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Concerto Competition 2024

Bristol University Symphonia holds a concerto competition every year, open to its members. Winners will have the opportunity to perform a concerto with the orchestra, usually for the Spring Concert.​

The annual Symphonia Concerto Competition offers the opportunity for a student to perform a solo work with orchestra (not necessarily a concerto by name). It is open to all students, but it is a very demanding and competitive venture. The winner will be expected to attend rehearsals with the orchestra as needed (Thursdays 7-9pm in the SU), as well as meet with the conductor and coordinate ahead of rehearsals.

Previously we have performed works including: Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto, Chaminade’s Flute Concertino, Vaughan-Williams’ Tuba Concerto, & Kol Nidrei by Bruch.


Instrumentation: It is expected the orchestral parts will cater for most (if not all) sections of our ensemble. Typically, concerti written from the romantic period onwards work best, but do get in touch if you are unsure whether your piece would be suitable (e.g. a Mozart Violin concerto would not be suitable, due to the limited wind, brass and percussion parts).

Auditions: Will be held in the first week of December. We will expect you to be able to play through the entire concerto (unaccompanied), but you do not need to have learnt it from memory. 


Signup: Please fill in this form well in advance:

Deadline for the form is Saturday 25th November. If you submit after this date, there is no guarantee we will consider your application.

FINAL Composition Comp 2022 Insta Graphic.png

Composition Competition 2024

Brief:  Write a concert overture of approx. 5-10 minutes duration. It can be in
any style you wish, but it must be an appropriate standard for a student
orchestra (think Grade 7). The piece will open our spring concert at the Victoria Rooms, followed by the winner of our concerto competition, and a large Bruckner Symphony in the second half, so it must be impressive.
Logistics: We can only accept typeset pieces written in Sibelius, as scores and
parts will inevitably need heavily engraving before rehearsing. If you are
confident in your engraving with a different notation program (like
MuseScore), then please submit parts along with your score so we can proof-
read them.
Instrumentation: You must cater for the following forces for your submission
to be considered:

  •  3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo)

  •  3 oboes (3rd doubling cor anglais)

  •  3 clarinets (3rd doubling bass clarinet in Bb treble clef). Can use Bb or A

  •  2 bassoons

  •  From 6 up to 8 Horns in F

  •  From 3 up to 5 trumpets in Bb

  •  3 Tenor Trombones in C bass clef (3rd has an F trigger)

  •  Tuba

  •  Timpani (4 pedal drums)

  •  1 auxiliary percussionist (can only be included in the last rehearsal)

  •  Strings ( – Don’t write violas or basses divisi. Recommended to keep basses in octaves with cellos or doubled elsewhere

Submission: PDF of the Score, MP3 playback or recording and the Sibelius file
(backtracked to 2022), where possible, sent to:
Deadline: 14th January 2024


All applicants will be offered a review of their work with our conductor
and, where possible, a short rehearsal of their piece. Any questions
either speak to Caleb Kernaghan (Symphony Conductor), or email us.

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