Composition Competition
Beethoven's Legacy

Application deadline: August 1, 2020


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, counter-reaction, 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 1, 2020. Incomplete applications are automatically disqualified. The application fee is $75 and must be paid online by credit card via the application form. This fee is not reimbursable.



  • August 1, 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 their Canada-wide catalogue.
  • 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.

Apply now in 2 steps



The online application form contains: 

  • A text explaining the candidate’s general artistic motivation (200-500 words); 
  • A text explaining how the proposed work will celebrate Beethoven’s symphonic legacy (300-600 words); 
  • A text explaining how the proposed sample will assimilate into the final work (100-250 words); 
  • An attestation of Canadian residency or citizenship; 
  • A Curriculum Vitae; 
  • A biography and photo (used exclusively for the concert programme, if selected); 
  • An attestation that the work has never been previously published or publicly performed; 
  • The payment of the Application Fee.

(WeTransfer, Dropbox, etc.) by email to the following address: 


The email must include: 

  • The candidate’s name in the subject of the email; 
  • The link (WeTransfer, Dropbox, etc.) to the supplementary documents; 
  • The score of the one-minute sample of the proposed work, accompanied by the optional audio file;
  • Two scores or excerpts of scores of previously composed works (ideally symphonic), accompanied by optional audio files of a maximum duration of 5 minutes. 

Application Form

Participants must submit their application before August 1, 2020.

Any incomplete application will be automatically disqualified. 

The score will become property of the Orchestre Métropolitain. The winners will not receive additional compensation for any future performance or recording of the work. 

Changes to the score will not be completed without the composer’s authorization. 





To submit your supplementary documents, and for any questions:

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