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International Music Composition Competition (ICC)

The Chinese Fine Arts Society’s International Music Composition Competition, sponsored twice a decade, solicits new music from composers worldwide inspired by Chinese cultural history. The winning compositions are premiered in a high-profile Chicago-area venue, performed by professional musicians. The International Music Composition Competition seeks to inspire creativity and innovation in the global music community. Music written by participating composers is incorporated into the required repertoire of the Chinese Fine Arts Society’s annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius.

The 2010 Migratory Journeys International Music Composition Competition ended in 2012 with the Migratory Journeys Concert Series. The next competition will take place in 2015.


Awards are given to composers who create new works with a Chinese cultural theme.

Professional Division Awards:
First place – $3,500; Second Place – $2,000; Third Place – $1,000

Student Division Awards:
First Place – $1,000; Second Place – $500; Third Place – $250

In addition, a modest travel stipend will be provided to winning composers to attend the world premiere concert.

Professional Division Award winners and the First Place winner in the Student Division will be performed at the World Premiere Concert. Judges reserve the right to choose Honorable Mentions in either category.


Composers of any nationality may apply.

Composers must apply in one of the following categories.

  • Students (currently enrolled in a pre-college or degree program)
  • Professionals

Students may be requested to furnish evidence of enrollment.


  • The composition must not have been performed professionally prior to the competition.
  • The composition must be unpublished.

Judging Criteria

  • Artistic merit of the project
  • The appropriateness of the composition to the Migratory Journeys theme

Judging Procedure

A peer panel chosen by the Chinese Fine Arts Society will decide winners. CFAS reserves the right to implement the rules and regulations and other details of the competition as needed.

Content and Length of Composition

Compositions in any form and style will be considered. Compositions may be written for solo piano, strings, winds, voice, or traditional Chinese instruments, including, but not limited to pipa, erhu, dizi and Chinese zither. Chamber ensembles for up to eight players including percussion will be accepted. Entries may be up to 12 minutes.


The composers will retain the copyrights to their works. CFAS reserves the right to perform, record, publish and market the winning compositions. CFAS will reserve the rights to the Worldwide Premiere of the winning compositions.

  • Who We Are

    The Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS) is a Chicago-based non-profit dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Chinese culture, enhancing cultural exchange, and pursuing excellence in Chinese music, dance, and visual arts. Since its founding in 1984, CFAS has been a leading champion of Chinese culture, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the beauty and majesty of both traditional and contemporary Chinese art.
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