by Randall Faust, Composition Contest Coordinator

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faust190In 2014, The International Horn Society celebrated the 35th year of its Composition Contest. During this special anniversary year, there were two divisions in the contest.

1. The Featured Composition Division: Compositions in this division were works of moderate difficulty for solo horn and keyboard instrument.

2. The Virtuoso Composition Division: Compositions in this division had no difficulty limitation and were from one of the following instrumentation categories.

  • Compositions for Solo Horn (alone/unaccompanied)
  • Compositions for Horn Ensemble (two or more players, all horns)
  • Horn with chamber ensemble of four or more players (one horn part only)
  • Solo Horn featured with large ensemble

(The instrumentation for the divisions will rotate in future contests.)

 The 2014 Composition Contest received 59 entries from 13 countries: 22 entries in the Featured Division and 37 entries in the Virtuoso Division.

The prize-winning composition for The Featured Division was Mountain Sketches for Horn and Piano by Paul Johnston of Charleston, Illinois, USA. The judges also selected an Honorable Mention for the Featured Division: Miniatures for Horn and Piano by Sy Brandon from Cottonwood, Arizona, USA.

The prize-winning composition for The Virtuoso Division was Hard to Argue (A Concertino for Five Horns) by Catherine Likhuta from Brisbane, Australia. The judges also selected two Honorable Mentions in the Virtuoso Division: 15 Low Horn Etudes for Solo Horn by Ricardo Matosinhos from Ermesinde, Portugal and Dancing on the Hill for Horn Ensemble by Patrick Hughes from Austin Texas, USA.

The Judges for the 2014 Competition were three fine composers and hornists: David Stanhope—a Winner of the 1979 I.H.S. Composition Contest from Australia, Andrew Boysen—a Winner of the 1999 I.H.S. Composition Contest from The University of New Hampshire, USA, and Jeffrey Snedeker—Past President of the International Horn Society from Central Washington University, USA.

More detailed information about the winning works appears in the May edition of The Horn Call. More detailed information about the Honorable Mentioned compositions will appear in the next edition of The Horn Call. Plans are underway to feature these works in performances at The International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles in August.