How to participate

Entry and submitting the competition entry

Enter the competition by sending an email to with the subject line “International Kaija Saariaho Organ Composition Competition”.

The participation fee per contestant is 50 euros, regardless of whether the contestant participates in one, two, or three series. The fee must be paid before sending the competition entry, and the payment receipt must be delivered together with the competition entry. If the competition fee has not been paid or is paid afterwards, the composition will be rejected.

Competition entries should be emailed to the competition office at with the subject line “International Kaija Saariaho Organ Composition Competition”.

Completed scores with a pseudonym / a completed score with a pseudonym must be emailed to the Helsinki Music Centre Foundation in electronic form by 4 p.m. on 29 October 2022 at the latest.

Printed competition entries will not be processed, and scores delivered late will be rejected. The contestant must ensure the composer is not revealed in the entry.

It is best to print and scan the competition entry so the author’s name will not appear in the file’s metadata.

The email must contain a separate attachment including a payment receipt and an open entry form with the following information: name of work, composer’s name, age, gender, postal address, phone number and dialling code, email address (if applicable), nationality, and a signature that binds the composer to comply with the contest rules and the jury’s decisions. With the signature, the composer also declares that the work or its parts have not been performed before.

The material must be written clearly and unambiguously. The contest organisation will ensure that the jury processes the entries anonymously.


The competition opens on 27 March 2020.

The deadline for submitting compositions is 29 October 2022.

By 1 May 2023, the jury will choose 2 concertos for organ and symphony orchestra, 2–4 works for chamber orchestra and organ and 2–6 solo organ works that will be given their first public performances in 2024.