ENOA Workshop – Composing for Voices with Kaija Saariaho


Open call – from May 2 to July 2
28 apr 2021

Composing for Voices is an opportunity for young composers to improve their skills in writing for voices with orchestra. It is a place to discuss and explore new ideas and the creative process, in collaboration with the Orquestra Gulbenkian and professional singers. Distinguished Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho will lead this workshop, sharing her experience on writing for singers, offering advice to participants, and following their projects.

Over a period of eight months, participants will create new works that will be premiered in a concert by the Orquestra Gulbenkian. The workshop will be lectured in English.


Dates and location

The workshop is structured in three phases, which take place during three separate time periods:


8 to 10 December 2021

Collective and individual sessions with Kaija Saariaho – Participants will discuss contemporary composition practices and will present initial ideas that they intend to develop during the workshop under the guidance of the tutor. Participants will follow rehearsals of Orquestra Gulbenkian preparing Kaija Saariaho’s Cinq Reflets .

18 and 19 February 2022

Reading sessions with Orquestra Gulbenkian – Participants will hear their works in progress played through by the orchestra and will subsequently receive guidance regarding their creative process from the tutor.

11 to 16 July 2022

Rehearsals for public presentation of new works – Participants will attend rehearsals for their works. This last workshop phase ends with the premiere of the new works in a concert by Orquestra Gulbenkian on 16th July 2022.


Application requirements

  • The candidate must fill in the online form provided below and upload the required documents, between 2 May and 2 July 2021.
  • The workshop is open to composers under the age of 35 years old are experienced in orchestral writing and are either based in Portugal or connected with other ENOA institutions.
  • Composers who are not based in Portugal must contact their referent organization, which decides whether or not to support their participation.
  • The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will announce the list of participants by the end of September 2021.


Non-discriminatory policy

All qualified composers are encouraged to apply and will be considered regardless of their personal situation. If for some reason a participant has any constraints regarding his/her full involvement in the workshop activities, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will try to provide assistance and find solutions.


Specific requirements

Participants should consider the following set up for their work: 3,3,3,3 / 4,3,3,1 / 2 perc. / strings + 1 or 2 singers (weavings to be announced). Participants must be prepared to deliver their scores properly edited and ready to be rehearsed/performed by the singers and the orchestra, including orchestral parts. For any inquiries, please send an e-mail to Luísa Prado  ([email protected]).


Application form

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