The Challenge

The National Young Composers Challenge is open to young musicians ages 13 to 18 who are U.S. residents.

The Challenge is simple. First, you write your own composition for small ensemble (2 to 6 instruments) or full orchestra. Then, a panel of judges chooses the top three orchestral and top three ensemble compositions to be performed and recorded by a professional symphony orchestra at the NYCC Composium. We are excited to announce that the 2015 Composium will be held at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on October 18, 2015.


At the Composium, the top three orchestral composers will be awarded $1000 each and the top three ensemble composers will be awarded $500 each.

PLUS! Each winner will receive a professional recording of their composition.

2015 Finalists Announced

This year the National Young Composers Challenge has received 116 submissions. This is a record number and more than twice the number of submissions from any previous year. The sophistication and quality of the scores continues to grow stronger each year and this year the number of amazing compositions we received was overwhelming. Because it is so difficult to pick only three winners in each category, this year we are announcing the scores that have been selected as finalists. Each one of these composers deserves recognition as a winner but unfortunately the winners can be only a small group selected from this list. Once the winners have been selected, the results will be posted here.

Ensemble Finalists

(At least three winners will be selected from this list.)

String Quartet in G Minor - Daniel Aretskin - Irvine, CA - age 18

A Suite for Violin and Piano - Daniel Cho - Wyncote, PA - age 13

String Quartet no. 1: Attica - Sage Degand - Oak Park, IL - age 17

Fugue in C Minor - Eamon Duff - Portland, MI - age 16

Ignis Fatuus - Emil Ernstrom - Palo Alto, CA - age 18

Unwound Clock - Scott Etan Feiner - Roslyn Estate, NY - age 18

Pedestrian - Max Friedman - Memphis, TN - age 16

Tilting at Windmills - Jonas Katona - Santa Clarita, CA - age 16

Sextet - Evan Kauffmann - New York, NY - age 15

Prelude for Piano Trio - Nathan Le - Northridge, CA - age 15

Rondo in B Flat Minor - Jahan Raymond - Calabasas, CA - age 13

Choro Alegrinho - John Peter Redmond - Yonkers, NY - age 15

Polarity for String Quartet - Avik Sarkar - Chestnut Hill, MA - age 14

Conversations No. 1 - Matthew Wang - Glen Rock, NJ - age 18

Fantasy for String Quintet - Justin Zeitlinger - Dumont, NJ - age 14

Full Orcherstra Finalists

(Three winners will be selected from this list.)

Blissful Nightmares - Austin Ali - Dallas, TX - age 17

The Witching Time of Night - Jared Clark - Lakeland, FL - age 18

Waves - Benjamin Edelson - New York, NY - age 14

Forest of Eden - Sharon Hurvitz - San Gabriel, CA - age 16

The Water Phoenix - Sterling Maffe - Artesia, CA - age 18

A Desolate Carnival - Bobby Novak - Mechanicsville, MD - age 16

Fractured Night/Blue Stars - Paul Novak - Reno, NV - age 16

Harmonious Fanfare for Orchestra - Jason Pullen - Mint Hill, NC - age 17

The Fly-Away Drone - Victor Shlyakhtenko - Los Angeles, CA - age 13

Outbursts of Joy - Robert Tindle - Miami, FL - age 18

The Soldier - David Vorves - Merritt Island, FL - age 18

The Himalayas - Daniel Werth - Henderson, NV - age 16


The National Young Composers Challenge is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization supported by grants and in-kind donations from the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, University of Central Florida, Rollins College, Full Sail University, and the Goldman Charitable Foundation.