NCVS Composer Competition



The Northern California Viola Society announces 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. 


 About the 2020-21 Competition

The Northern California Viola Society announces its 2020-21 Composition Contest winner and the finalists. Our 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