The two categories, Historical and Innovative, celebrate the history of the concerto whilst reflecting some social and technological changes to music and performance. There are three sections in each category.


Historical Category 1600 - 1990   Innovative Category 1990 - 2012
A: Baroque (1600 – 1750)                    D: Remix / Recontextualisation
B: Classical/Romantic (1750 – 1900)    E: New Modes of Presentation
C: Modern/Post Modern (1900 – 1990s)    F: Networked Music Performance

Category One: Historical (1600 – 1990s)

The Historical category can involve any work from the Baroque, Classical/Romantic or Modern/Post Modern eras (see Sections A, B & C). These eras have been defined by their approach to space and time in performance. The maximum performance time allowed is approximately 15 minutes. This may be equivalent to one movement from a Classical or modern concerto, or two or three shorter movements from a Baroque concerto. Longer concerto movements can be edited down to 15 minutes.

A) Baroque (1600 – 1750)

Any concerto movement that conforms to the standard orchestration from the Baroque era. Note there are no finalists in the Baroque category for 2012.

B) Classical/Romantic (1750 – 1900)

Any concerto movement that conforms to the standard orchestration from the Classical or Early Romantic eras.

C) Modern/Post Modern (1900 – 1990s)

Any concerto movement or work for soloists and orchestra or ensemble whose instrumentation conforms with the instrumentation from the Classical/Romantic eras.

Category Two: Innovative (1990 to 2012)

The Innovative category represents some significant themes and trends affecting music making in the 21st century. While there are obvious overlaps with the Historical category, three areas (See Sections D,E & F below) have been identified for the Innovative category. The 1990s have been chosen to define the beginning of the Innovative category for several reasons:
the pervasive influence of the personal computer on contemporary music making;

  1. the massive explosion in music subcultures and cross-cultural exchange;
  2. the blurring and breaking down of boundaries of styles and genres; and
  3. new modes of presentation, performance and communication.

Obviously, developments in music making with computers began before 1990 with inventions such as the Fairlight CMI in 1979 and the introduction of MIDI protocol in 1983. However, by the 1990s the influence of the personal computer on the creation, production and performance of music had become almost ubiquitous
New modes of presentation (Section E) may also include new visualisation, performance, presentation or participation strategies.
The maximum performance time allowed is 15 minutes. Applicants will be required to explain why their chosen work is innovative. The instrumentation for sections D and E is to be similar to that required for sections B and C, plus extra percussion. Section F can also include traditional or indigenous instruments.

D) Remix / Recontextualisation

Much music today refers to previous musical periods or styles. This can be heard in live remixes and works using quotations, mash-ups and sampling. This area of music making is defined by referencing an existing work from the historical period. The orchestral part can be remixed using sampling, live performance or both. The soloist may choose to perform an existing instrumental concerto but provide a totally new solo part. For example: replacing the piano solo of Edvard Grieg’s Piano concerto in A minor (Op. 46) with a saxophone solo while keeping the original orchestral parts.

E) New Modes of Presentation

In this section, you have the opportunity to explore new approaches to the concerto form. This could include: extending the orchestra into new directions; new instrumentation; deploying popular, world or jazz music influences; hybrid forms; and the use of computers, synthesisers or other electronic devices. The work can be an acoustic work or involve technology and interfaces. New experimentations with the visual aspects of the concerto form are welcome

F) Networked Music Performance

Networked Music Performance involves the performance of a concerto in different locations in real-time. Entrants will need to use the low latency audio and video software provided by the competition management. The orchestral/ensemble parts can be flexible, depending on the availability of instruments at each of the international hubs. The soloist's part can be original. All compositions in this category will be performed by the International Telematic Ensemble (ITE) in a real-time performance based in five locations: Linz (Austria), Singapore, Beijing (China), Auckland (New Zealand) and Newcastle (Australia).