Esker Festival Orchestra 2024: Call for Composition Proposals 

The Esker Festival Orchestra is delighted to announce that as part of the 2024 festival and tour which will take place from the 12th to the 18th of August, they are launching a new call for composition proposals. The aim of the call is to choose a composer who will then be commissioned to compose a short piece for large orchestra which will be performed in August as part of our programme alongside the legendary suite “The Planets” by Gustav Holst, including performances in Galway Cathedral and the National Concert Hall, Dublin. 

Following the application process, the chosen composer will be commissioned to compose a circa 5 minute Earth movement to complete Holst’s Planets suite. The way in which the concept of the piece is related to the planet Earth is freely up to the composer.

Learn more about the call for composition proposals here.

Applications can be submitted online via the following form

The deadline for applications is Friday, 16 February 2024.

How to Apply:

To apply for the commission, interested composers should submit:

  • Scores of two or three existing works. Recordings are encouraged but not mandatory. 
  • A one page written concept for their Earth movement 
  • One or two pages of orchestrated music to act as a sketch for the proposed composition. 
  • Equal weight will be given to the quality of the existing works submitted and to the concept and sketch for the new composition. 
  • Please Submit all documents as PDF files and MP3s only for the audio or recordings submitted. The final composition and parts must be prepared using a notation software, but the sketch may be submitted as a scan or photo of a handwritten document.

Who May Apply:

  • Composers born, or resident on the Island of Ireland are eligible to apply. 
  • Applications are welcomed from both emerging and established composers who may not yet have had the opportunity to compose for large orchestra. 
  • Composers who have had works performed by the Esker Festival Orchestra before are not entitled to apply.
  • All applicants will receive equal opportunity irrespective of gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, ethnicity or indigenous status. We especially encourage those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to apply. 


  • The chosen composer will receive a fee of €3000 to complete the composition. 
  • On top of this, the chosen composer may avail of consultations with an established CMC composer as well as feedback sessions from conductor and composer Peter Joyce.
  • Accommodation, meals and travel expenses during the rehearsals will be provided by the Esker Festival Orchestra.


  • All submissions will be assessed anonymously. This means all existing compositions, as well as the concept for the new composition and sketch should be submitted without any names or identifying features on the documents. 
  • All applications will then be processed by an independent staff member and submitted to the judging panel to maintain anonymity. 
  • The judging panel will consist of the conductor of the Esker Festival Orchestra Peter Joyce, one independent professional composer and one previous member of the orchestra. Any attempt to contact the judging panel prior to the assessment of the submissions will be an immediate ground for disqualification.