Novalis music+art Festival 2021: Open Call for new compositions and a workshop

The Goal of This OPEN CALL:
Novalis Concept in Osijek (Croatia) encourages the composition of contemporary music with this open call. Eight (8) young international composers under the age of 35 will be selected to write a new piece for the Novalis festival, which will be performed by the festival ensemble, consisting of Kaja Farszky (percussion), Ana Batinica (flute) and Vid Veljak (cello). As part of the Novalis Festival, which will take place from October 5th to 9th 2021, a workshop will be organized led by composers Brian Ferneyhough, Brigitta Muntendorf, Nina Šenk and Davor Branimir Vincze. Attendees will receive one individual lesson with each of these composers, and their newly written works will be premiered at the final concert of the Novalis Festival in Osijek on October 9th 2021.
In addition, the concert will be accompanied by a team from the Croatian Radio Television, and the recording of the concert will be subsequently broadcasted on the 3rd program of Croatian radio as part of the show “Paths of Croatian Music.” The participation fee for the competition is 15€ (or 100kn) and can be paid in either currency (Euro or Kuna). After the selection process, the selected participants will be required to pay a fee of 550 € (or 4000kn) for the workshops no later than the end of February. This fee will cover the costs of the individual lessons, as well as one-week accommodation in Osijek during the festival. Selected participants are required to attend the festival in person and are responsible for all personal travel expenses. Bank data for both the competition and workshop fee goes as follows:
Hrvatska Poštanska Banka, Jurišićeva ulica 4 – 10000 Zagreb – Croatia
IBAN:HR59 2390 0011 1009 0244 3, BIC: HPBZHR2X
The Novalis Festival team will comply with all safety precaution measures prescribed by the Croatian epidemiological committee regarding COVID-19 prevention. In the event of an explicitly unfavorable epidemiological situation, Novalis Concept reserves the right to postpone the festival or hold the festival virtually.

Requirements of the OPEN CALL:
To complete this application, you will need to provide the following documents:
● Biography or CV; (make sure that your full legal name and the date of birth are clearly visible);
● Two (2) exemplary scores with corresponding recordings. [In the case of purely electroacoustic works, you can provide a corresponding sketch of the piece];
● Confirmation of the competition fee paid;
● Project proposal/description of the new composition that the applicant plans to realize during Novalis festival;
and send them to the following email address:
!Please limit the size of each document to 10MB!

The festival description has to comply with the following criteria:
1. The project proposal has to reflect the theme of the festival – “New Normality” (see manifesto below);
2. The length of the proposition should not exceed 5000 characters (including spacing).
3. The duration of the new piece should consist of a median length of 5 minutes;
4. The proposal needs to be a genuine new work, and not a modification of previously created, publicly performed, published or awarded composition;
5. The instrumental formation can have any combination or subset of the following three instrument: flute, percussion and violoncello;
6. Electronics is allowed, noting that the applicant is responsible for the operation/execution of their desired electronic patches and that the proposition for the tech rider needs to remain reasonable (e.g. one microphone per instrument and two/four speakers)
While we want you to feel as free as possible when writing your proposals, bear in mind that we will not be able to match each detail of your propositions as written, and that participants might be asked to make some adjustments. Once selected, the composers will have until early August to complete and submit the scores to Novalis festival.
This competition is open to all composers that have turned 18 and have not turned 35 on January 31st 2021, regardless of nationality and gender. Novalis festival cares about diversity and female participants are encouraged to apply. We will do our best to keep the gender ratio in balance, respecting the quality of portfolio as our main criterion. A maximum of one application per applicant is allowed.

The Incentive:
An award for the best piece, the ‘J. J. Strossmayer’ Prize‘ which includes a cash prize of 500€ (or 3.800kn) will be awarded on the final day of the festival. The winning piece will be reperformed by the festival ensemble.

The Competition Jury:
Novalis Concept in Osijek appoints the following jury to evaluate submissions :
● Mu-Xuan Lin (Taiwanses composer, Assistant professor at Chapman University)
● Misael Gauchat (Argentinian composer, Co-director of music publishing house Maison ONA)
● Utku Asuroǧlu (Turkish composer, Stanford University Doctoral researcher, winner of Irino Prize)
The decisions of the jury are final and non-negotiable.

Novalis Festival Manifesto for 2021:
Not so long ago, the idea of a virus spreading and capturing the entire world sounded like the fiction envisioned by Hollywood movie producers. It has been almost a full year since the news of COVID 19 began to appear in the media, and today no one can imagine life without this ever-present threat, to the extent that it is no longer a question of returning to the old, but getting used to the new normal.

Wearing masks has become mandatory every time one goes into public space, the travel has been kept to a minimum, the social interaction has largely shifted to the internet, and many institutions (including many cultural ones) have had to close their doors overnight, at least temporarily. However, many artists saw this as an opportunity and set out to develop new ways of interacting with their colleagues and audiences, learning new technologies and tools to overcome the barriers produced by this pandemic and continuing to present their work in a new format.

Novalis Music + art festival has been focused on contemporary art trends and emerging artistic disciplines since its inception, so we decided to make “New Normality” the theme of our festival edition in 2021. We invite composers to, in the form of an essay, write a project proposal that incorporates their own view of the term “New Normality” that has forever changed the world we have lived in so far. What is the vision of the future, can we predict it, and how can it be expressed musically? What does it mean for you and how do you experience the “New Normality”? We are curious to know how this has changed your way of thinking and everyday artistic practice.

In the hope that this topic will be inspiring to you, we wish you a lot of success with this application.

For any questions or more information regarding this open call, you can write to us at:


Deadline 31 January 2021



January 31


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