Hello Everyone, and thank you for allowing me to join this forum!

It is my pleasure to share with you some information regarding an ongoing composition competition which is based on the idea of creating new music inspired by paintings. To provide all of you who might be interested in participating with more information, I have included the description and rules of the competition below.

The SYN(es)THESIS Project – Composition Competition

The Pancho Vladigerov House Museum announces the Second International SYN(es)THESIS Competition for a musical composition, inspired by a painting. Candidates have the opportunity to choose one of many pre-selected paintings, write a musical work inspired by the painting, and win one of four monetary awards and a recording of their work by the SYN(es)THESIS ensemble. The competition is part of the SYN(es)THESIS Project and is organized in collaboration with the “P. Vladigerov” National Academy of Music and the National Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Concept of the competition:

In previous stages of the project, 35 paintings, all of which inspired by musical works by well-established Bulgarian composers, were created by young artists studying at the National Academy of Art in Sofia. Each participant at the Composition Competition will choose one of these paintings to serve as inspiration for their own musical composition. All compositions must be 3-10 minutes in length and must be written for one or more instruments from the following list: piano, marimba (or vibraphone - choose only one percussion instrument), violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, and clarinet.

Eligibility: The competition is open to participants of any nationality up to 40 years of age.

Submission deadline: September 30, 2022

The jury of the competition – comprised of faculty from the “Prof. P. Vladigerov” National Academy of Music and of respected unaffiliated musicians – will select 6-10 compositions (the works of the “finalists”) to be performed by the SYN(es)THESIS ensemble at a concert in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia on October 31, 2022. At this concert, the jury will select the three winners of the competition, and a vote for the Special Prize of the Audience will be cast. The concert will be recorded, and the recordings will be distributed to the finalists.


I Prize – 1000 lv.

II Prize – 600 lv.

III Prize – 400 lv.

Special Prize of the Audience – 500 lv. 

Registration – please read the information below:

Due to the nature of the project, participation will be granted to candidates only after they register. To register, each candidate must send a message to museum@vladigerov.org, after which they will receive a link to a folder with the images of the paintings. Each candidate will then choose one of the paintings and will inform the SYN(es)THESIS team of their choice, thus “claiming” the painting. Paintings will be distributed on a “first-come-first-serve” basis; each painting can be claimed by no more than two people, at which point it will be taken down. Therefore, candidates are encouraged to register with the SYN(es)THESIS team as soon as they choose to participate in order to ensure a wider array of choices for their own work.

Registration fee: 30 Euro (60 leva, payable up to four weeks after registration); instructions on payment options will be sent by e-mail. Each candidate can register up to two times, which would allow them to “claim” up to two paintings/submit two compositions.

Registration e-mail: museum@vladigerov.org  

The SYN(es)THESIS project was founded in 2021. It aims to build  a bridge between several arts through a multitude of interconnections, mutual influences, and the juxtaposition of perceptions and experiences. The sessions planned for 2022 include four main components: the creation of paintings inspired by classical music, the composition of musical works inspired by paintings, the preparation of scenes with pantomime based on musical compositions, and the composition of music for a short film.





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  • Hi Alexander,

    Thank you for that.

    Is there anywhere I can find the Terms and Conditions and the make-up of the judging panel? I don't want to pay out €30 only to find I can't sign up to them.

    And, are the pics examples of the paintings on offer?

    Thanks if you can let me know. 

    All good wishes, Dane. 

    • Hi Dane,

      Thank you for your comment! The only terms and conditions which are in effect for the competition are the ones described above: "The competition is oipen to paritcipants of any nationality up to 40 years of age". Other rules of the competition, of course, concern the application fee (which can be paid up to 1 month after signing up for the competition) and the duration and instrumentation of all submitted works (up to 10 min. in length, written for 1 or more of the instruments in the SYN(es)THESIS ensemble, which in full consists of: piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, clarinet, and marimba or vibraphone). Last but not least, the submission will be anonymous, through the use of registration numbers which are distributed to each contestant once they sign up for the competition at museum@vladigerov.org

      These are all the rules of the competition.

      As far as the jury is concerned, last year's jury included the following composers: Prof. Krassimir Taskov (Chairman; Head of the Composition Department (up to 2021) at the "P. Vladigerov" National Academy of Music, Sofia); Prof. Atanas Atanasov ("P. Vladigerov" National Academy of Music, Sofia); Prof. Velislav Zaimov ("P. Vladigerov" National Academy of Music, Sofia); Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin ("Prayner"-Konservatorium, Vienna) and Dr. Dobrinka Tabakova (Guest composer of the BBC orchestra for 2021, London). We are still awaiting the confirmation of the participation of all jury members and are also considering the addition of members from the United States - but at any rate, I should be able to confirm all members of the jury within a week or so.

      As far as the paintings are concerned: yes, these are just a few examples of the paintings on offer. At this point, there are a total of 37 paintings which can be used as inspiration for the contestant's compositions. All of these paintings were created by students of the National Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria, and, in fact, were inspired by other musical compositions. This approach directly addresses one of the main ideas of the SYN(es)THESIS Project - the idea for new forms of dialogue between the arts.

      Feel free to write back with any other questions that you might have!

      Best regards,


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