Call for Proposals – Vocal Music for a European Dialogue

The vocal ensemble AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN, Artistic Director Olaf Katzer, along with HELLERAU—European Centre of Arts, the Saxon Academy of the Arts (Sächsische Akademie der Künste), and the Dresden Philharmonic, extend a call for proposals: to encourage compositional concepts with the theme “Music—Democracy—Europe.” Selected compositions proposals will be commissioned for world premiere in Hannover and Dresden in 2019.

The project “Vocal Music for a European Dialogue” is a development and continuation of the project “Vox Populi?! The Sound of Democracy,” realized by AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN in 2017 to promote the creation of new works for professional vocal ensembles containing social and sociological themes. The project aims to foster socially engaged cooperations that focus on democratic negotiation throughout Europe.

Questions and critical reflection on the theme Europe and Democracy form the root of the project. Composers are encouraged to consider questions of social consciousness to inform their creation of new works and enrich their vocal and choral music repertoires. Emphasis can be placed on current struggles in Europe and the European Union, including the question of European identity, as well as conflict between: urban and rural populations, poor and rich, young and old, globalism and nationalism, and an increased tendency toward political extremism and populism.

Project Aims
The project aims to address social and sociological questions with musical expression, providing audiences with a new and unconventional platform to consider aspects of European democracy, policy, and collective society.

Guiding Questions
Can music and its collective performance result in a better understanding of democracy and social inclusivity, and if so, how? Is there such a thing as a European homeland, and what does a Europe of 2019 look like? Can a person be defined first as a European, and then as member of a nation? How can participation and democratic reflection be expressed through contemporary vocal music? How can we make Europe more democratic?

From the submitted proposals, up to five concepts will be chosen for commission.
On April 6 – 7 2019, in collaboration with AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN and a team of music and democratic theory scholars, a workshop will take place at the Saxon Academy of the Arts in Dresden to discuss, consider, develop, and potentially rehearse concepts. This form of interdisciplinary exchange is intended to inspire artists and support the extraordinary outcomes that may arise from innovative application of the subject material.
Lecturers will include: Prof. Mark Andre (Composer, Saxon Academy of the Arts), Prof. Dr. Dirk Baecker (Chair of Cultural Theory and Management, University Witten/Herdecke), Prof. Dr. Jörn Peter Hiekel (Director, Institute for New Music, Dresden University of Music, Saxon Academy of the Arts), Olaf Katzer (Artistic Director AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN, Choral conducting, Dresden University of Music), and Prof. Dr. Dieter Mersch (Institute of Theory, Department of Cultural Analysis and Mediation, Zurich University of the Arts).
Following the workshop, composers will have the opportunity to work on commissions until June 15, 2019.
The works will premiere at the conference for choral music by the German Choral Association (Deutscher Chorverband) in Hannover, and on November 9th at the Kulturpalast Dresden.

Categories and Details
Concepts should be written a cappella for vocal ensemble and chorus, and should address core ideas of and about democracy, and present them in new musical formats to further explore if and how music can influence the development and support of democratic communication.

In addition, composers may propose an idea for collaborative composition, whereby two or more composers of different nationalities may compose a work in tandem, using cultural exchange to arrive at a new form of expression.

Applicants may submit proposals in both individual and collaborative composition categories.

Proposals should adhere to the following criteria:

1)            Arrangement
The planned composition is arranged for (a) solo vocal ensemble in (b) 10-part chorus: SSSAATTBBB, and is written a cappella – without instruments or electronic and/or video recording (possible exception: mobile device such as a smartphone).

2)            Duration
The composition is 5 to 10 minutes in length.

3)            Content
Aside from the musical score, the planned composition contains no additional requirements for performance, such as special stage or costume design (possible exception: minimal use of props, everyday objects.)

4)            Place of Performance
The planned composition can be performed in various concert venues and diverse circumstances without fixed conditions such as choreography and/or staging.

5)            Suggested Texts
Use of one of the suggested texts is optional.
The planned composition may include one of the following texts:

a) Council of the European Union: Council Conclusions on Human Rights and Democracy [1]
b) European Parliament: The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union [2]
c) “Team Freiheit” (Team Freedom, German text): Die sechs grundlegenden europäischen Werte [3]
d) Walt Whitman, Democratic Vistas (1871), For You O Democracy (o. ä.) [4]
e) Thomas Mann, Goethe and Democracy (1949) [5]
f) Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, How Democracies Die (2018) [6]

Rights must be obtained for use of copyrighted text or music used in compositions.

Selection Process
A jury will choose up to five of the submitted proposals for commission. A total of 5,000 Euro will be available to recipients. Proposals by single composers will be granted 1,000 Euro, and collaborating composers will receive 2,000 Euro.

Submission Requirements
The call for proposals is open internationally to all composers. The jury may divide the available prize money depending on merit; decisions are final, and recourse to the court is not permitted. Participation in the workshop at the Saxon Academy of the Arts is mandatory. Travel costs to the workshop in Dresden will be covered. Compositions must be completed by June 15, 2019 and prepared into printable editions.

Proposals must be received by January 31, 2019. Applications may be submitted in German or English. In addition, applicants should submit the following:

  • CV in list format
  • List of works
  • Two example compositions

Submit to:

Email subject: Call for Proposals

Performance Dates

  • (Hannover) / September 12-15, 2019
  • Kulturpalast Dresden / November 9, 2019

Works will be performed by AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN at the direction of Olaf Katzer.


  • Olaf Katzer – Artistic Director, AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN
  • Jörn Peter Hiekel – Saxon Academy of the Arts & Dresden University of Music
  • Mark Andre – Saxon Academy of the Arts & Dresden University of Music
  • Moritz Lobeck – Hellerau: European Centre for the Arts
  • Jens Schubbe – Dresden Philharmonic
  • Adelheid Schloemann – Dresden Philharmonic
  • Dieter Mersch – Zurich University of the Arts, Department of Cultural Analysis and Mediation
  • Berit Kramer – Managing Director, AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN



Supported by

musikfonds_web_color  BKM_2017_Web_de

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+