Archipel Ose Academy 2020

Orchestral composition academy, April 2020, Geneva


Submission period

Thu Nov 28, 2019 at 9 AM UTC

End of submission period

Sat Feb 1 at 11:59 PM UTC

Results date

Tue Feb 11 at 4 PM UTC

In a few words

  • Academy of symphonic writing for young composers directed by Brian Ferneyhough and Yann Robin with Daniel Kawka conducting an orchestra of 56 musicians.
  • 6 days with workshops, meetings, lectures, rehearsals and concert in Lyon (France) and Geneva (Switzerland) from March 31 to April 6, 2020.
  • Application deadline : February 1st 2020.
  • Open to composers born after January 1st 1988 (32 years old in 2020 or younger).


The Academy

The exceptional nature of this composition academy, organised for the fourth time by Archipel and Ose! Symphony Orchestra, comes from the training offered to young composers (an orchestra of 56 musicians), the rehearsal time granted to them (partials, 3 tutti, dress rehearsal and concert for each student - well beyond what they will often have in the course of their symphonic career), and, above all, the quality and renown of the supervision : Brian Ferneyhough, well known composer and professor at Stanford University ; Yann Robin rising personality of the contemporary music scene ; Daniel Kawka, founder-conductor of the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain and Orchestre Symphonique OSE !, who is a frequent guest at Archipel and has a lot of experience in training young artists.

The six candidates will be selected on the basis of their applications in February 2020. They will have to write a short piece for orchestra that will be rehearsed then premiered in concert at the end of a the academy taking place successively in Lyon (March 31-April 3), and Geneva (April 4-6).

The host institutions

Archipel Festival

Founded in 1992 at the request of the City of Geneva, Archipel is the main festival in Switzerland entirely devoted to today's music. The Archipel festival takes place every year in spring and lasts ten days. Archipel has invited the greatest composers of our time (Benjamin, Berio, Carter, Ferneyhough, Harvey, Huber, Kagel, Kurtág, Ligeti, Rihm, Stockhausen…), given rise to numerous premieres, and contributed to making great musical works of the 20th and 21st centuries heard. With equally high standards, it is also interested in all forms of musical creation: stage and multimedia works, improvisation, electro-acoustic music, sound installations, and chamber and symphonic works.

Since 2007, Archipel has invested in the training and discovery of young artists by organizing numerous academies of composition or interpretations with Swiss universities or on its own initiative.

The previous academies were:

  • 2017 — Orchestral writing with prof. Kaija Saariaho and Orchestre Symphonique OSE.
  • 2018 — String quartet writing with prof. Michael Jarrell and Stefano Gervasoni, quartets Asasello and Béla.
  • 2019 — Vocal ensemble writing with prof. Katharina Rosenberger and Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart.


Ose! Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 2013 by the conductor Daniel Kawka, Ose ! offers its musicians and associated artists a unique artistic and human experience around the ideas of invention and creativity. Its renewed and lively vision of symphonic music and its concert tours policy foster the meeting with varied publics and make access to musical works and musical emotions easier.

In 2014 Ose ! organized its first concert tour dedicated to Gustav Mahler works with singer Vincent le Texier. The tour went through prestigious concert hall such as Montreux and Aix en Provence. In 2015 its recording of Maurice Ravels piano concertos with Vincent Larderet was widely acclaimed by international critics and received eight international awards. The next season Ose ! took part in various prestigious events such as the Nuits de la Citadelle Festival, the 50th birthday of the Chaise Dieu Festival, the celebration of Gilbert Amy’s 80th birthday during the Berlioz Festival… It played with famous soloists such as Emmanuelle Bertrand, Roger Muraro, Vincent Larderet.

In 2017 together with Archipel Festival, Ose ! created the Archipel Ose ! Academy dedicated to young international composers.

The professor

Brian Ferneyhough

British composer, now resident in the USA, of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world. Prof. Ferneyhough received his formal training at the Birmingham Conservatoire from 1961–63 and studied composition with Sir Lennox Berkeley at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1966–67. He then studied composition privately with Ton de Leeuw in Amsterdam in 1968–69 and with Klaus Huber at the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel from 1969–71.

Among his honours are the Mendelssohn Scholarship (1968), three prizes in the competition of the Internationale Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Amsterdam (1968–70), an honourable mention in the competition of the section in Italy of ISCM (1972), and a special prize from ISCM for the best work submitted in all categories (1974). He has also received a bursary from the Experimentalstudio des SWR in Freiburg im Breisgau (1974–75), an award from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (1976–77) and the Koussevitzky International Critics Award (1978, for the recording ofTransit on Decca Records). He was given the title Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France in 1984, was named an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1990 and served as a fellow of the Birmingham Conservatoire in 1995 and of the Royal Academy of Music in 1998. In addition, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Chamber-Scale Composition (1995, for On Stellar Magnitudes), was elected to the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 1996 and received the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis (2007, for his œuvre). He is the subject of the monographBrian Ferneyhough by Lois Fitch (2013, Intellect). He is also active in other positions. He has written numerous articles for publications on contemporary music, many of which appear in Collected Writings (1995, edited by James Boros and Richard Toop, Harwood Academic Publishers). He has served as a member of the editorial board of the journal Perspectives of New Music since 1995. He taught composition at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg in Freiburg im Breisgau from 1973–86 and regularly gave masterclasses at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan from 1984–87. He then taught as the principal teacher of composition at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag in 1986–87 and as Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego from 1987–2000. He then taught composition as the William H. Bonsall Professor in Music at Stanford University from 2000–18. He has given classes and lectures at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt since 1976 and served as coordinator of its course in composition from 1984–94. Moreover, he has directed the courses in composition Voix Nouvelles at the Fondation Royaumont since 1990 and has taught at Ircam in Paris since 1993. He has held guest professorships at Harvard University, the Kungliga Musikhögskolan – Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the University of Chicago.

He has lived in the USA since 1987. His publisher is Edition Peters.


Yann Robin

Yann Robin, born in february 1974, began his musical studies in Aix-en-Provence. He later enrolled in the jazz classroom at the Conservatory of Marseille while integrating the composition class of George Boeuf. He was awarded 1st prizes from the Paris National Conservatory in the composition class of Frédéric Durieux and the analysis class of Michaël Levinas. From 2006 to 2008, he attended the informatic curriculum at Ircam. Since 2004 he works closely with Alain Billard, clarinetist-soloist of the Ensemble intercontemporain for who he compose a cycle Art of Metal, 3 pieces around the metal bass clarinet.

Beyond the works of music chamber (Ftera I and II, in 2014 and 2016, Shadows I and II in 2015 and 2019), he receives commissions for larger ensemble: Arkham (2015) for large orchestra in Festival Musica, Ashes (2015) for the Seattle Symphonic Orchestra and the Orchestre national de Lille, Inferno (2013) for the Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio-France or Monumenta the same year for the SWR. He composes also for others ensembles: Ubergang I, premiered in Witten in 2018 for Klangforum Wien, Ubergang II, premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the monodrama Le Papillon noir, libretto of Yannick Haenel, premiered at the Théâtre de la Criée by Elise Chauvin, the vocal Ensemble Les Métaboles and the Ensemble Multilatéral.

The education, the passing on are also part of his activity: he is often invited for conferences and master-classes. In 2005, he creates with other composers the Ensemble Multilatéral and he becomes the artistic director.

Yann Robin always works closely with their performers (Alain Billard, Nicolas Crosse, Eric-Maria Couturier, Quatuor Tana...) which leads to the works with soloist instruments, looking for new sounds or modes of playing. His music is performed in France and abroad and he works with many ensembles or orchestras as such as the Ensemble intercontemporain, the Klangforum of Vienna or the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Seattle Symphonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg... conducted by Susanna Mälkki, Alan Gilbert, François-Xavier Roth, Laurence Equilbey, Pierre-André Valade, Peter Rundel, Daniel Kawka, Alejo Pérez, Jean Deroyer...

In 2019-2020, he is the hosted composer at the OSR, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.


Daniel Kawka

If his name were to be associated today with the music of the 20th century, it would be associated with the names of Wagner, Ravel and Boulez, the trilogy of artists who opened his eyes to the enthusiasm and styles which are embraced by Daniel Kawka: the German Romanticism, the Grand Opera of Wagner and Strauss, the universe of Mahler, the French Berlioz of our days, the music of our time. Kawka has regularly been invited to conduct the greatest European ensembles. Notably he has conducted the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, Seoul National Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, French National Orchestra, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Ensemble InterContemporain, among others. Throughout his career and his development, these are the works which have guided Daniel Kawka, steered his path and have led him to conduct works in the past few years such as: Tristan and Isolde (Wagner), directed by Olivier Py, Tannhäuser (Wagner), directed by Filippo Crivelli at the Rome Opera House, Dialogues of the Carmelites (Poulenc) in a staging by Stanislas Nordey at the National Theater of Seoul, Cosi fan tutte (Mozart), directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi, Turandot (Puccini), directed by Cisco Aznar, Rodrigue et Chimène (Debussy), in a concert version at the Saint Petersburg, Julie (Boesmans), directed by Matthew Jocelyn, Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (Dukas) directed by Lilo Baur, the grand repertoire of the French symphonies from Berlioz to Messiaen over the course of two great Russian tours. Another example is the Tetralogy (Wagner) directed by Laurent Joyeux.

Daniel Kawka, the musical director of the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain and the Ose Orchestra, and the main conductor invited by the ORT Orchestra of Firenze and the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, approaches and deepens his understanding of a type of repertoire, be it contemporary, classical, romantic or modern, with each of these ensembles. Today his work is paid tribute to through a wide ranging and exceptional discography.

Conditions for participation in the Archipel OSE Academy 2020

  • Open to young composers born after January 1st, 1988 (32 years old or younger).
  • Candidates' selection will be made by the two tutors, Archipel Festival and Ose! Symphony Orchestra based on their applications.
  • Course languages : English and French.
  • The course is limited to 6 participants selected by the jury.


Application requirements 

All the material must be sent in digital format on the Ulysses-network platform and the application must contain :

  • A letter of interest in French or English.
  • Photo of the ID card or passport
  • A detailed CV French/English
  • A short biography (1000 characters max.)
  • A royalty free photo for Internet publication
  • 3 scores requested per canditate, not more, with at least one orchestral score.
  • It is not mandatory but highly recommended to send recordings of the scores sent, if existing.
  • Scores must have their graphic realization and the interpretation guidelines in international standard.



The course fee of 300 € covers all masterclass courses, rehearsals, concert and the travels between Lyon, and Geneva during the course.

Hotel accomodation, meals and drinks are not included.

There is an additional registration fee of 30 CHF to be payed upon selection for Association Archipel, and 50 € for the Association Ose.

All payment must be done before the beginning of the course. Banking account will be given to the selected candidates.

Selected composers

The selection process wil last no more than 10 days after the deadline for registration (February 1st, 2020). Then the six selected composers will have to send an orchestral piece of no more than 10 minutes to be rehearsed during the Academy and played in public concert.

This piece MUST be a new or recent work (no more than one year old) and must be written for the following musicians without electronics or scenography.

  • Woodwinds and brass instruments: - = 18 instruments
  • 2nd flute plays also piccolo
  • 2nd oboe plays also English horn
  • 2nd clarinet plays also bass clarinet
  • Percussions: 3 percussionnists (a list of percussions will be sent)
  • 1 harp
  • 10 first violins - 8 second violins - 6 altos - 6 cellos - 4 doublebasses (1 with 5 strings) = 34 strings

No piano - No electronics

Concertant or staged pieces or pieces with electronics will not be accepted. All the works will be conducted. The parts will be provided by the composers as a PDF file before the beginning of March 2020 for orchestral and conducting preparation. Printed scores and parts will then be realized by the composers for the course itself and brought to Lyon.

Archipel and Ose! will decide the choice of the program for the last concert.


Each student will have one hour private course with each tutor (Brian Ferneyhough and Yann Robin), plus two public lectures with them.

For the orchestral work, each student will have partials if needed, three tutti, and a dress rehearsal before the concert. Brian Ferneyhough and Yann Robin will follow the rehearsals.

March 31, Lyon: arrival of the students in Lyon

April 1 - 2 - 3, morning and afternoon, Lyon : rehearsals of the students pieces (partials and 2 tutti). The 3rd with participation of Yann Robin

April 3, evening : students travel from Lyon to Geneva (2 hours)

April 4 Day off orchestra. 9:30am : welcome meeting of the participants at Maison communale de Plainpalais, Geneva.

  • 10-11:15am : collective session with Yann Robin
  • 11:30am-1pm : collective session with Brian Ferneyhough
  • 1-2pm : lunch
  • 2-7pm : Brian Ferneyhough public seminar.
  • 2-7pm : 3 private sessions with Yann Robin

April 5

  • 11am-1pm : 2 orchestra sessions
  • 11am-1:30pm : 3 private sessions with Yann Robin
  • 2-6:30pm : 4 orchestra sessions
  • 2-5:45pm : 3 private sessions with Brian Ferneyhough

April 6

  • 10am-1:30pm : 3 private sessions with Brian Ferneyhough
  • 3-6pm : dress rehearsal
  • 8pm : final concert of the academy in Maison communale de Plainpalais, Geneva.

April 7

  • Departure of the participants.


Archipel Academy is supported by Art Memntor Foundation Lucern and Carigest S.A.. The festival Archipel is supported by the City of Geneva, Loterie Romande, Pro Helvetia, Suisa, Fondation Suisa, Fondation Leenaards, Fondation Nestlé pour l'Art, Francis & Marie-France Minkoff Foundation, Fluxum Foundation.