Gardner Competition

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Maurice Gardner Competition for Composers

The AVS Maurice Gardner Competition for Composers was established in 2010 as a biennial competition for composers who have written works featuring the viola. The competition honors American composer and violist Maurice Gardner (1909-2002), who composed extensively for the viola as a solo instrument. His Rhapsody for Viola and Orchestra was written for the 7th International Viola Congress in Provo, UT in 1979, beginning a long association with the AVS. Artists who commissioned works by Gardner include Jaime Laredo, Oscar Shumsky, Paul Neubauer, and the Muir, Miro, Miami, Ying, and Pacifica quartets. His music has been performed throughout the world and garnered prizes and commissions from such institutions as Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, The Barlow Foundation and The William Primrose ArchivesThe mission of the competition is to identify and promote important new works for the viola, honoring Mr. Gardner’s legacy.

Currently, the Gardner Competition First Prize winner receives $1000 plus a stipend to support travel to attend the American Viola Society Festival where their work will be performed, while the Second Prize winner receives $500.

Gardner Competition Guidelines
Gardner Competition Laureates