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Guide to the Basel Composition Competition


Following the success of the inaugural Basel Composition Competition (BCC) in February 2017, a second competition is to be held from 20 to 24 February 2019 under the directorship of Jury President Michael Jarrell, a composer from western Switzerland.

Until 31 May 2018, composers of all ages and nationalities will once again have the opportunity to register for the prestigious competition at the website www.baselcompetition.com (registration fee: CHF 50.-); they will then have until 31 August 2018 to submit a new work for chamber or symphony orchestra which has never previously been performed.

The intention of Basel music manager Christoph Müller, who first conceived the BCC in 2015 in collaboration with the Paul Sacher Foundation and who continues to organise it today, was to attract the most exciting composers in the world to Basel and have their works premiered by the city’s orchestras.

In this respect, the competition is very true to the spirit of what was achieved by the late Basel conductor and patron Paul Sacher (1906-1999).


The nominated works will be performed at four public competition concerts by the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the Basel Symphony Orchestra and – joining us for the first time in February 2019 – the Basel Sinfonietta. Prizes from a purse totalling CHF 100,000 will be awarded to the three best compositions at a final concert on 24 February 2019.


Fact file
Deadline31 May 2018
Finals20 - 24 Feb 2019
WhereBasel, Switzerland

Members of the jury will include the composers Michael Jarrell (Jury President), Wolfgang Rihm (founding president), Helmut Lachenmann and Andrea Scartazzini, as well as the Director of the Paul Sacher Foundation, Felix Meyer, and a representative from each of the orchestras.

The orchestras