International Competition for a composition of sacred music | 3rd edition, 2016

The decision of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, chairman of the Pontifical Council for Culture, to invite participants for the Third edition of the «Francesco Siciliani» Prize to compose a Kyrie, in accordance with the Jubilee of Mercy convened by Pope Francis, aroused particular interest and met with a significant success. The challenge was to write a choral work, with or without organ, of the duration of between five and fifteen minutes, on a short chosen text with a special meaning: “Kyrie eleison / Christe eleison / Kyrie eleison”. A task of no mean complexity, which saw a further rise in quality in the works submitted, when compared to the previous editions.

Around a hundred scores arrived from all over the world. Italian entries were the most numerous (the Competition is much awaited by composers who work in a choral sphere), followed by scores received from Germany and the United States. Other countries represented were Spain, Switzerland, Ecuador, Argentina, Canada, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia.

From this wide pool of candidates were chosen directly the three Finalists: the German Steven Heelein, organist and choir instructor; pianist and organist Julian Darius Revie, born in Canada in a family of Lithuanian origin; and the Milanese composer Carlo Alessandro Landini.

They were selected by a prestigious adjudicating panel, chaired by the choral conductor Helmuth Rilling and made up by the composer Arvo Pärt, the choral conductor Gary Graden, the Director of Perugia’s «Morlacchi» Conservatoire Piero Caraba and the Artistic director of the Sagra Musicale Umbra, Alberto Batisti.

Performances of the three works by the S:t Jacob’s Chamber Choir of Stockholm conducted by Gary Graden took place at a concert on 16 September 2016 in Perugia’s Basilica di San Pietro as part of the 71st Sagra Musicale Umbra, at which the jury awarded the Prize ex aequo to Julian Darius Revie and Carlo Alessandro Landini. Two symbolic prizes were also awarded by popular vote: that of the music critics went to Steven Heelein, while that of the public went to Julian Darius Revie.

Those candidates who wish to receive a certificate of participation may send a request by email to direzartistica@perugiamusicaclassica.com, which will be dealt with in as short a space of time as possible.

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