NCVS Composer Competition


The Northern California Viola Society announces its 2020-21 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 7, 2021, presented online.  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 for their personal use.  

Prize: $100 and feature article on NCVS website. 
Deadline for submission: Nov. 15, 2020
Winner and Runners-up announced: Jan. 21, 2021
To Submit: Email your score PDF that includes date of composition and title but pseudonym for composer’s name to   In the email text, please 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.   

15 Nov 2020


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.  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. 

The 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