2016 Sayat Nova International Composition Competition



In 2006, AGBU France launched the Sayat Nova International Composition Competition, a biennial contest open to composers from all backgrounds. The competition is designed to introduce Armenian traditions to a wider audience. Since the start of the competition in 2006, submissions have arrived from over 30 countries, including Ghana, Mexico, Russia and Korea in addition to Armenia and the United States.


In years past, contestants have submitted compositions for an ensemble of Armenian and Western instruments, integrating the work of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova and Daniel Varoujan. This year, composers will be utilizing the work of 10th century poet Grigor Narekatsi, a canonized saint who in 2015 was declared by the Vatican as a Doctor of the Church.


In addition to cash prizes, the top three winners will get their winning works published by Composers Union of Armenia’s Armusic Publishing House. The first place winner of the Sayat Nova International Composition Competition will receive two special awards: the Carnegie Hall Award and the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra (ANPO) Award. The Carnegie Hall Award gives the winning composer the honor of having his or her piece premiere at the AGBU Performing Artists in Concert at the Weill Recital Hall in December 2017. As the recipient of the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra’s (ANPO) Award, the first place winner will also be commissioned to write a 10-minute piece that will premiere by the ANPO during the 2017/18 season.