Music Festival Composition Competition Everlasting Hope 2024
The endowment fund Music for Everlasting Hope,
organizer of the international music festival Everlasting Hope,
The first year of its composition competition as part of the Everlasting Hope music festival
Theme of the competition: Everlasting Hope

Terms of the competition (pdf)

Terms of the competition:

  • A piece for string quartet that has never been publicly performed.
  • Piece length 8-11 minutes.
  • Each applicant may enter only one original composition of his/her own that does not infringe copyright or third party rights.
  • The work must be performable live only by a string quartet.
  • The score and individual parts must be submitted in standard Western notation (graphic notation is not allowed).
  • The composition will be accepted in PDF format, and the electronic recording in MP3/WAV format.
  • The competition has no age or nationality/location restrictions.

Please send the sheet music of the composition together with an electronic recording (MP3/WAV), as well as with your name and contact information (email and mobile phone) in electronic form by 31 December 2023 to the e-mail address irma.mrazkova@vecnanadeje.org.

For the sake of objective evaluation, please do not sign the sheet music. Submissions will be marked with a number combination related to the date of sending.

The members of the expert jury of the first year of the competition are music composer and guitarist Lukáš Sommer (Czech Republic), music composer Ľuboš Bernáth (Slovakia), member of the board of directors of the Music for the Everlasting Hope Foundation Martina Jankovská (Czech Republic), dramaturge of the Everlasting Hope festival Petr Nouzovský (Czech Republic), music composer Yuval Shaked (Israel), and members of the Bennewitz Quartet (Czech Republic).

The winners of the competition will be announced as part of a concert of the 7th annual Everlasting Hope Music Festival. The performers of this concert, and therefore of the winning compositions, will be the members of the Bennewitz Quartet.

Competition prizes:

  • The winning composition will be announced and performed at the 7th annual Everlasting Hope Music Festival (March – April 2024).
  • The winning composition will be awarded a sum of CZK 10,000.
  • The winner and their composition will be presented on the website and social networks of the Everlasting Hope Music Festival.
  • The winners will receive transportation and accommodation to attend the ceremonial announcement and release of the composition.

Send the sheet music of the composition together with an electronic recording (MP3/WAV), as well as your name and contact information (e-mail and mobile phone) in electronic form by 12/31/2023 11:59 PM to the e-mail address irma.mrazkova@vecnanadeje.org.

For the sake of objective evaluation, please do not sign the sheet music. This will be marked with a number combination related to the date of sending.

Everlasting Hope - Introductory Speech by Eva Hazdrová Kopecka

Hope is an extremely interesting substance: immeasurable and elusive, but extremely necessary, especially at times when we are in danger of losing it. Similar to love, we can give hope to others without having it for ourselves, and vice versa: we can even have it when it no longer exists in reality.

It is not by chance that in his Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri placed the inscription “Abandon hope, you who enter” above the entrance to hell, because the knowledge that all fears, torments, and pains are forever and that here is no hope of change and salvation is worse than death itself. Even in another hell - here on earth - they worked with the substance of hope: above the entrance to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, the Nazis had forged the inscription “Arbeit macht frei” “Work sets you free”. Rudolf Vrba, one of the few who managed to escape from Auschwitz and pass on the account about the atrocities committed there, later recalled in his book how those three words had a beneficial effect on him: they want work, they should have it, so maybe it won't be so bad he thought. He is said to have received a surge of energy after the arduous journey into the unknown - because he had received hope. It was, of course, false hope, but he and thousands after him who passed through that gate held on to it because one simply needs hope.

And so, it is wonderful and significant that the foundation fund and the festival founded by Mr. Jiří Polák are called Everlasting Hope. They are primarily reminiscent of the so-called Terezín authors and other composers and their works created in unfree and unkind times. The festival gives them hope that they will not be forgotten and that perhaps we can learn from their suffering. Perhaps so: it really seems that the names of authors who should have been silenced manage to be remembered and revived thanks to Everlasting Hope, because there are more and more opportunities to hear the music of Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein, Hans Krása, Viktor Ullman ... even beyond the festival stages. This is good and hopeful news.

In addition to the obligatory wish for health, we should wish more often for hope and more hope, because it is needed like water in times when the soul is sullen for any reason. See you at one of the concerts of the festival that does not forget, the Everlasting Hope festival.

Eva Hazdrová Kopecká, musicologist

Brief Biographies of the Jury Members

The Bennewitz Quartet

The Bennewitz Quartet is a top chamber ensemble on an international scale, evidenced not only by winning two prestigious competitions – in Osaka in 2005 and the Prémio Paolo Borciani in Italy in 2008 – but also by the critical acclaim. Already in 2006, the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: "...in addition to the clear structuring of the music, the sonically beautiful tonal painting and intonation purity of the performance were admirable. It is very rare that one experiences such artistic and effective-sounding harmonies... Great art.” The group also received many awards on the domestic stage. In 2004, Bennewitz's quartet was declared laureate of the Czech Society for Chamber Music at the Czech Philharmonic, and in 2019 the ensemble received the Classic Prague Awards for the best chamber performance of the year.

The quartet regularly performs concerts on important Czech and foreign stages (Wigmore Hall London, Musikverein Vienna, Konzerthaus Berlin, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris, The Frick Collection New York, Seoul Art Center, Rudolfinum, and others) and performs at festivals including the Salzburger Festspiele, Luzerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, Dvořák's Prague, and Prague Spring. The ensemble established artistic collaborations with outstanding artists such as Alexander Melnikov, Vadim Gluzman, Jean Yves Thibaudet, Krzysztof Chorzelski, Danjulo Ishizaka, Pietro de Maria, and others.

In addition to its rich musical expression, the quartet features a unique repertoire. In 2012 and 2015, the quartet performed the complete six Bartók quartets in a single evening at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival and in Uppsala, Sweden. In January 2014, they performed the world premiere of Slavomír Hořínka's Songs of Immigrants at the Konzerthaus in Berlin. In 2019, Supraphon released a recording with compositions by persecuted Jewish authors (V. Ullmann, H. Krása, E. Schulhoff, and P. Haas).

In the 2022/23 season, the Bennewitz Quartet will once again be a guest at Hamburg's Laeiszhalle, perform concerts at the Mozartfest in Würzurg, London's Wigmore Hall, and many other venues. The ensemble will represent the Czech Republic in Madrid at the closing ceremony of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU. In 2022, the quartet will take part in a complete performance of a cycle of six Bartók quartets in Leuven, Belgium, and at the Dvořák Festival Prague 2023 they will continue their multi-year project of a complete performance of Antonín Dvořák's string quartets. During their US tour, the quartet will return to Cleveland and Washington and make their debut in Boston. Currently, the ensemble is preparing the release of a new CD with works by Joseph Haydn.

Ľuboš Bernáth (Slovakia)

He was born on November 8, 1977 in Nové Zámky. After graduating from elementary school, in the years 1992-96 he attended the Gymnasium in Nové Zámky. During this period, he attended the ZUŠ in Nové Zámky, where he studied piano, accordion, and violin. After passing the matriculation exam, he continued his studies at the State Conservatory in Bratislava, in the department of composition under Mgr. Art. Stanislav Hochel. After three years of study and passing the matriculation exam in 2001, he became a student at the VŠMU in Bratislava in the composition department in the class of Doc. Yevgenia Irshaia. From 2006, after successfully completing his studies, he worked until 2009 as a doctoral student at the Department of Music Theory of VŠMU under the guidance of Mgr. Art. Ladislav Kačica, and at the same time carried out teaching activities. In 2009, he successfully defended his dissertation and completed his doctoral studies. From 1999 to 2010, he was active at the Gabriel Rovňák Academy of Arts, where he taught composition, music theory, music history, aural analysis, and playing keyboard instruments. Since 2008, he has been working at the State Conservatory in Bratislava as a teacher of composition and theoretical subjects. Currently, he also works as an instructor at the Department of Music Theory at VŠMU in Bratislava, where he teaches musical analysis, counterpoint, and harmony. In addition to his teaching activities, he participates as a composer and conductor in many domestic and foreign music festivals, such as New Slovak Music, Melos Ethos, Orfeus, etc. In 2012, he was the artistic guarantor of the creation of a new youth orchestra at VŠMU, Ensemble Spectrum. Since 2013, he has been the vice-president of the Slovak Composers' Association and at the same time became an active member of the KBS Council for Science, Education, and Culture.

Since 2020, Martina Jankovská has been managing the Everlasting Hope festival, which she took over from its founder Jiří Polák († 2021). She is a member of the board of directors of the Music for Everlasting Hope Foundation. A lawyer by profession, she has been working in her own office under the ExIure brand since 2014; previously she worked in international law firms in Brno and Prague. For her, art, whether musical, visual, or dramatic, is an inseparable part of creating and perceiving beauty in life, serving to elevate the human spirit.

Petr Nouzovský, who ranks among the best European cellists of his generation, can be heard on many prestigious stages (Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Festival Hall Bad Kissingen, Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow, Herkules Saal in Munich). His playing is rated superlatively for its supreme technical nobility linked to the original musically tectonic construction of the compositions he interprets. During the past seasons, Nouzovský has performed at many orchestral and recital concerts in Europe, North America, and Asia. Last season he performed together with the Nagoya Philharmonic, the PKF-Prague Philharmonia, the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno, and the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular guest of Prague Spring, MHF Leoš Janáček, and Dvořák's Prague. He has also performed in Germany, China, Japan, New York, Estonia, and Poland in recitals and chamber concerts, or has been accompanied by orchestras (Krakow Philharmonic, Südwestfalen Philharmonic, Slovak Philharmonic). In 2024, Petr Nouzovský will make his first orchestral tour in South Korea, and a tour in Japan and China. Petr Nouzovský is the dramaturg of the Music Festival Everlasting Hope.

Yuval Shaked - composer and musicologist, born in 1955 im Kibbutz Geser (Israel) - studied 1977-81 at the Rubin Music Academy, Tel Aviv University, and in 1981-84 with Mauricio Kagel at the Musikhochschule Köln. He lectured in 1985-2005 at the Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv, and in 2000-2023 at the University of Haifa (2011-15 Head of the Department of Music; 2016-2020 Head of the School of the Arts). In the years 1990-96 he served as Editor of Publications of the Israel Music Institute, and in 2000-08 he directed the Feher Jewish Music Center at the Diaspora Museum, Tel Aviv. In 2010, 2012 and 2014 he was tutor at the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt. He produced numerous concerts and CDs. His writings have been published in several journals, books, and lexikons. His compositions have been widely performed, among others at renowned festivals. He lives in Israel, father of four, and grandfather of three.

Lukáš Sommer is one of the leading personalities of the current generation of young composers. In 1998, he began studying guitar at the Conservatory in České Budějovice with Professor Vilma Manová and composition with Professor Jiří Churaček. In 2003, he studied for one year at the Prague Conservatory with Professor Věroslav Neumann. In 2009, he graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts, where he studied composition with Professor Ivan Kurz. He is the author of more than fifty works of various genres. In addition to orchestral music (e.g., Cantata Thorns in the Veil, Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, Monolith for Wind Orchestra and Percussion, Concerto for Orchestra and others), Sommer focuses on chamber music (e.g., Two String Quartets, Piano Trio "Xcape", Labyrinth – Sonata for Harpsichord, Gypsy and Odysseus). Another line of Sommer's work is vocal music – often using the texts of contemporary poets (e.g., the song cycle Headland, Floating Island, the melodrama No one has caressed me for a long time, Song of the Gallows, ABC). A special place among his works is occupied by the opera Ela, Hela and Stop, the libretto of a play by Václav Havel. He also composes works for children, namely the children's opera Hercules and the musical Sindibad. His music has been interpreted by Sir Nicolas Daniel, Carlo Jans, Jana Boušková, Vilém Veverka, Pavel Šporcl, Jan Mikušek, Sebastien Bagnout, Jan Kučera, Sednunum Orchestra, Bremerhaven Orchestra, Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Choir and others. In addition to performing regularly on the domestic scene, he has performed his music in more than 15 countries.

Festival partners

Realizováno ve spolupráci s Národním divadlem v rámci projektu Musica non grata s podporou Velvyslanectví Spolkové republiky Německo Praha

Musica non grata

General Partner



Ministerstvo kultury ČR
Státní fond kultury


Městská část Praha 1

Ve spolupráci

Polský institut Praha

Záštitu převzali

Ministerstvo pro místní rozvoj ČR
ministryně pro místní rozvoj, 
paní Klára Dostálová
Ministerstvo kultury
ministr kultury, 
pan Lubomír Zaorálek
Poslanecká sněmovna Parlamentu České republiky
předseda Poslanecké sněmovny Parlamentu ČR,
pan Radek Vondráček
Senát Parlamentu České republiky
předseda Senátu Parlamentu ČR, pan Miloš Vystrčil
Senát parlamentu ČR
předseda Senátu Parlamentu ČR,
pan Miloš Vystrčil
Velvyslanectví Spolkové republiky Německo Praha
Velvyslanec SRN v Praze,
Dr. Christoph Israng
Ustavni soud
předseda Ústavního soudu, 
pan Pavel Rychetský
Ústecký kraj
hejtman Ústeckého kraje, 
pan Jan Schiller
ministryně pro místní rozvoj, paní Klára Dostálová
Ministerstvo kultury ČR
náměstek ministra kultury,
 pan Milan Němeček

Media partners

Art & History Magazine

Partner of the lecture on 1/3/2023

Winternitz villa

Partner of the concert on 8/3/2023

Stadler-trierNKČRCharitaAlzheimer Home Pitkovice

With the support of

Památník terezín

Thank you to

Personal Connect s.r.o.
Porsche Inter Auto CZ
Prof. Ing. Michael Valášek, DrSc.
Ing. Pavel Chládek
other members of the Supporters club
© 2022 Foundation festival EVERLASTING HOPE
Varšavská 714/38, Vinohrady, 120 00 Prague 2
Contact e-mail: info@vecnanadeje.org
+420 721 585 178 (Irma Mrázková, director of the festival)