2017 Composition Challenge: Year of Samba

Lisker Music Foundation is very excited to present our first annual Composition Challenge, a unique themed competition for classical composers around the world.

The Challenge

2017 marks 100 years since the first recorded Samba. To commemorate this anniversary, your challenge is to compose an original work for Violin and Guitar Duet which pays tribute to the rich history of this beloved genre.

How to Apply

The following application materials must be received at the mailing address listed below on or before the submission deadline (October 1st, 2017). It is preferred that all materials other than the deposit check be uploaded to a flash drive and mailed in, rather than submitting printed copies.

Download 2017 Guidelines and Application Form

Mailing Address
Lisker Music Foundation
792 Greenwood Road
Northbrook, IL 60062

Application Checklist

1. Filled out application
2. 1-page bio
3. Non-refundable $40 application fee for each submitted work
made payable by Check to Lisker Music Foundation or via PayPal by following the button below.
4. Score and Parts for the composition
5. A recording of the piece (Midi/Synthesized Software Rendering is Acceptable)
6. Essay (1-Page Max) describing your work, and how you approached integrating the outlined challenge into your creative process.

The Prizes

  • $1000 Grand Prize
  • Premier of winning composition in the LMF 2017 Fall Season on October 26th in Chicago, IL featuring violinist, David Lisker, and guitarist Ana Vidovic.
  • Professional level Audio/Video recording from the premier


  • Submit all required application materials by: October 1st, 2017
  • Applicants must be 35 years or younger at time of submission
  • Composition must not exceed 10 minutes in duration
  • Work must be for Violin and Guitar Duo
  • Composers may submit more than one piece, but each work requires its own application fee

A Bit of History

Officially registered with the Almeida National Library in 1916 by the artist Ernesto dos Santos, best known as Donga, and then recorded in January, 1917, “Pelo Telefone” (Through the Telephone) represents the first true Samba recorded. Through its great popularity, the song would spark a nationwide (and eventual global) love for the style.

Click To Download
Official 2017 Poster

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email or call us for more information!

ekelner@liskermusicfoundation.org | 847-272-7003