The Hildegard Competition is National Sawdust’s premiere competition for emerging female, trans, and nonbinary composers. After a successful inaugural year in the 2017–18 season, the second year of the competition digs deeper into its purpose: Uncovering how gender affects the lens through which music is perceived by providing a platform for composers whose voices are often underrepresented in the conversation.
Winning composers inti figgis-vizueta, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, and Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir will now each be commissioned to write a new work for performance and professional recording for the June 4, 2019, concert and subsequent release on in-house label National Sawdust Tracks. As well as composing for chamber ensemble and electronics, as stipulated last season, they now have the option of submitting a vocal composition. They will also receive coaching and mentorship from the five judges and a $7,000 commissioning fee.
The coaching and mentorship will be with established figures in the field who also served as judges for the competition: Paola Prestini (National Sawdust’s Co-Founder and Artistic Director), Angélica Negrón, Du Yun, Tania León, and Gavin Rayna Russom. For an overview of last year’s winners, see below.
Runners-up Bahar Royaee, Yaz Lancaster, Meara O’Reilly, Nina Shekhar, Angela Slater, and Sugar Vendil will also have works premiered by the National Sawdust Ensemble at the June 4 concert. An art installation of graphic scores by runner-up Monica Demarco will accompany the performance.