Spheres of a Genius 2020 – Honoring Leonard Bernstein

Publish Date: Feb 14, 2021

Deadline: Mar 20, 2021

A jazz composition competition by JAM MUSIC LAB University (JMLU) in cooperation with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO). The prize-winning work will be premiered on October 8th, 2021 in the Grand Hall of the Konzerthaus Vienna under the direction of chief conductor Marin Alsop. The concert will be recorded by ORF and broadcasted on the Ö1 program.

RSO and JMLU are continuing their first collaboration from 2017/18. The composition competition "Spheres of a Genius" was based on the 100th birthday of the jazz composer and pianist Thelonious Monk.

This time "Spheres of a Genius" pays tribute to Leonard Bernstein.Idea and outline of the competition

As an artist, Bernstein built bridges in Vienna, and in great cities everywhere. His intelligence, charm, wit, and unimpeachable musical instincts brought people together – musicians and music lovers alike. He mediated between different musical worlds - borrowing freely from contemporary styles like jazz, blues and popular music - then shaped a “classical” sound that became his signature.

Because of his Jewish background, Bernstein held ambivalent views towards Vienna. He forged positive experiences with artists and orchestras, ever mindful of the city’s history with National Socialism.

The task of the composition competition relates to the role of Leonard Bernstein as a composer. The winning piece shall succeed in transferring the impulses given by Bernstein towards composed music beyond stylistic barriers into a demanding musical language of the 21st century and shall especially consider the ways in which Bernstein discussed jazz in the concert hall and included jazz elements in his own works. 


1st prize: The winning composition will be premiered by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in the Grand Hall of the Konzerthaus Vienna on October 8th, 2021 and broadcasted as part of the Ö1 radio program. The prize money is 5,000 EUR.

2 nd prize: 3,000 EUR

3 rd prize: 2,000 EUR

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:


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