Lyra Society announces 4th annual Costello Competition for Composition


The Lyra Society has announced the 4th annual Costello Competition for Composition, with first stage entries due Nov. 17, 2016. The two-stage competition is open to U.S. citizens currently studying at a university. After a review of first stage works, three finalists will be invited to write an 8–10 minute work for harp due March 15, 2017. Co-director Elizabeth White Clark will review submissions before a final judging panel awards the $1,000 cash prize. The winner will also receive a 2017 world premiere of the piece at the Curtis Institute of Music, and publication by Fatrock Ink.

“Our goal in this competition is to not only encourage young composers to write for the harp, but to write well for the instrument,” says White Clark. “Too often, music is written for our instrument that is not idiomatic or in some cases is impossible to play. Thus, one of the focuses of this competition is that each composer is encouraged to work hand in hand with a harpist of their choice.” White Clark will also be a resource for composers.

Judges for the final entries include Lyra Society Director Elizabeth Hainen, along with composers David Ludwig and Michael Djupstrom. All three are faculty members at the Curtis Institute of Music, where the late Marilyn Costello headed the harp department from 1962 until shortly before her death in 1998.

Read more about the Costello Competition and the commissioning history of the Lyra Society at


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