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Christophe Abramowitz


Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Composing for Voices with Kaija Saariaho

phase 3

11 - 15 July 2022

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation


Workshop for composers under 35 years old focusing on vocal and orchestral writing, mentored by the distinguished Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.


Participants will be able to discuss and explore new ideas and the creative process, in collaboration with the Orquestra Gulbenkian and professional singers.Composer Kaija Saariaho will lead this workshop, sharing her experience on writing for singers, offering advice to participants, and following their projects.


Over a period of eight months, participants will create new works that will be premiered in a concert by the Orquestra Gulbenkian.


The workshop is structured in three phases, which take place during three separate time periods:

/!\ It is mandatory to attend the 3 phases.


Phase 1 – December 8th to 10th, 2021 (3 days): Collective and individual sessions with Kaija Saariaho - Participants will discuss contemporary composition practices and will present initial ideas that they intend to develop during the workshop under the guidance of the tutor. Participants will follow rehearsals of Orquestra Gulbenkian preparing Kaija Saariaho’s Cinq Reflets.


Phase 2 - February 18th to 19th, 2022: Reading sessions with Orquestra Gulbenkian - Participants will hear their works in progress played through by the orchestra and will subsequently receive guidance regarding their creative process from the tutor.


Phase 3  - July 11th to 15th 2022: Rehearsals for public presentation of new works - Participants will attend rehearsals for their works. This last workshop phase ends with the premiere of the new works in a concert by Orquestra Gulbenkian on 15th July 2022.



The candidate must fill in the online form on the Gulbenkian Música website.


All qualified composers are encouraged to apply and will be considered regardless their personal situation. If for some reason a participant has any constraints regarding his/her full involvement in the workshop activities, Gulbenkian will try to provide assistance and find solutions.


 Practical informations


Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Avenida de Berna 45-A

1067-001 Lisboa, Portugal


 Application process


- Call for participants is open to composers under de age of 35 years old (on 31.12.2021) based in Portugal and composers connected with enoa member organisations.

- Composers not based in Portugal must contact their referent organisation, which decides whether or not to support their participation.

- The candidate must fill in the online form on the Gulbenkian Música website.

- Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will announce the list of participants by the end of September 2021.

- The network will be responsible for expenses associated with workshop mentorship and, in the case of non-resident participants, it will be responsible for the expenses of travel and accommodation.


Time to apply: from 2nd May 2021 until 2nd July 2021




Number of participants: 6

- Positions reserved for participants supported by enoa organizations: 2 to 3

- Positions reserved for participants based in Portugal: 3 to 4


 Artistic requirements


Documents to be submitted through online application


> CV/Bio (max. 2000 characters)

> Motivation letter (max. 2000 characters)

> Orchestra full score of any relevant work (mandatory)

> Voice and orchestra/ensemble score (optional)

> List of works with information about creation context (creation year, world premiere, commissioner, etc.)


 Programme to prepare


Participants should consider the following instrumentation for their work: 3,3,3,3 / 4,3,3,1 / 2 perc. / strings + 1 or 2 singers (tessituras to be announced)


Participants must be prepared to provide their scores properly edited and ready to be rehearsed/performed by singers and orchestra, including orchestral parts.