Young Composers Competition


Sponsored by Arden and Harry Fisher

2014 Winners with Guest Composer & Arden & Harry Fisher with WinnersSince 2004, the Young Composers Competition recognizes and encourages the efforts of those between the ages of 12 and 21 who are involved in the creative process of composing music.  This program, unique to the St. Louis region, is open to nationwide participation and has recognized young composers from St. Louis to both sides of the continent.

Awardees have their works performed by professional musicians in a public concert that is professionally recorded. Each awardee receives a CD of the performance and a written critique and personal conference with a guest composer of note. Guest composers have included Shulamit Ran, Chen Yi, Dino Constantinides, Claude Baker, John Cheetham, James Mobberly, Jared Spears, Steven Dankner, Zack Browning, and Beth Denisch. 

AGES: Level I: students ages 12-16; Level II: students ages 17-21
FEES: $20 application fee payable to Community Music School of Webster University
SUBMISSION DEADLINES: Submissions are no longer being accepted for the 2014-15 competition.  Guidelines and entry forms for the 2015-16 competition will be available in April 2015. 

Congratulations to the 2014-15 Winners

Level I
1st Place, Paul Novak (age 16) from Reno, NV for Nocturne
2nd Place, Julia Riew (age 15) from St.Louis, MO for Laughing Lake
Honorable Mention, Molly Monahan (age 16) from Holland, MI for Meadow Winds Suite

Level II
1st Place, Erin Hoerchler (age 19) from Jefferson City, MO for Flight of the Hang Gliding Nightingale Nurses
2nd Place, Gus Knobbe (age 19) from St. Louis, MO for Murmurations
Honorable Mention, Kelly Stathis (age 20) from Poughquag, NY for Numbness and Tingling

2014-15 Young Composer Competition Weekend Events:

Friday, March 20 at 7 p.m. - Webster University Department of Music Composition Faculty Recital 
Saturday, March 21, 2015 
10 a.m. From Idea to Audience a workshop with Dr. Don Freund 
1 p.m. "Making a Botch of It":  Inspiration, Imitation and the Creative Process a workshop with Kim Portnoy 
Emerging Composers Concert:  
Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 3 p.m. featuring winning works and A Middle Quartet ("In Medias Res"), an original work by guest composer, Dr. Don Freund 

All events will be held at the CMS Center, 535 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119
Free and open to the public. 

 2014-2015 Guest Composer 
Dr. Don Freund

2014-15 YCC Guest Composer Don Freund

Don Freund is an internationally recognized composer with works ranging from solo, chamber, and orchestral music to pieces involving live performances with electronic instruments, music for dance, and large theater works.

He has been described as "a composer thoughtful in approach and imaginative in style" (The Washington Post), whose music is "exciting, amusing, disturbing, beautiful, and always fascinating" (Music and Musicians, London). Many of Freund's works are available on commercial CD.

The recipient of numerous awards and commissions, including two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim fellowship, he has served as guest composer at a vast array of universities and music festivals, and presented master classes throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.

Freund is also active as a pianist, conductor, and lecturer. As a festival coordinator, he has programmed over 1,000 new American works. He has been conductor or pianist in the performance of some 200 new pieces, usually in collaboration with the composer.

A professor of composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 1992, teaching composition continues to be a major component of Freund's career. His students from 40 years of teaching continue to win an impressive array of awards and recognitions.

Freund's piano concert repertoire extends from new music to complete performances of Bach's WTC Book I and his own pianistic realizations of Machaut. He has performed his Earthdance Concerto with numerous university wind ensembles.

“My driving concept is that there is no opposition between the heart and the mind — art is about how thinking and understanding makes us feel more deeply. There are ways of thinking about art (music in particular) that don’t lead to an emotional involvement, but I’m not interested. I want to investigate why things that happen in music engage and move listeners.  I want to help listeners hear music as a creative process, appreciating the choices composers make in creating a piece.” ~Don Freund

Up-to-date news on works and performances, and videos, audio files, and PDF scores of over 100 of Freund's compositions can be found online at

Past Young Composer Competition Winners:

2004 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Benjamin Hart
Second Place: Andy Oster
Level 2
First Place: Daniel Godsil
Second Place: Michael Dunsmoor

2005 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Yan Zhu
Second Place: Jack Popper
Honorable Mention: Charlie Capps
Level 2
First Place: Louis Goldford
Second Place: Benjamin Hart
Honorable Mention: Daniel Winfield

2006 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Jack Hughes
Second Place: Yan Zhu
Honorable Mention: Gabriel Maichel
Level 2
First Place: Elizabeth Lim
Second Place: Timothy Eshing
Honorable Mention: Adam Schumaker

2007 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Yan Zhu
Second Place: Gabriel Maichel
Honorable Mention: Cole Perkinson
Jack Hughes
Level 2
First Place: Daniel Winfield
Second Place: Benjamin Hart
Honorable Mention: William Bryant
Matthew Mendez

2008 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Cole Perkinson
Second Place: Riley Crabtree
Honorable Mention: Ian Evans Guthrie
Level 2
First Place: Kristen Walker
Second Place: William Bryant
Honorable Mention: Marta Sofia Botelho Vieira

2009 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Jack Hughes
Second Place: Riley Crabtree
Honorable Mention: Sam Reising
Level 2
First Place: Anthony Hernandez
Second Place: Lauren Wells
Honorable Mention: Cole Perkinson

2010 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Alexis Lerner
Second Place: Andrew Stock
Honorable Mention: Jared W. Hedges
Sidarth Jayadev
Level 2
Co-First Place: Daniel McCallum
Mahlon Berv
Honorable Mention: Alexander Blank
Riley Crabtree

2011 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Ari Korotkin
Second Place: Eleanor Bragg
Honorable Mention: Michael Parsons
Felix Jarrar
Level 2
First Place: Thomas Feng
Second Place: Wesley Devore
Honorable Mention: Riley Crabtree

2012 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Michael Parsons
Second Place: Stuart Ross Carlson
Level 2:
First Place: Jack Hughes
Second Place: Wesley Devore

2013-14 Winners
Level 1
First Place: Joseph Jordan
Second Place (tie): Molly Monahan and Paul Novak
Level 2
First Place: Cooper Minnis
Second Place: Gus Knobbe


 Questions? Call (314) 968-5939 or email Katie Myler at