exceptions being a maximum of one tuba, one bass trombone. Works scored for up to 4 violins are acceptable. Works for two or more pianos are not acceptable.
  • instrument doublings must adhere to the instrumentation restrictions, example: no alto flute, no contrabassoon.
  • works may be written for amplified instruments, prepared piano, and off stage instruments.
  • works may include non-interactive electroacoustic elements (e.g., CD playback).


Two winners will be selected to receive a $500 prize and a live performance of their work at the Lake George Music Festival’s 2017 season.

The winning composers will also be invited to Lake George as “composers in residence” in 2017 to work with the musicians performing their piece. Lodging and some meals will be provided free of charge. Attendance at the festival is encouraged but not required.

Several finalists will also be announced; these works will be kept in the LGMF music library for future programming considerations.

The 2016 results have been announced. Click HERE >>

Submissions to the Lake George Music Festival Composition Competition are reviewed anonymously in two rounds. A preliminary screening will be conducted by:

barbora-headshotBarbora Kolarova, Lake George Music Festival, Artistic Director and General Manager

Recent laureate of the Golden Classical Music Awards International Music Competition in NYC (August 2016), the Manhattan International Music Competition ( June 2016) and the Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition in Salzburg, Austria ( May 2016), violinist Barbora Kolářová is a visiting performing artist of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. As part of her recent prizes, Barbora joined the ‘Manhattan International Artists’ roster and starting in November 2016 will also collaborate with the Lincoln Center Stage and perform on the Holland America Line.

More information here >>

Roger 2016Roger Kalia, Lake George Music Festival, Music Director and Conductor

Currently in his first season as Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Symphony, Roger Kalia is also Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra and Music Director & Co-Founder of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York.  He previously spent two seasons as Assistant Conductor with the Charlotte Symphony.  Kalia will lead the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra on their upcoming tour of China this summer with performances in Beijing’s National Concert Hall and Shanghai’s Oriental Arts Centre, among others.


More information here >>

LudwigDavid Ludwig, Curtis Institute of Music, composition faculty

David Ludwig is “a composer with something urgent to say” (Philadelphia Inquirer) whose music has been described as “arresting and dramatically hued” (The New York Times) and “supercharged with electrical energy and raw emotion” (Fanfare Magazine). Amongst his recent honors, Ludwig’s choral work, “The New Colossus” was selected as the opening music for the private prayer service for the second inauguration of President Obama. NPR Music recently selected him as one of the “Top 100 Composers Under Forty” in the world and last year he scored the feature film “Cymbeline” which won awards at the Venice Film Festival in 2014.

More information here >>

lamar_bridge_headshot_cropped_watermark-241x300Steven Snowden, composer

The music of Steven Snowden has been described as “Beguiling… combining force with clarity” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “Wonderfully dynamic” (Interlude Hong Kong), “Rustic, red-blooded” (New Music Box), and “Marvelously evocative” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Writing music for dance, theater, multi-media installations, and the concert stage, he is equally at home writing acoustic and electro-acoustic music and has taken a keen interest in interdisciplinary collaboration and live electronic audio manipulation as a tool for improvisation.


More information here >>


24 submissions will be chosen to move on to the final round. The final round will be adjudicated anonymously by:


pageimage-484674-1820402-headshot5Steven Mackey, composer and faculty, Princeton University

Steven Mackey was born in 1956, to American parents stationed in Frankfurt, Germany.  He is regarded as one of the leading composers of his generation and has composed for orchestra, chamber ensembles, dance and opera. Mackey’s orchestral music has been performed by major orchestras around the world, from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies, the BBC Philharmonic, Concertgebouw orchestra, and the Austrian Radio Symphony, to the Sydney Symphony and Tokyo Philharmonic. As a guitarist, Mackey has performed his chamber music with the Kronos Quartet, Arditti Quartet, London Sinfonietta, Nexttime Ensemble (Parma), Psappha (Manchester), and Joey Baron.

More information here >>

img_6021Alan Pierson, artistic director and conductor, Alarm Will Sound

Alan Pierson has been praised as “a dynamic conductor and musical visionary” by the New York Times, “a young conductor of monstrous skill” by Newsday, “gifted and electrifying” by the Boston Globe, and “one of the most exciting figures in new music today” by Fanfare. He is the Artistic Director and conductor of the acclaimed ensemble Alarm Will Sound which has been called “the future of classical music” by the New York Times and “a sensational force” with “powerful ideas about how to renovate the concert experience” by the New Yorker.

More information here >>


Two winners will be announced in May.

Previous jury members have included Jennifer Higdon, Du Yun, David Lang, Donnacha Dennehy, and Libby Larsen.


The 2017 submission period will be from January 1st to February 28th. Please submit the following materials via ONE email with attachments to The subject line of the email should read “LGMF Composition Competition” followed by your full name.

  • An anonymous .pdf file of the composition score. The score should be labeled with the title of the work and printed date of composition only. Multi-movement pieces should be submitted together as one joint .pdf file.
  • An anonymous recording in mp3 format. Recordings must be complete (no excerpts) and must be labeled with the title of the work only and sent as an email attachment. Live instrumental recordings are strongly preferred over MIDI renditions. If submitting MIDI please take the time to create an audio file which sounds as realistic as is possible. Composers submitting a piece for electronics/amplified instruments must submit a live performance or studio recording (not MIDI). Multi-movement pieces should be submitted together as one joint .mp3 file. Please edit out any tuning/clapping.
  • A curriculum vitae with full name, date of birth, and complete contact information (this will not be viewed by the jury).
  • A PayPal receipt proving the application fee has been paid. Please pay application fee at the same time when submitting materials.

All steps outlined above must be completed and submitted in their entirety by the deadline. No exceptions can be made whatsoever. If you wait until February 28th, we cannot guarantee any issues that arise during staff review, including missing or incorrect documents, will be resolved by the application deadline. Consequently, LGMF urges you to submit immediately.


$10 – Payment will be accepted via credit/debit card through PayPal by clicking the button below. PayPal accounts are not required. Application fee is not refundable, please review guidelines carefully.

-Receipt of submissions and application fee will be acknowledged by return email.
-Scores or recordings submitted with composer identifying marks (e.g. full or partial name, dedications, affiliated institution, publisher, premiering ensemble/venue, commissioner etc.) will be immediately disqualified.
-Previously performed works are acceptable.
-Previous competition finalists re-applying must submit a different piece each year.
-Former students of the jury are eligible to participate, so long as they submit a piece unknown to the jury.
-Composers may submit a maximum of two (2) submissions, but must do so in separate emails and separate PayPal payments.
-International applicants, please translate all text to English.
-Scores/Recordings of pieces with multiple movements should be sent together as one file (do not submit individual movements separately).
-25 megabytes (MB) is the total combined maximum for all attachments. Large files that exceed 25MB (discouraged) may be sent as a Google Drive attachment or as a ZIP file.
-No third-party submission sites such as Dropbox or WeTransfer will be accepted.
-Please do not send any additional materials.

-Application materials must be submitted electronically; no postal mail submissions will be accepted.
-Due to the large number of submissions, feedback regarding individual submissions will not be given.
-The winning composers must agree to provide parts by June 1st, 2017 in order to guarantee a performance of their winning work.
-Submissions that do not strictly follow the guidelines, or are submitted before or after the submission period will be disqualified. 

Any questions regarding the competition should be directed to competition administrator Alexander Lombard at