Composition Competition
Beethoven's Legacy

We’re announcing the winners! 


The OM and its conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin are thrilled to announce the names of the Composition Competition winners:


Francis Battah, Marie-Pierre Brasset, Cristina García Islas and Nicholas Ryan.


The OM would also like to give 5 honourable mentions to composers who presented quality submissions:


Maggie Ayotte, Alexander Blank, Patrick Giguère, Dominique Lafortune and Denis Nassar-Baptista. 


Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the participants!


The OM would like to thank its Grand Ambassador, Power Corporation of Canada, for supporting the composition contest and encouraging Canadian artists.



Since its foundation in 1981, the Orchestre Métropolitain has championed Canadian artists through its programming, whether it be its instrumentalists, composers, singers or conductors. With this in mind, the OM hopes to combine its commitment to emerging Canadian talent and to the creation process by launching its first-ever composition competition.

As part of the numerous special activities surrounding its 40th season, the Orchestre Métropolitain is inviting Canadian composers to submit a proposal of an original work for orchestra of a finished duration of five (5) to six (6) minutes. Four (4) works will be selected and subsequently performed by the Orchestre Métropolitain under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Each selected work will be included in one of four concerts of the Beethoven Marathon, which closes the OM’s 20-21 season with a performance of each of Beethoven’s nine symphonies. 


Each proposal of a work should embody what Beethoven has represented to the world throughout the centuries. Keeping in mind the musical legacy of a tireless composer, deeply anchored in the social and political realities of his era, the submitted works can represent, for example, Beethoven’s message of hope in the face of destiny, his relationship to nature, his preoccupations which are still relevant today, the world around us, or the individual versus the collective, and can be a reaction, hommage, critique, social or cultural observation, among others.


The OM also encourages composers to communicate the Beethoven symphony to which they would like their piece to be paired – the selected works can be played before or after any specified symphony.  

Conditions of admissibility

Open to all, this competition hopes to reflect the cultural richness of Canada.

Certain conditions apply: 


Evaluation: Artistic Criteria




Evaluation: Technical Criteria

The candidate must submit a sample of a work (digital score) of a duration of one minute:



The notation must respect the following criteria: 


Applications and Prizes


  • Participants must apply before August 31, 2020. Incomplete applications are automatically disqualified. The application fee is $75 and must be paid online by credit card via the application form. sponsorship programme is in place for candidates for whom the application fee makes it impossible for them to participate. This fee is not reimbursable.



  • August 31, 2020: Application deadline
  • October 15, 2020: Winners revealed and official commissions made for the 4 selected works.
  • March 15, 2021: Deadline for submission of completed scores and parts
  • June 1-13, 2021: Rehearsals (detailed schedule to be confirmed)



  • Friday, June 11, 2021, 7:30 p.m.: Heroic Beethoven
    (Symphony No. 2 & No. 3)
  • Saturday June 12, 2021, 3 p.m.: Pastoral Beethoven
    (Symphony No. 6 & No. 7)
  • Saturday, June 12, 7:30 p.m.: Fateful Beethoven
    (Symphony No. 8, No. 4 & No. 5)
  • Sunday, June 13, 2021 3 p.m.: Choral Beethoven
    (Symphony No. 1 & No. 9)


The four (4) selected works will be performed in concert by the Orchestre Métropolitain and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Maison symphonique de Montréal in June 2021, as part of its Beethoven Marathon. 


Six prizes will be awarded: 

  • Four prizes by the jury of $5,000 each, awarded to the four (4) winning composers;
  • The Musicians’ Choice Award, attributed to one of the four (4) winning composers, accompanied by an additional $5,000;
  • The Public’s Choice Award, revealed in the three weeks following the concerts, which will determine which of the four works will be performed again at the OM’s summer concert at the foot of Mount Royal in the summer of 2021.


Other details:

  • The concert will be recorded for archival purposes and will be shared with the winners. 
  • The winning works will be submitted to and printed by the Canadian Music Centre in Quebec, and will be listed as an orchestral work in the Canada-wide catalogue of the Canadian Music Centre.
  • Transport and housing will be provided for winners living outside of Montreal and will be covered by the Orchestre Métropolitain between June 3 and 14, 2021. 
  • The jury reserves the right to not award all the prizes.

Registration closed.

Thanks for your participation!



Questions and Answers

Why use Beethoven’s music as inspiration?

The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, which would have been celebrated around the world. Unfortunately, many of the scheduled concerts have had to be cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. Beethoven’s unique approach to overcoming adversity—translating human qualities like doubt, solitude and introspection into music—are all good reasons to examine our relationship to his musical legacy.

Ludwig van Beethoven was always sensitive to the social realities of his time. The OM encourages participating composers to echo Beethoven’s work in their own personal compositions and will honour each unique perspective the participant chooses to impart, whether it be a critical reflection, positive or negative reaction, or homage to Beethoven.

Why registration fees?

A $75 registration fee is required to participate in the Competition to cover its organizational costs. In light of the precarious nature of some composers’ financial situations, the OM has decided to offer a financial relief component for the registration fee. Participants are eligible for financial aid to reduce or waive their registration fee depending on the circumstances. This option will appear on the registration form.

Why participants must be 40 or younger to apply?

The 2020-2021 season marks the OM’s 40th anniversary. In an effort to discover new talent and highlight this symbolic number, the OM wishes to limit participants to composers aged 40 or younger. The age limit also offers emerging composers an opportunity to propel their art onto a big stage and into a professional context with musicians and a conductor committed to the next generation of music.


Krisjana Thorsteinson
Artistic Coordinator
514-598-0870, ext.40