Young Composers Competition


Sponsored by Arden and Harry Fisher

Arden & Harry Fisher with WinnersSince 2004, the Young Composers Competition recognizes and encourages the efforts of those between the ages of 12 and 21 who are involved in the creative process of composing music.  This program, unique to the St. Louis region, is open to nationwide participation and has recognized young composers from St. Louis to both sides of the continent.

Awardees have their works performed by professional musicians in a public concert that is professionally recorded. Each awardee receives a CD of the performance and a written critique and personal conference with a guest composer of note. Guest composers have included Shulamit Ran, Chen Yi, Dino Constantinides, Claude Baker, John Cheetham, James Mobberly, Jared Spears, Steven Dankner, and Zack Browning. 

AGES: Level I: students ages 12-16; Level II: students ages 17-21
FEES: $20 application fee payable to Community Music School of Webster University
ENTRY DEADLINE:  Submissions are no longer being accepted for the 2013-14 competition.  Guidelines and entry forms for the 2014-15 competition will be available in April 2014.    

Congratulations to the 2013-14 Winners

Level I
First Place: Joseph Jordan from New York, NY for Thoughts of a Broken Machine
Second Place (tie): Molly Monahan from Holland, MI for Meteorite Trio 
Second Place (tie):  Paul Novak from Reno, NV for Sketches of the Sea

Level II
First Place: Cooper Minnis from St. Louis, MO for Giggles
Second Place: Gus Knobbe from St. Louis, MO for Migration

2013-2014 Young Composer Competition Dates 

Friday, March 28 at 7 p.m. - Webster University Department of Music Composition Faculty Recital 
WORKSHOPS: Saturday, March 29, 2014
10 a.m. Workshop with Beth Denisch on Life as a Composer and Arranging Your Own Music
1 p.m. Workshop with Mike Silverman on Online Promotion 
CONCERT AND RECEPTION: Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 3 p.m.
CONFERENCE WITH GUEST COMPOSER: Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 10 a.m. (private event for winners and guest composer only)

 2013-2014 Guest Composer, Beth Denisch

2013 YCC Guest Composer Beth DenischBeth Denisch's music has been performed in Moscow, Russia and Bangkok, Thailand, at Jordan Hall in Boston, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, across the U.S.A., and in Canada, China, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Japan, Scotland, Mexico, and Russia. It has received radio play and tracks are available online; CDs from Albany, Juxtab, and Interval record labels. Scores are published and/or distributed by Juxtab Music, ClearNote Publications, and TrevCo Music.

Denisch frequently draws inspiration from artists as well as authors such as Henry James in Sorrow and Tenderness, commissioned by the Handel and Haydn Society; and Jeanette Winterson, for Jordan and the Dog Woman, commissioned by the Equinox Chamber Players. Many ensembles and organizations have awarded Denisch including the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in Moscow for Fire Mountain Intermezzo; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Philadelphia Classical Symphony for The Singing Tree, inspired by the Maxfield Parrish painting; and the Composers Guild for Motherwell Lorca's Bagpipe Lament (piano solo version). The PatsyLu Fund of Open Meadows Foundation, American Music Center, Our Bodies Ourselves, and Berklee and Simmons Colleges supported Denisch's song cycle on women's life cycle events, One Blazing Glance.

Denisch is Professor at Berklee College of Music and active in the Feminist Theory and Music organization. She was the founding director of the American Composers Forum New England, 1996-2005, and Co-Chair of the Gender Research in Music and Education Inc., 2009-2011 (B.M. North Texas State University; M.M and D.M.A. Boston University).

• “…fierce rhythmic patterns,” Bernard Holland, New York Times
• “... brimmed with personality and drive ...” Anthony Tommasini, The Boston Globe
• “... wonderfully evocative ... simply splendid,” David Cleary, New Music Connoisseur

Past Young Composer Competition Winners:

2004 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Benjamin Hart
Second Place: Andy Oster
Level 2
First Place: Daniel Godsil
Second Place: Michael Dunsmoor

2005 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Yan Zhu
Second Place: Jack Popper
Honorable Mention: Charlie Capps
Level 2
First Place: Louis Goldford
Second Place: Benjamin Hart
Honorable Mention: Daniel Winfield

2006 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Jack Hughes
Second Place: Yan Zhu
Honorable Mention: Gabriel Maichel
Level 2
First Place: Elizabeth Lim
Second Place: Timothy Eshing
Honorable Mention: Adam Schumaker

2007 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Yan Zhu
Second Place: Gabriel Maichel
Honorable Mention: Cole Perkinson
Jack Hughes
Level 2
First Place: Daniel Winfield
Second Place: Benjamin Hart
Honorable Mention: William Bryant
Matthew Mendez

2008 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Cole Perkinson
Second Place: Riley Crabtree
Honorable Mention: Ian Evans Guthrie
Level 2
First Place: Kristen Walker
Second Place: William Bryant
Honorable Mention: Marta Sofia Botelho Vieira

2009 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Jack Hughes
Second Place: Riley Crabtree
Honorable Mention: Sam Reising
Level 2
First Place: Anthony Hernandez
Second Place: Lauren Wells
Honorable Mention: Cole Perkinson

2010 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Alexis Lerner
Second Place: Andrew Stock
Honorable Mention: Jared W. Hedges
Sidarth Jayadev
Level 2
Co-First Place: Daniel McCallum
Mahlon Berv
Honorable Mention: Alexander Blank
Riley Crabtree

2011 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Ari Korotkin
Second Place: Eleanor Bragg
Honorable Mention: Michael Parsons
Felix Jarrar
Level 2
First Place: Thomas Feng
Second Place: Wesley Devore
Honorable Mention: Riley Crabtree

2012 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Michael Parsons
Second Place: Stuart Ross Carlson
Level 2:
First Place: Jack Hughes
Second Place: Wesley Devore


 Questions? Call (314) 968-5939 or email Katie Myler at