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17th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf 2021
Under the patronage of Dr Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
MODfestivals e.V. invites chamber choirs from all over the world to apply for the 17th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktobedorf held from 21st - 25th May 2021.
The application information and the application documents can be downloaded here.
Deadline for Applications
11th December 2020 (date of postmark or incoming email)
Choirs will be admitted before 8th January 2021.
The International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf is generously supported by:
The German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture & Media
Bavarian Ministry for Science and the Arts
Regional District Ostallgäu
Goethe-Institut e.V. – Federal Foreign Office
and many others
The International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf is intended to bring together the world’s best choirs in order to provide them with the opportunity to compare with each other and to discuss choral literature from the individual countries, interpretation, styles, voice-training and techniques. The main aim is an international meeting with music as the central theme.
Prof. Jürgen Budday
A committee made up of international choral experts is responsible for the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf.
A: mixed choirs
B: equal voices (women's/girl's choirs, men's choirs)
Number of Singers
A choir must not have less than 16 and not more than 32 singers.
|21st May 2021||arrival of the choirs|
|22nd May 2021||competition 1st round|
|concerts in the region|
|23rd May 2021||competition 2nd round|
|concerts in the region|
|24th May 2021||singing in church services, individual coachings with the jurors, opporunity to make an excursion in the Allgäu region (at one's own expenses)|
|concerts in the region|
|25th May 2021||announcement of the results, prize-giving ceremony|
|26. Mai 2021||departure of the choirs|
Competition Programme / Time Limits
The competition consists of two competition rounds.
Competition 1st round
In the 1st round, the competition programme can only include „a cappella“ works. A maximum of 3 necessary percussion instruments can be permitted by the committee on written request including a copy of the score. In the 1st round of the competition, the total duration of the performance, from the beginning of the first piece until the end of the last piece, – not just the singing time! – must be between 15 and 20 minutes. The performance time will not be interrupted by applause. For both Categories, choirs will be expected to perform one compulsory work.
The Virtual Choral Library „Musica International“ (www.musicanet.org) may help in finding literature.
Within the time limit, each choir in Category A has to perform at least one work in each of the following styles:
1. Renaissance / Early Baroque
2. 19th / 20th century (romanticism / impressionism)
3. 20th / 21st century (composed after 1950)
One epoque will be covered by the compulsory work. The presentation of the works of each style should have a length of minimum 3 to 4 minutes. The choir has complete freedom in its choice of additional works within the maximum performance time of 20 minutes (including the compulsory work). It is allowed to reduce the number of singers up to 50% maximum for renaissance and baroque repertoire (minimum 16 persons) – however the solo singing of an individual voice is not permitted. A maximum of one work written by the choir’s conductor is admitted.
Compulsory work Category A
Carlo Gesualdo die Venosa (1566 - 1613): Itene, i miei sospiri
Required edition will be announced
Compulsory work Category B
Damijan Močnik: Acclamatio
Required edition for women's/girl's choirs: Carus-Verlag CV 7.511
Required edition for men's choirs: Carus-Verlag CV 7.511/60
Competition 2nd round
In the 2nd round of the competition, the choirs in each category may choose freely a programme of 10 minutes performing time. This may also include instrumental accompaniment and dance.
The jury in each category consists of five expert adjudicators. The assessment will be based on the following aspects:
a) technical performance: intonation, rhythm, phrasing, accuracy in respect to the written text, pronounciation
b) artistic performance: timing, agogics, dynamic flexibility, text-interpretation, faithful interpretation of style, choral sound, programme form
The results of both competition rounds will be assessed at a ratio of 2:1 ( 1st round : 2nd round) for the final result. The decisions of the jury are final and may not be legally challenged.
The members of the jury are not allowed to reveal details of their assessments or the content of the discussions. A diploma showing the level of achievement reached will be given to each participating choir.
Prizes / Special Prizes
Each category will be endowed with three prizes. The Committee of the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf reserves the right, in consultation with the jury, to share as well as to change the amounts of the prizes.
1st prize €3.500
2nd prize €2.500
3rd prize €1.500
Several special prizes will be awarded. The special prizes will be announced on the website on a later date.
Coaching by the Jury Members
The choirs will have the opportunity to receive coaching (one hour) with a jury member. This will take place after the competition.
Rules and Conditions
Only choirs which have been officially admitted to the competition can participate. To be admitted, they have to fulfill the following conditions:
- The members of the choir must be amateurs, i.e. the majority does not earn their living by singing.
- Choirs from music academies and conservatories are allowed to participate.
- All participating choirs are obliged to be present in Marktoberdorf during the entire period from 21st - 25th May 2021 and to participate in the concerts, joint activities and final events. With their application, the choirs agree to the rules and conditions of the competition, to recordings and broadcasts in sound and television as well as any other fotos, sound or visual recordings (and any copies thereof) being made in connection with the competition. By accepting the rules and conditions the choir surrenders all rights resulting from such recordings to the organizers.
- Choirs which won a first prize at the 16th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf 2019 are excluded from taking part.
- Conductors and others interested in attending the International Master Class for Choral Conductors following the competition must apply by 30th April 2021.
Admission / Selection
The Committee of the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf is responsible for the admission of choirs to the competition. Applications for admission require the following documents:
- A short CV (continuous text) of the choir and of the conductor as well as 3 digital printable photos (min. 300 dpi) each of the choir and the conductor
- A list of the choir’s repertoire
- A list of important concerts performed at home and abroad
- A list of any previous participations and successes in competitions and festivals
- A CD or audio file (mp3...) with a-cappella recordings of the choir of the last 2 years (live; about 30 mins.; with a list of titles, composers and composers’ dates of the pieces). The recording must contain at least one work in each of the following styles
a. Renaissance / baroque
b. 19th / 20th Century (romanticism / impressionism)
c. 20th / 21st Century (composed after 1950)
- The complete & filled application form has to be completed
- The planned competition programme incl. times
- Proposals for one or more concert programmes of about 25 minutes length (sacred and/or secular and/or folklore, the latter in national costume if possible), with or without instruments.
Accommodation / Meals
All meals for the choirs (max. 32 singers and 1 conductor) as well as accommodation in rooms with several beds or in host-families in Marktoberdorf or its surrounding area are provided free of charge for the duration of the competition (21st - 25th May 2021). The costs for additional singers or other accompaniyng persons have to be borne by the choirs (flat charge).
Participating choirs have to pay a participation fee of € 35 / person. Choirs have to submit the number of participants as well as a list of names of all singers and the conductor by 15th February 2021. Afterwards the choirs will receive an invoice of the amount to be paid within 14 days. Choirs from countries that are listed on the DAC List of ODA Recipients (2018-2020) may pay a reduced fee.
The costs as well as the organization of the journey to and from Marktoberdorf must be borne by the choirs.
Choirs from countries that are listed on the DAC List of ODA Recipients (2018-2020) may apply to the Goethe Institute for a grant to their travel expenses. Application will be done exclusively by the festival office after the admission to the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf, not by the choirs themselves.
As the aim of the event is not only to compete, each choir is expected to perform in extra concerts (e.g. a sacred and a folklore-concert) with a programme of approx. 25 minutes in Marktoberdorf or the surrounding area, together with two other participating choirs. All choirs are also cordially invited to participate in singing at church services on Whit Monday. Possible follow-up concerts after the competition might be organized.
The choirs have the opportunity to make an excursion to see the wonderful churches and castles (e.g. Neuschwanstein) of the region. We gladly assist choirs with organizing this (e.g. transportion, tickets...). The costs for an excursion have to be covered by the choirs themselves.
Subject to alteration.
In case of conflict, the German version of the competition rules will be the relevant version.