Young Composer Competition

The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Paula Nelson-Guenther Young Composer Competition

An opportunity for young composers to have their piece played by a live orchestra.

Students of age 25 or younger on January 1, 2018.

Must reside or pursue music studies in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, or South Dakota.

Must be a five to six minute work for orchestra.

The instrumentation must be no larger than:

3 flute, 2 oboe, 2 clarinet, 2 bassoon, 2 horn, 2 trumpet, 2 trombone, timpani and strings

(no percussion or auxiliary instruments will be available)

Up to 3 winners will be selected and may have their pieces read and recorded by the DSSO on Sunday, February 4, 2018, the performance is by invitation.

Deadline for submissions is January 15, 2018.  Applications will not be accepted prior to December 15, 2017.

Please send a PDF of your score to [email protected], in the body of the email include the following:


Phone number and address (mailing and permanent if you are a student):


Current or most recent educational institution:

Score should,include a title page with instrumentation listing.
For further details and to submit a composition, contact:

Heidi Lord, DSSO Director of Concert Production and Personnel

[email protected] | 218.623.3771

Evaluation and selection determined by a qualified composer and/or DSSO Music Director. The winner will be notified by January 29, 2018. Please have a short bio and e-photo ready in case you are selected.


Congratulations to the winner of the 2016 James and Paula Nelson

Young Composer Competition

Luke Gion

His composition, “The Day Draws Near” was performed by the DSSO on our Young People’s Concert–Thursday, May 5 at 10:30am :: DECC Symphony Hall