IBLA Grand Prize
European Competition for Composers


The competition is open to composers from all over the world with no age limit.
Entry Requirements:
  1. To apply for admission, candidate must submit one score (one photocopy) of one original compositions.
  2. Cassette or CD recordings of the composition is optional.
1. Contestants must perform their repertory from memory; exceptions will be made for the duo/ensemble/accompanist sections and contemporary music.

2. Composers have the option to submit recordings and or scores or choose to present a live performance during the IBLA Grand Prize in Italy. Copy of the score and recording will not be returned.

3. The decisions of the International Jury are final.

4. Competitors waive all rights of remuneration for the broadcasting, televising or recording of their performance within the IBLA Grand Prize.

5. The IBLA Foundation Board of Directors reserves the right to terminate any performance at any time and to withhold or revoke any award in any section during the competition as well as throughout the winners concert tour.

6. For any matter in dispute, the decision of the IBLA Foundation Board of Directors shall be final.

7. Participation in the competition assumes the unconditional acceptance of the present rules without reservation.


Only if you wish to present a live performance of your composition you would be expected to travel to Italy.


The newly opened Comiso Airport is the closest airport to Ragusa (20 km) with flights being added weekly. Please check with your travel agent for possible itineraries or the link below for further information:


The Catania Fontanarossa airport is the second closest airport to Ragusa (100 km).

Generally, you are not required to attend throughout the duration of the competition, should you have other professional commitments. Your performance schedule will be set accordingly to your travel wishes.

The Ibla Foundation will provide discounted rates for hotels and restaurants as well as airport/hotel and local transportation services for contestants and their guests. Great beaches and historical sites surround the Ragusa IBLA area, should you wish to take a vacation during your stay. Unesco World Heritage site Ragusa IBLA is an astonishingly beautiful wonder of baroque architecture and is located approximately 15 miles from the Mediterrenean sea and close to the extremely interesting island of Malta, the vulcano Mount Etna, Taormina. Daily trips will be organized to these destination by the competition office. If interested please inform the office upon applying to the competition.


Frequently asked questions and related answers for composers:


Q: As a composer, do I need to attend the competition in Italy?

A: If you wish to present a live performance of your work, yes, you are welcome to do so during the competition in Italy. Otherwise send one of your compositions via email or regular email to the New York office


Q: Is it mandatory to enclose a recording of my composition?

A: No, the music score will suffice if a recording is not available.


Q: Is there any suggestion or requirement regarding medium (i.e. chamber music, voice and piano, orchestral, choral)? I have several recent works that might prove successful and would like to determine which one(s) to submit.

A: Please choose the one work that you feel would strongly represent you at this time. You will always be free to present another work the following year.


Q: I have read that you are searching for new compositions written for solo instrument, is this correct?

A: You are free to present any composition of your choice. We simply encourage also presentations of solo works.


Q: If I submit a score, and it is selected into the competition, does your organization provide performers for the Jury audition?
No, we do not. The Jury will hear the recording and read the score. Composers are free to attend the competition and perform ( or arrange for performers ) their composition live for the Jury.


Q: If I submit a score, and it is selected as a Top Prize Winner, does your organization provide performers for the winners concerts?
No, we do not. We propose the composition to performers for possible live performances. It is up to the performers to decide if they want to learn it and perform it. If the composer is a performer, he or she may perform it live. If a live performance is not possible, a recording of the performance will be played at the winners concert while the composer is in attendance. The audience will be encouraged to interact with the composer in a questions and answers setting.

Q:  In reading your literature, it seems as if the composer is expected to perform the work, or otherwise a recording will be played for the Jury.

A: No, the composer is not expected to perform but He or She is welcome to do so. Yes the recording will be played for the Jury.


Q: Are there duration requirements?

A: No, free duration.


Q: How will performances of the winning work be achieved - particularly in the venues listed?

A: Composers who perform their own works, may be invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, New York University, Berklee School of Music in Boston as well as in the other venues listed. If a recording has been presented, the recording will be played for the audience in venues of choice.


Q: In the case of an unperformed work may an electronic realization be submitted?

A: Yes, it may.


Q: Must the music score be submitted anonymously?

A: No, the office requires full disclores of identity in all materials. We fully trust the ability of the IBLA Judges to express a fair and balanced selection without having to hide the identity of talented composers.


Q: Is a list of previous winners in composition available? I looked at the page of laureates and could not readily identify the winners and works.

A: If you look into the foundation web site you will find the complete list of composers who have been accepted in the competition, their placement and some live performance recordings.


Q: This question may become more general in the future. I ask it now only to look forward: may scores be submitted electronically (i.e. as a PDF file)?

A: Yes, although the traditional music score and cd recording will suffice


Q: is the composing competition for only solo/small ensemble works? my piece is for a full orchestra with a very large variety of instruments and I am wondering if there are any instrumentation restrictions.

A: There are no restrictions


Q: when it is stated that the work must be performed at the festival, does that mean that I would have to bring an entire orchestra to Italy to perform this? ( assuming that I am allowed to enter it) as I don’t think I could perform the entire thing by myself

A: You are free to perform at the festival if you choose to do so. Otherwise you can simply send score and or recording


Q: since I cannot get an entire orchestra to either record and/or come to the festival, I will most likely have to create a recording using virtual instruments. How will my entry with a virtual recording differ from a live performance by someone else in the competition?

A: Yes, virtual instruments recordings are accepted. Same jurors will judge live performances and virtual recordings and scores



Q: are there any restrictions to the physical size of the score submitted? currently mine is very large (size B0 paper) due to its large instrumentation

A: No restrictions. Make one copy of the score and mail it to the competitions office via regular mail. No need for express, registered, overnight expenses. The score will not be returned.


Q: Having read your instructions carefully I understand form the guidelines for composers that I may send you electronically my score in pdf-format, and along with that a mp3-recording via email - plus the application forms etc. attached by you for me. - So no paper mail is needed in the end, if I use email? - I'm planning to send you my piano trio.

A: Yes, all via email is possible, no need for paper mail.


Q: I would like to know if the Composer's name can appear on the Score, or should i send it without it?

A: Yes, the composer’s name shall appear on the score


Q: Can i send both the .pdf & Mp3(Recorded) files via eMail right? And may i that its recorded using "Virtual Instruments", in the eMail, if is performed by them? 

A: Yes, you may



Q: Can you please confirm if submitting one copy of the work, via post will suffice? and also: if there is an option to submit it as a pdf via e-mail (as you have mentioned on the website, but it is not so clear if this could apply to a composer who is not an interpreter himself).

A: The answer is yes to both questions


Q: Also, as a composer, he would be considered an 'individual entrant' when it comes to paying your entry fee?

A: Yes, an individual entrant


Q: and subsequently, if choosing the option of a bank transfer, at what point will the bank details be provided, in order for the payment to be made possible? What would be the order for the payment procedure, as the online form doesn't clearly specify this. 

A: The office will provide the bank information after reviewing the application. If the application is not accepted, there is no need to pay the application fee


Q: In addition, may we politely also ask you to confirm a reimbursement, in the case that the application is not accepted?

A: Yes, The application fee is refunded if one is not accepted into the competition


Q: And last, but certainly not least - are there any Master Classes offered to composers? And if so, could you specify who will be holding them? 

A: Because of the time involved, very few master classes are being offered to contestants and must be reserved and paid for in advance. Master classes are taught by an individual Master / Jury member or by a group of Masters / Jury Members. Decisions in this regard are made during the competition after the Jury has finally reviewed one’s composition. No details can be provided in advance.


Q: According to the FAQ, you are looking for piano pieces. If this is a different competition from IBLA Grand Prize, I am interested in applying for this as well. I would be grateful if you could give me further information.

A: No, it is not a different competition. We simply encourage the presentation of solo works either for piano or any other instrument. In general you are always free to make your own choice. Choose only the composition that best represents your talent and passion.