Hildegard Competition

The Hildegard Composer Competition is our mentorship initiative highlighting outstanding trans, female, and nonbinary composers in the early stages of their careers, supporting them with a commission, visionary mentorship, and access to a network of leading working collaborators.

“It’s been an amazing experience being welcomed into such a strong community of adventurous music-makers that National Sawdust comprises, and the support they give through the Hildegard competition is extremely important to up-and-coming composers.”
—Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir

“Winning this competition, working with the musicians and staff, and all the additional resources that come along with it almost feels like becoming part of a new family.”
—Niloufar Nourbakhsh

“This community is unique in its support and warmth and I value its dedication to a wide range of genre and sound. As a composer whose career and artistic practice is defined by current social, political, and aesthetic dialogues I have found a much needed well of knowledge and practice of collective learning here.”
—inti figgis-vizeuta

In addition to a $7,000 cash prize, a commission for Pierrot-plus ensemble, a professional performance, and a live recording, the three winning composers will receive one-on-one mentorship with established figures in the field who also serve as judges for the competition, led by Paola Prestini, Composer, Co-Founder and Artistic Director at National Sawdust, and including composer and vocalist Joan La Barbara, composer and sound artist Gavin Rayna Russom, and composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón. Following this period of mentorship, the commissioned works will be performed at National Sawdust in June 2020 by conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya and the National Sawdust Ensemble, led by Jeffrey Zeigler, cellist and former Kronos Quartet member, and recorded live in our state-of-the-art hall for an album that will be released on National Sawdust Tracks.