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Minute Masterpieces: Call for Entries

Ever fancied trying your hand at composing music for a full orchestra, but not sure you’re quite ready to write a full-length symphony yet? Well, Opera North might have just the opportunity for you.

We are seeking emerging and yet-to-be-discovered composers from all backgrounds and traditions to write new 60-second pieces on the theme of ‘Home’ for our award-winning ensemble, the Orchestra of Opera North.

These Minute Masterpieces will form part of our celebrations around the opening of the Howard Opera Centre, our new headquarters in the heart of Leeds, later this year.

Up to six successful compositions will each be recorded by the Orchestra, performed live for an audience as part of the 2021/22 Kirklees Concert Season, and receive a commissioning fee of £500. The judging panel will comprise Opera North’s Music Director Garry Walker, Director of Orchestra and Chorus Phil Boughton, Professor Rachel Cowgill, Professor of Music, University of York, and award-winning sitarist and composer Jasdeep Singh Degun.

Through the competition, Opera North hopes to build sustained relationships with emerging composers, leading to further commissions.

Entry requirements

Minute Masterpieces is aimed at early career/emerging composers, rather than established artists, and entrants must be based in the UK.

You’ll have the following orchestral forces to work with (but don’t feel that you have to use them all!):

  • Two Flutes (one doubling Piccolo)
  • Two Oboes (one doubling Cor Anglais)
  • Two Clarinets (one doubling bass or E flat Clarinet)
  • Two Bassoons
  • Four Horns
  • Two Trumpets
  • Three Trombones
  • Tuba
  • Timpani
  • Two Percussion
  • Harp
  • Strings (10 Firsts, 8 Seconds, 6 Violas, 5 Cellos, 3 Basses)
  • Works should be one minute long, with a small degree of flexibility (up to a maximum of 15 seconds either way)
  • On the theme of ‘Home’
  • Scored for orchestra only – vocal works will not be accepted
  • Only one submission per person will be accepted

To enter:

  • Submit a sound file, and full score where possible, together with a brief CV or description of experience, to
  • If you are unable to supply a score, the panel will judge the work on your sound file alone.
  • Closing date for submissions is Wednesday 21 July 2021

Minute Masterpieces is fully inclusive, and in recognition of the fact that the profession has traditionally suffered from a lack of diversity, is keen to attract the widest possible range of talented composers from all backgrounds.

Any eligible candidate who feels that they may experience further barriers to applying is invited to contact



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