Celebrate Asia Composition Competition

Murl Allen Sanders (accordion) and Anjali Joshi (santoor) performing the world premiere of Alireza Motevaseli's Fantasia for Santoor and Accordion at Celebrate Asia in 2016. Photo: Brandon Patoc

The Seattle Symphony’s Celebrate Asia Composition Competition seeks to recognize emerging composers who are interested in Asian culture, music and traditions. The winning composition will be premiered by the Seattle Symphony at the annual Celebrate Asia concert at Benaroya Hall.

Celebrate Asia originated in 2009 through collaboration with local Asian leaders who were keen to strengthen bonds with the broader community through a cultural celebration, and was brought to life through partnerships with local community groups to honor and celebrate Seattle’s Asian community.

Awards & Performance

The winning composer will receive a $1,000 award and an opportunity to visit Seattle for the premiere. The winning score will be premiered by the Seattle Symphony in Benaroya Hall at the annual Celebrate Asia concert on February 11, 2018.


All composers born after January 1, 1983 are eligible.

  • Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony Music Director
  • Simon Woods, Seattle Symphony President & CEO
  • Elena Dubinets, Seattle Symphony Vice President of Artistic Planning
  • Yoshi Minegishi, Founding Chair, Celebrate Asia
Submission Guidelines
  • Works must have Asian influences (for example: Asian folk melodies, Asian stories and legends, Asian traditional instruments).
  • Works must be new, original and accessible.
  • Works should be 3 to 6 minutes in duration. (There will be 30 minutes allotted to rehearsing this new work.)
  • Works should be for orchestra or chamber orchestra with instrumentation no larger than 3333 - 4331 – T+3 – hp – str.  Woodwind doublings are allowed.
  • The submitted work must have had no prior public performances in the U.S.
  • Interested composers should submit:
    • A legible, bound, full score
    • A recording of the piece on a CD (midi-format is OK)
    • A clear description of the composition’s Asian influence(s)
    • A biography, with current address, email address and phone number
    • If selected, professionally prepared parts and two scores will be required 90 days prior to the first rehearsal
Entry Information & Deadline

There is no entry fee. All entries must arrive no later than October 27, 2017. The Seattle Symphony is not responsible for lost or damaged material. The winning composition will be announced on or before November 17, 2017.

Send submission to:
Seattle Symphony Celebrate Asia Composition Competition
ATTN: Paige Gilbert
Seattle Symphony
P.O. Box 21906
Seattle, WA 98111-3669

Questions and inquiries may be emailed to: celebrateasia@seattlesymphony.org

Composition Competition Winners

2017–2018 Season Winner

Bochan Li

Tibet Overture

2016–2017 Season Winner

Christopher LaRosa

The Tide Jewels

Read announcement here.

Listen Below

2015–2016 Season Winners

Shao Zheng

Bai Chuan Fu Hai

Alireza Motevaseli

Fantasia for Santoor and Accordion

Read program notes here.

Listen Below

2014–2015 Season Winner

Ye Yanchen


Read program notes here.

Listen Below

2013–2014 Season Winner

Shuying Li

The Siege Overture

Read program notes here.

Listen Below

2012–2013 Season Winner

Zvonimir Nagy

Suizen for Shakuhachi and Orchestra

Read program notes here.

Listen Below

2011–2012 Season Winner

Kay He

Legends of Old Peking

Read program notes here.

Listen Below

2010–2011 Season Winner

Huang Ruo

The Yellow Earth for Sheng and Orchestra

Read program notes here.

Listen Below