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Composition Opportunity

2021 Earplay Donald Aird Composers Competition

  • Deadline date: 31 Mar 2021 [Delivery Deadline]
  • Location: San Francisco, CA, United States
  • Total prizes: USD 1,000 and performance
  • Entry fee: USD 26


Further Details

Earplay sponsors the annual Earplay Donald Aird Composers Competition, open to composers of any nationality and any age. Earplay performs the prizewinning piece and presents a cash prize of USD 1,000 to the winning composer. The competition honors the late composer/conductor/Earplay board member Donald Aird, an ardent supporter of the creation and performance of new music. A list of past competition winners, finalists, and honorable mentions is here.

You can submit an Aird competition application electronically or by mail. Please send mail if you have questions or comments.


  • Applicants may be of any nationality.
  • Applicants may be of any age.


Works are limited to 1 to 6 players (at most 1 of each, e.g., not 2 violins) from Earplay's ensemble:

  • flute/piccolo/alto flute
  • clarinet/bass clarinet
  • piano
  • violin
  • viola
  • cello

Works may include electronics.

Works may be of any duration (8-15 minutes preferred).

Works may have been previously performed.

Each composer may submit any number of pieces.


  • Cash prize: USD 1,000.
  • Performance by Earplay during our next season.
  • Earplay will announce the winner in fall 2021.
  • All entries will be considered for future performance.


Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by March 31, 2021.


Earplay strongly encourages you to use online application, but if you prefer you can print an application form, fill it out, and mail it instead. You can use online application even if you intend to mail some parts of your application (composer bio, score, program note, recording, or payment). Sorry, mailed application materials cannot be returned.


  • Completed online application (preferred) or application form;
  • Brief composer biography;
  • Score (all composer identification removed);
  • Brief program note (not required but recommended);
  • Audio recording (not required but strongly recommended; send mail if you want to submit video);
  • Application fee USD $26 per score (cash, check payable to Earplay, or PayPal payment).

Website: http://www.earplay.org/www/competition.php


Contact: 2021 Earplay Donald Aird Composers Competition

Mailing Address: 560 29th Street San Francisco, CA 94131-2239 USA

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