New Music Contest Winners!

Meet the winners of Harp Column Music’s first New Music Contest! 

Over 200 harpists from around the world sent us their best original compositions and arrangements following our first ever call for new music submissions. Judges Amy Nam, Kirsten Agresta Copely, Kimberly Rowe, and Alison Reese whittled the list down to four top winners and nine honorable mentions. Congratulations to our winners! Want to know more about the winners and hear the winning works? Listen to our special podcast episode at now!

First Prize—$500

…the end of the snow is nirvana

by Sam Wu (pictured top left)

“I love the simplicity and space within this composition. It is meditative and peaceful like the monk it depicts, dreaming of spring.”
—Kirsten Agresta Copely

“This piece is a joy to play. Stark, open harmonies suggestive of the title’s niveous imagery convey a sense of endless space. Elegant arpeggiations provide just enough embellishment to balance with the cleanliness of the piece’s long, simple arc.”
—Amy Nam

Second Prize—$300

Farewell, the Harpmaker of the World

by Alexander Boldachev (pictured second from left)

(Listen to Alexander Boldachev’s performance on the product page.)

“This is a hauntingly beautiful piece that uses the full range of the harp, as well as the harpist’s voice to evoke a palpable sense of farewell.”
—Alison Reese

“The use of human voice to honor the deceased was an interesting addition to the reflective nature of this piece.”
—Kirsten Agresta Copely

Third Prize (Tie)—$100

Next Stop!

by Uno Alexander Vesje (pictured second from right)

“Fun, coherent, and challenging for the player. I love seeing extended techniques employed artistically and purposefully, in this case—to describe a train!”
—Amy Nam

Uno Alexander Vesje

Next Stop!


Third Prize (Tie)—$100

Volver a Patinar (Roller Skating Again)

by Juan Pablo Contreras (pictured top right)

“This carefree yet emotional solo shifts harmonically around a central note the way a skater might return to a familiar place after a daring jump or spin.”
—Kimberly Rowe

Honorable Mention

Congratulations to our honorable mention winners (in random order)! We’re happy to welcome them to Harp Column Music!

3 thoughts on “New Music Contest Winners!

  1. reharrisson says:

    On one side: Bravo for promoting composing and arranging! Congratulations to the winners!

    If there is a next time, perhaps consider lever harp composers and arrangers. I only see one piece for lever and peddle harp.

  2. Zuzanna Olbryś says:

    Congratulations to the winners!

    Similarly to the author of the comment above, I share the thought that more diversity would be welcome, 4 winners of the main prizes being all male. Just wondering whether the application system ensured that the judges didn’t know the composers’ names? It surely helps with the verdicts.

  3. jane says:

    Wonderful pieces, and I appreciate the chance to hear them via sound samples. Next time, could all the winners be recorded?
    And I second the notion to include compositions for lever harp! I love the winning piece but won’t be able to play it. Perhaps the competition could be two divisions next year.
    Thanks to the sponsors and the composers!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.