First Hong Kong International Composition Competition for Chromatic Harmonica 2021

The 1st Hong Kong International Composition Competition for Chromatic Harmonica 2021 is a multi-faceted musical event presented by the Hong Kong Harmonica Association. The Association envisions to enrich local and global harmonica culture with this world-class competition, which is the first large-scale global competition dedicated specifically to music for this instrument. The HK Composers’ Guild, the ISCM Section from Hong Kong, is a supporting partner of this competition.

This competition is designed to build up the repertoire of original compositions for the chromatic harmonica, which is still a relatively young instrument. Winning works may be selected as international set pieces for international harmonica performance competitions as well as recorded and released on a CD album. Shortlisted works in the Competition will also receive widespread coverage. Local musicians and overseas virtuosos will be synergised to offer collaborative insights in the performance of the works. While the Competition inspires the musicianship of professional artists, the general public will also obtain a crucial understanding of the instrument. Fueled with the multicultural exchanges between these parties, the Competition is going to ignite enormous possibilities through these compositions.

Entries submitted must be ORIGINAL compositions written for a 12-hole chromatic harmonica in C. (Arrangements of existing pieces written by other composers will not be accepted and the entries shall not require modification of the harmonica or any instrument.)

There are two categories:

  • Category A: Solo harmonica and piano accompaniment [duration between 6-8 minutes];
  • Category B: Solo harmonica and chamber orchestra: 2 (1=+picc), 2 (1=+cor angl), 2 (1=+bcl), 2; 2 2 3 0; 3 perc (incl. timpani); harp; strings (8 6 6 4 2) [duration between 8-10 minutes].

There is no limitation on the style of the piece. Contestants are encouraged to write in the style of common practice period or contemporary music. The Competition is open to all composers without limitations on age and nationality. There is no limitation on the number of entries/categories per contestant.

The Association encourages all prospective submission entries to submit the registration form. The application is free of charge. The deadline, which was originally 1 July, has been extended to 15 September 2021 at 23:59 UTC+8.

In October 2021, the Association will organise the works and invite local and overseas adjudicators to review the submitted compositions. No less than two overseas judges and five local judges will review all the eligible applications. Results of the Competition will be announced by the end of October 2021. From November 2021 onwards, the Association will invite no less than 8 contestants, including the winners of the Competition and other outstanding contestants in the Competition to contribute their original compositions for a studio recording by professional harmonica musicians. An album will be printed with all the recordings to be released to the public for free with the goal to promote original harmonica music compositions.

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