Academy of composition Philippe Manoury / festival Musica


Musica is a prestigious European music festival created in 1983. Every autumn, in Strasbourg, Musica presents works that revolutionized 20th century music, and confronts them with works of
today by both emerging and established composers. The festival draws a broad audience, always keen to explore contemporary art-forms from a variety of aesthetic and geographical backgrounds.

In order to involve young composers in this exciting musical voyage of discovery, Musica has created a composition academy, part of which will take place during the festival. This academy is the outcome of the shared endeavours of Strasbourg Conservatoire, Strasbourg higher music academy-HEAR and Strasbourg University in the field of the aesthetics of musical composition.

The aim of the academy is to provide selected young composers with the time and opportunity to explore and experiment with musical creation in a concrete way, through all stages of the creative process. A musical project will be outlined, then given shape; two internationally renowned tutors will provide coaching throughout the composition process. The score will be tried out and rehearsed by professional musicians specializing in contemporary forms. All the works devised during the academy will be performed (and recorded live) in the course of two concerts at the end of the festival. All these aspects are essential in the elaboration of a piece, and yet such ideal conditions are seldom all met even for professional musicians.

Philippe Manoury, composer
Alberto Posadas, composer

Quatuor Diotima
Yun-Peng Zhao and Constance Ronzatti, violin
Franck Chevalier, viola
Pierre Morlet, cello
Daniel Ciampolini and Minh-Tâm Nguyen, percussion
Jean-François Heisser and Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, piano
Sarah Maria Sun, soprano

The academy is open to:
Composers born after January 1st, 1981

Instrumentation and works
string quartet
string quartet + soprano **
2 pianos + 2 percussion sets *
2 pianos + 2 percussion sets + soprano \*

The artistic committee will assign course participants to the different ensembles
* percussion set 1: 4 timpani / vibraphone / 3 high toms / bongos / piccolo snare drum / 2 cymbals
percussion set 2: marimba (4 ½ octaves) / glockenspiel / concert bass drum / 3 low toms / 1 snare drum / tam-tam
**soprano range : see right

Works must not feature electronics, amplification, spatialization, or staging. They will not be conducted.
Maximum duration: 10-12 minutes

Course structure:

  1. - Classes will be taught in French and English
  2. - individual sessions — with tutors and musicians
  3. group sessions :
  • performance of the pieces and work on interpretation
  • masterclasses and conferences on the tutors’ own works
  • workshops on instrumental writing for the resident ensembles
  1. meetings and discussions throughout the academy (between course participants, with the festival team…)
  2. free access to Musica festival events

At the end of the course:

  1. all participants’ works will be performed during two concerts as part of the Musica festival programme
  2. a live recording of the concerts will be provided to the participants
  3. the artistic committee will designate a winner among the course participants. The winner will receive a commission from the Musica festival.

How to apply

Financial conditions:
Academy fee: 500 € (includes access to Musica festival events)
Participants must bear the costs for travel, accommodation and meals.
Strasbourg University can provide accommodation in individual flats (around 21 € per night).

Composers must bring their personal computers to edit scores; the academy will provide printers.

Applications to be sent no later than February 22, 2016

By email only, to Adélaïde Rauber: academie@festival-musica.org

Please include in your application:

the completed application form (available for download to your right)
a 1-page résumé including studies and professional experience
a covering letter outlining your motivation
2 letters of recommendation
the outline of 1 or 2 projects including preferred instrumentation (2 pages – see Course content)
a few musical sketches for the project(s) will be most welcome
2 scores, if possible for instrumentation similar to that offered by the academy *
2 recordings, if possible matching the scores. Recordings must me downloadable (please provide attachment or link). Computer simulations will not be accepted.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted.


Musica festival / Composition academy