Commissioning Competition “Project Chanson”

French Chanson for Piano Quartet

application deadline extended till 1st of January 2018!


The Chamber Music Fest Rheinhessen and the Flex Ensemble are very pleased to announce their second competition to commission a French Chanson “arrangement” for piano quartet to be premiered in May 2018 at the opening concert of CMFR. We welcome proposals for creative arrangements that present a French Chanson in a fresh, modern perspective, as part of our Project Chanson:

Project Chanson

French Chanson has a rich history that dates back to the late Medieval times and Renaissance. Many of us are familiar with the modern chansons sung by Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel and Édith Piaf. Contemporary artists like Stromae are also recognized for having their own take on the traditional chanson. But how do contemporary composers and arrangers see this music? “Project Chanson” was initiated in 2017 with the commissioning of five composers and arrangers of different ages and backgrounds to look at French Chanson in a new way and (re)compose a chanson of their choice for piano quartet without voice.

Konstantinos Raptis, Gordon Williamson, Sebastiaan Koolhoven, Johannes Schöllhorn and Gérard Pesson have all written new “arrangements” that will be premiered 21. November 2017 at the NDR concert hall Hannover. We will perform Project Chanson again in Mai 2018 at the fifth edition of the Chamber Music Fest Rheinhessen and we want to add and premiere yours!

The award is a €1000 commissioning fee plus travel expenses of up to €300 to attend the premiere. Accommodation will be provided.


  • A panel of judges consisting of the four members of Flex Ensemble (Kana Sugimura, Anna Szulc-Kapala, Martha Bijlsma and Endri Nini), Márton Illés (Composer) and Gordon Williamson (Professor of Composition, Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media) will select the winner, who will be notified by January 15th, 2018.
  • The winner will compose a chanson of their choice for Flex Ensemble (piano quartet), to be completed by April 1st, 2018. The new work should not exceed 5 minutes in duration.
  • The winner is required to come to the premiere, work with the ensemble and receive the award in person.
  • All composers from the EU are eligible. (As well as non EU citizens that are currently living in the EU).
  • There is an application fee of €10.
  • Interested composers are asked to submit one recent (non conducted, preferably for strings and piano) from the last 5 years and a proposal (max. half a page in German or English) describing their idea for this particular project.



Composers should submit materials electronically, as explained below, by January 1st 2018 to

  1. Submit a proposal (max. half a page in German or English) describing your idea for “Project Chanson”. The description doesn´t need to be detailed. You could describe your connection to French Chanson and your idea how you would possibly transform it for piano quartet without voice.
  2. Submit a chamber music work (score and/or recording) from the last 5 years for piano and strings, representing the composer’s current style or approach.
  3. Please give the score/recording following titles: Composer´s last name_title of the piece.
  4. Sending a recording of the submitted score is optional. The recordings should be in mp3 format. MIDI recordings will be accepted, provided that they have been converted to mp3 format.
  5. Email submissions to, with links to the PDF and mp3 files in the body of the email message. There are a number of online services that allow you to upload PDF and mp3 files and then share links to those files, such as google drive, dropbox,, soundcloud, etc.
  6. Please do not send the scores and recordings as attachments.
  7. Please make sure to allow anyone with the link to access the files and that the links do not expire.


The email should contain the following information:

A current composer’s biography and works list or CV.

Full name:
Street address:
Zip code or Post code:
Email address:
Phone number (with International Code):
Date of birth:

Composition submitted:
Year of composition:

The application fee of €10 should be transferred to the following bank account by January 1st 2018.
Sparkasse Hannover
IBAN: DE06 2505 01800 910295620

  • Please add “ application fee CMFR Commission Competition 2018” and your name in the description.
  • For any questions about the competition please send an email to:


Other rules and guidelines

  • Only one portfolio will be allowed per composer.
  • Incomplete applications or applications that fail to meet the deadline will be neither considered nor returned.
  • Application materials will not be returned.
  • The Flex Ensemble will have a non-exclusive, worldwide license to perform the commissioned work.
  • The Flex Ensemble will retain the right to record the first performance of the commissioned work.
  • The Jury reserves the right to not choose a winner in case of insufficient applications.