Tagore Composition Competition

As part of its focus on Indian-Australian cultural intersections, ENCOUNTERS: INDIA announces a competition for musical settings of the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). This competition observes the centenary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1913) to Tagore, the first non-European to receive this award.

The competition relates to the composition of an art-song for high voice and piano, between 5-7 minutes in duration. The text will be drawn from the prose or poetry of Tagore. Composers must use the most recent translations by William Radice.

The winning piece will be selected by an adjudication panel on merit of craft, creativity, and engagement with text. Composers may choose to connect with elements of Indian music in their writing. The intention is that the prize-winning work/s might enter the recital repertory of singers throughout the world.

This competition is generously sponsored by Canberra-based literary figure Barbara Blackman AO.

Final judging will be conducted in the week of ENCOUNTERS: INDIA (9-19 May 2013) in Brisbane.

The panel is likely to include several visiting participants in the festival, including soprano Patricia Rozario (London), soprano Greta Bradman (Melbourne), dhrupad singer Amelia Cuni (Berlin), librettist/translator William Radice (London) and Conservatorium faculty: Stephen Cronin (Head of Composition), and Gregory Massingham and Margaret Schindler (Vocal and Opera Department).

The winning work/s will be performed by Greta Bradman as part of her recital of Tagore settings during ENCOUNTERS: INDIA, and recorded for future broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Copies of these scores will be lodged in the collections of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University (Brisbane), the Australian Music Centre (Sydney) and the National Library of Australia (Canberra). The composers will retain copyright in their works.

Prize-money of AUD$2,000 will be distributed at the discretion of the judging panel.

Secondary school students in Queensland will be eligible for a Special Prize of $100.

Details and requirements

  • The TAGORE Composition Competition is open to composers from Australia and India under the age of 30.
  • Entrants will be required to secure copyright permissions for their settings.
  • All entries must be submitted with a signed application form (see attached).
  • The submitted work is to be an original composition that has not been previously premiered, commercially recorded, or awarded a prize.
  • Scores must be typeset on computer and submitted on A4 paper in 3 separately bound copies.
  • Entrants must submit their entries in the form of a sealed envelope containing the following:
  • the application form
  • 3 bound scores
  • a program note stating the candidate’s compositional intent (maximum 300 words)
  • a biography (maximum 250 words) and a recent photograph (400 dpi)

Please do NOT submit:

  • original manuscripts
  • loose sheets secured with a staple, paperclip or bulldog clip
  • hand-written scores that are not sufficiently legible


  • Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre reserves the right not to award the prize in the case that the panel cannot decide on a worthy composition.
  • Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre reserves the right to host or assign a host for its first broadcast.
  • Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre reserves the right to mount the first performance(s) of the prize-winning work(s) for a period of six months following the announcement of the prize-winning work(s).

Candidates are invited to submit their work no later than 5pm, Friday 1 March 2013 (postmarked) to:

Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre
The Encounters Tagore Composition Competition
PO Box 3428, South Brisbane
Queensland 4101, Australia

Submissions may be delivered in person:

Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre (QCGU, Room 2.16)

Finalist(s) will be notified of the results on Monday 15 April 2013.

Further information
Dr Nicholas NG | Assistant Curator, ENCOUNTERS: INDIA
Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre
PO Box 3428, South Brisbane QLD 4101
E n.ng@griffith.edu.au | P 3735 6239 | M 0411 318 696

Tagore Composition Competition INFORMATION SHEET (PDF file)

Tagore Composition Competition APPLICATION FORM (PDF file)