Alex Canovas / Artistic Director

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Since the spring of 2001, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus has provided a close-knit fellowship for talented singers in their 20s and 30s, assembling some of the finest choral musicians from the many young people seeking a close-knit artistic community in this dynamic city. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Alex Canovas, YNYC’s 80+ mixed voice choir and 50+ Women’s Ensemble (WYNYC) perform works that span multiple musical eras and genres, and are especially committed to the incubation and creation of new works by young composers. YNYC has commissioned more than 30 new works through the Competition for Young Composers, awarding a total of $20,000 to exciting young artists from all over the world.


We are excited to continue this tradition of supporting new choral work and talent in our 16th year of organizing the Competition. We invite interested artists under the age of 35 to apply with a sample of work written for choir alone or for choir and an accompanying instrument. Previous entrants not chosen as finalists are encouraged to re­apply. Applicants should submit their application by October 4, 2019.​

Three competition finalists will be notified by November 8th, 2019. ​YNYC’s Mixed Ensemble will commission a new work from each finalist and premiere the pieces at our June 2020 concert, at which a Competition winner is announced. Concerts are built around a theme, which also serves as a prompt for the composed works. Commissioned pieces should be for a cappella mixed choir. Composers are responsible for securing rights to textual material. The first place winner will receive the $1,000 Nathan Davis Prize in Composition. The two finalists will each receive $500.

Program Timeline

Friday, October 4, 2019 Postmark date for completed applications.
Friday, November 8, 2019 Finalist announcement.
Friday, January 17, 2020 Draft due of finalists’ commissioned works. (Please note that finalists who have not submitted a draft of their work by this date will forfeit their finalist status in the YNYC Competition for Young Composers. Their piece will not be performed and they will not receive award money or compensation for travel expenses, etc.)
Friday, February 21st, 2020 Final draft due of finalists’ commissioned works.
June 2020 Premiere of finalists’ commissioned works and announcement of awards for the 16th Annual Young New Yorkers’ Chorus Competition for Young Composers.

Judging Panel

Judged by the Artistic Director and members of the leadership team/ensemble.

Eligibility and Guidelines

Applicants must be under the age of 35 years old at the time of the premiere concert in June 2020. If chosen as a finalists, applicant must be willing to travel to New York City for concert week rehearsals and June concert. YNYC anticipates awarding small travel grants up to $250 to finalists if needed, and can also can arrange homestays with choir members.

All submissions must be submitted by October 4, 2019 must contain:

  1. Completed Application – Available at www.ynyc.org/composers-compeition/apply-online while applications are being accepted.

  2. One-Page Professional Resume

  3. Score and Recording of an Original Composition – The submitted composition may be scored for mixed choir or women’s choir. It can be a cappella or with piano, organ, harp, or percussion accompaniment. The recording must be between 3 and 10 minutes in length. Excerpted or partial recordings of a larger work are acceptable, but please send only one work.  Midi recordings are acceptable, but a live recording is preferred.

  4. One-Page Description of the Submitted Work – (Approx. 250 words)

  5. $10 Application Fee – This fee can be paid through our secure online payment form; if you would prefer to pay by check or money order, please contact Dan at competition@ynyc.org for mailing information.  Checks and money orders must be in US dollars, made payable to The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.

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