NCVS Composer Competition


And the winner for 2021-22 is: 

Micro Suite for Solo Viola 

by Dario Duarte of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Many thanks to our panel of judges: Jonathan Vinocour, Jodi Levitz, Hank Dutt, Ellen Rose, Ethan Filner, Tom Tatton, Daria D’Andrea and Katrina Wreede.  

The winning composition will be performed by finalists in the NCVS Young Violist Competition on March 13, 2022. 
Dario Duarte graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the Universidad Nacional de San Martin and studied piano at the Alberto Ginastera Conservatory in Buenos Aires. In 2019 he composed his first opera SOMA, which was awarded by the Williams Foundation of Buenos Aires. His compositions include works for chamber ensemble, solo instruments and orchestra.
Dario currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and teaches at the School of Humanities of the Universidad Nacional de San Martin and at the Conservatorio Superior de Música Manuel de Falla.


 Andrew Ahn performing Micro Suite


 Andrew Hwang performing Micro Suite
Chanhee Park's performance of Micro Suite

Composition finalists this year were (in alphabetical order):

Dream for Viola by Dr. Patricio Molina
Fantasieta by Prof. Dr. Andersen Viana
Furious by Jenna Colombet
La lune s’attristait.  Des séraphins enpleurs rêvant by Andrew Haile Austin
Oak Branches by Blair Whittington
Teaser by Pablo Rubino
Transylvan by Mark Francis


 About the previous years' competition

The Northern California Viola Society 2020-21 Composition Contest winner was "Viola & Cesario" by Andrew M. Wilson of Devon, UK. The competition is for unperformed solo viola works, 3 minutes or under, composed in the last 5 years.  The winning composition was premiered by finalists in the NCVS Young Violist Competition on March 7, 2021, presented online.  

Over 70 pieces from all over the world were submitted in November to our assembled reviewing panel of violists. It was exciting to see the international offerings and the large number of submissions. The pieces we received demonstrated a huge range of creativity and musicality.   We are deeply grateful to all of the composers who took the time to share their efforts with us.  Please consider applying again next year.  

2020-2021 Finalist compositions were:

Winner, "Viola & Cesario" by Andrew M. Wilson

"Fantasy for Viola Solo" by Jake Gesell
"Autumn Leaves Dancing in the Wind” by Masao Yokoyama
“Listen to Viola” by Frank den Bakker
"Shadow Child Prelude” by Lawrence Kramer 
“Lovely on the Water” by John Whittaker 
“FortEtude” by Eleanor Aversa
“Requiem, in memoriam K. Penderecki”  by Andreina Costantini  
NCVS wishes to thank all the composers who entered and we can't wait for next year! Many thanks to our panel of violists for reviewing the entries: Ellen Ruth Rose, Hank Dutt, Jodi Levitz, Patricia Heller, Thomas Tatton, Katrina Wreede & Daria D'Andrea,


Our 2019-20 Composition Competition Winner was Denise Ondishko’s work, COGITATIO for Viola Solo, chosen by the 5-member panel of professional violists from 80-plus individual works submitted.  
The 86 works submitted in 2019 came from composers based in countries including: Indonesia, China, Russia, Iran, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Italy, UK, Ireland, France, Japan, Greece, Belgium, Israel, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the US.  

The 2019-2020 finalist compositions were (in alphabetical order):

A Viking Farewell - Sarah Cattley
Cogitatio - Denise Ondishko (winner)
Dance for Solo Viola - Laura Paleari
Dolorondo - Wendy Davis
Étude - Lautaro Figueroa
Fabula - Maximiliano Garcia de Veas Gimena
Grasshopper - Milana Milosovic
One Evening in the Forest - Reina Yoshioka
Rite of Fire - Indra Persons
Threnody for a Skinned Cat - Gu Wei
Upon the Path of the Infinite - Girard Kratz
Whirling Dervish (from Balkan Pictures) - C. J. Kachulis

The Northern California Viola Society recently held its 2021-22 Composition Contest for unperformed solo viola works, 3 minutes or under, composed in the last 5 years.  The winning composition will be premiered by pre-professional level finalists in the NCVS Young Violist Competition on March 13, 2022.  There are typically 5-6 finalists, aged 19 and under with an advanced level of technical facility.  Works should reflect the ability level of the performers and offer contrasting sections with both technical and emotional challenges.  No tape, amplification or other accompaniment. Composer is encouraged to record the online performances.  

Prize: $100 and feature article on NCVS website. 
Deadline for submission: Nov. 19, 2021
Winner and Runners-up announced: Dec. 12, 2021
To Submit: Email your score PDF that includes date of composition and title but pseudonym for composer’s name to   In the email, include composer’s name, title of work and contact information.  Do not send mp3s, cover pages, bios, poems, images, stories or anything not directly related to performing the work.  All submissions will be deleted after the judging.