The “Michele Novaro” competition, for young composers, is starting

Rome, 1 June 2016 – The Michele Novaro competition has officially kicked off. It was designed to tribute the author of the music that accompanies the verses of the Italian national anthem written by Goffredo Mameli. The competition is open to young composers, called to write a new and original piece that reflects the identity, the culture and the spirit of contemporary Italy. The new composition is not meant to replace “Il Canto degli Italiani”, better known as “Fratelli d’Italia”, but rather to inspire new consideration and enthusiasm for ideals consistent with the founding and distinctive values of Italy.

The competition, sponsored by the Mendelssohn association in collaboration with the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Turin and with the support of Italgas, is open to composers of all nationalities who are under thirty years of age as of 30 September 2016, the final deadline for submission of the manuscripts. The rules for the competition are available on, together with the instructions to participate and to upload the compositions and the accompanying documents.

Participants must submit to the jury a composition for ensembles, lasting between 7 and 10 minutes, which is inspired by the values and the themes of the Italian Constitution and in particular by the “Italian landscape”, described in Article 9 of the Italian Constitution. The ensemble must have at least 7 instruments and no more than 15, and may include violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute-piccolo, clarinet and bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, harp, percussion instruments and piano.

During the preliminary phase, which will run until the end of October, the jury – made up of composers Luca Lombardi (Chairman), Cristian Carrara and Giulio Castagnoli, by pianist Roberto Prosseda and by Elio of the Elio e le Storie Tese group – will select up to a maximum of 3 pieces that will enter the final phase. On the evening of 2 December 2016, the final will take place in the Great Hall of the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Turin. Representative Lorenzo Becattini, the inventor of the competition, which he presented to the Chamber of Deputies last November, will join the jurors. The Ensemble di Musica Contemporanea del Conservatorio, directed by Giuseppe Ratti, will perform the finalist compositions in concert. At the end of the event, the winner of the Novaro Prize will be declared. The work will be published by Sonzogno, be performed in selected concerts, and be awarded a cash prize.

The project intends to honour the figure of Michele Novaro (1818-1885) more than 160 years after he composed the “Canto degli Italiani”, when he was just 25 years old, in the midst of the Risorgimento. There will be three editions of the project, each of which will focus on a specific theme. The prize-awarding ceremonies of each edition will take place in three former capitals of Italy: after Turin it will be held in Florence and then in Rome.