The Elbphilharmonie (c) pexels/niklas jeromin
The Elbphilharmonie (c) pexels/Niklas Jeromin

The Claussen Simon Foundation is organising a competition for young composers in cooperation with the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra for the second time. Deadline to apply is March 15th, 2023.

The composition prize is awarded in the form of a commissioned work for orchestra. The piece will be premiered in the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall as part of the “Elbphilharmonie Visions” festival in February 2025, with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra performing under Alan Gilbert.

The objective of the composition prize is to allow a young composer to have a work for full orchestra performed in a high-profile setting, while also providing creative and organisational support over the course of the composition process. Through the collaboration between the three renowned institutions, the successful composer will secure extensive funding, gain valuable experience and receive active support as they seek to establish themselves as a professional composer. A core element of the composition process is direct exchange with key figures from the orchestra, concert hall and foundation.

The composition award comes with a financial prize of €15,000.


  • Upper age limit: 35 (born in 1987)
  • By 15 March 2023, applicants should submit a concept sketch of an orchestral score in musical notation (min. 3 minutes) as well as a description in words of the work they intend to create as part of the composition prize.
  • In order to ensure that personal information does not influence the selection of the finalists, applications will be anonymised before they are passed on to the jury.
  • In the initial preselection round, candidates will be chosen to take part in a reading session with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Alan Gilbert in autumn 2023. Upon request, the candidate must also be able to provide all the individual voices of the sketch submitted in the application before the reading session.
  • Selected candidates must be present at the reading session in autumn 2023.
  • The jury will select the award winner following the reading session.
  • The award winner will receive a commission for a 15-minute orchestral work. This commissioned piece is to be composed as a purely orchestral work without soloists, without singing voices and without electronics.
  • The submission deadline for the score and parts of the commissioned work is autumn 2024.
  • The work will be premiered in the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall in February 2025 as part of the »Elbphilharmonie Visions« festival.
  • The premiere rights for the work that is to be composed shall be held by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, while all other rights remain with the composer.


  • The prize money is €15,000.
  • During the composition process, the prize winner will have the opportunity to attend orchestra rehearsals and to discuss the progress of the composition periodically with the chief conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Alan Gilbert. Members of the orchestra, the Elbphilharmonie and the foundation will be available to answer questions and to provide advice.
  • Travel and accommodation costs as well as other expenses (e.g. for producing the sheet music and the parts) incurred as part of the composition process can, after prior agreement, be reimbursed.
  • The prize winner agrees to take part in interviews within the framework of panel discussions and press work.


  • Concept sketch of an orchestral score (min. 3 minutes) as well as a description in words of the work that will be created within the framework of the composition prize. The concept sketch must not include any indication of the composer’s name or background.
  • A document/file outlining the composer’s artistic résumé, including name, date of birth, address, contact details and nationality.

If you have any questions, please contact: Vincent

Please submit your application by email to the following address by 15 March 2023:
Vincent Dahm,