2019 Rapido! winner Brian Raphael Nabors (left) with Todd Skitch, Ted Gurch and Brad Ritchie of the Atlanta Chamber Players. (credit Greg Mooney)

Rapido! Composition Contest announces national finalists

Five composers chosen for live final round of national contest

EarRelevant Staff | 9 SEP 2020

The Atlanta Chamber Players announced this morning that finalists for Cycle Six the Rapido!® 14-Day National Composition Contest have been chosen. The five finalists are:

  • Benedikt Brydern (Santa Monica, California)
  • Ashley Floyd (Athens, Georgia)
  • Benjamin Krause (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Ben Robichaux (Thibodaux, Louisiana)
  • Nicky Sohn (Houston, Texas)

All five will have their contest entry works premiered at the Rapido! National Finals concert, scheduled to be held on January 17, 2021, at which a panel of three distinguished judges will select the National Grand Prize winner.

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An Atlanta-based contest open to composers from across the United States, Rapido! was founded in 2009 by the Atlanta Chamber Players and the Antinori Foundation to promote the creation of new works for chamber ensemble. The sixth cycle of the competition includes prizes worth over $20,000.

The competition takes the name Rapido! from its fundamental premise that the competing composers are required to complete a new short work in just 14 days based on criteria revealed only at the beginning of that two week period.

In this cycle, in which the composing window ran from June 1-14, 2020, nearly 200 composers worked on a new composition for clarinet, violin, viola and cello. They were also tasked with musically responding to the extraordinary time we are experiencing as many of us continue to grapple with major changes in our personal and professional lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the process for selecting the five finalists was different than in previous competition cycles. Instead of a Regional Semifinals round coordinated by collaborating ensembles across the country, the entries all went before a single five-judge panel which selected the finalists.

Wednesday morning’s press release stated that all of the five finalists’ works proved “extremely powerful and moving as they expressed the different range of human emotions that have been experienced worldwide.” Atlanta Chamber Players has subsequently confirmed that statement to be the consensus opinion of the judges.

The Grand Prize winner will expand their short work into a longer piece for performance by The Atlanta Chamber Players in their 2021-2022 season, as well as the opportunity to compose a new orchestral work to be performed by the Grammy-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In addition, the winner receives a 2-week residency at the scenic Hambidge Center for Creative Arts in north Georgia.

Over the course of six cycles of competition since its founding, Rapido! has resulted in the creation of over 1,200 new chamber works. For more information, visit the Rapido! website at rapidocompositioncontest.com  ■