The Emre Aracı Composition Competition

Dr Emre Aracı, born on 22nd December 1968 in Turkey, is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh's Reid School of Music and an internationally renowned music historian, conductor and composer. In 1991 during his undergraduate studies, Aracı founded the Edinburgh University String Orchestra. Since his time at the University, Aracı has become one of the world's leading names in Turkish music, especially the music of the Ottoman Empire, the focus of his studies at the University of Cambridge from 1999-2002. To this day he writes and speaks publicly on musical history and continues to compose new works which are performed across the world. The orchestra is grateful for Emre's continued support.

On Sunday 14th May 2017, the orchestra held its 25th anniversary concert at Canongate Kirk. The orchestra, made up of current members, alumni and others, was conducted by Emre and performed a selection of Turkish works as well as Elgar's Serenade. It formed the final event of the Ottoman Horizons Festival organised by the Nomads Tent, and was followed by a reception in the Harry Younger Hall. It was very well attended - a memorable way to mark 25 years of string playing at the University of Edinburgh.

The Emre Aracı composition competition began in 2000, when it was proposed to create a means of appreciating and rewarding excellence in student compositions at the Reid School of Music. The competition encourages all those with an interest in composing to enter and is a unique opportunity to hear new compositions played live as well as on the orchestra's annual tour.

"I think the string orchestra is really amazing in putting such commitment into new music. This afternoon’s composers are very lucky, and it was fun hearing the music emerge." Professor Peter Nelson, Judge in the 2016 Competition.

Important Notices about the Competition

Attention composers: the 2018 Competition will take place in March 2018. Please note that entries are currently not being accepted. Please keep your eye on this page at the beginning of 2018 for more information. See the rules below and please email the President if you have any questions

Competition Rules and Information

  • Pieces are to be written for string orchestra only.
  • The orchestra usually comprises 6 first violins, 6 second violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos and 2 double bass.
  • Pieces are to be no longer than 15 minutes in duration.
  • Submissions are to be placed in the EUSO pigeonhole in the stairwell of Alison House by the deadline.
  • Two bound scores must be provided.
  • The composer should be present during the competition to provide advice and instructions.
  • Parts must be produced on a computer.
  • Entry is open only to matriculated University of Edinburgh students.
  • A preliminary round may take place if there are a high number of entries.
  • The competition will be judged by staff from the Reid School of Music.
  • The winner will receive a prize of £100 and the winning piece will be performed in the following year.
  • The committee reserves the right to alter any of these rules at any time.
  • Recent Winners

    2017: Aggelos Mastrantonis - "Stygian Reflections"

    2016: Armando Lôbo - "The Last Samba in Moscow"

    2015: Matt Giannotti - "Echo"

    2014: Alex Lamb - "Double Bass Concerto"

    2013: Dimitris Papageorgiou - "Imageries"

    Photographs reproduced with kind permission of Dr Aracı.