international chamber music ensemble competition application

Application instructions

Each participating music ensemble is required to submit an application in electronic form by June 20, 2019. 

Please fill out the application form. All ensembles must provide an unedited DVD, YouTube video, or MP3 file with your audition material with the application. The link to YouTube or your MP3 file may be emailed to: 

The DVD and a check for the application fee may be mailed to:

Chamber Music Foundation of New England
277 Ward Street, Newton, MA 02459

Categories and age groups

ICMEC is open to student and professional ensembles of all ages and nationalities. The following ensemble categories will compete within their respective age groups:

  • Sonata Duo
  • Piano Duo (four hand, two piano)
  • Piano Ensemble (Trio, Quartet or Quintet)
  • Ensemble with Winds
  • Jazz or Folk Ensemble
  • String Ensembles
  • Vocal Chamber Groups
  • Percussion

Age Groups

  • Group I Age 13 and Under
  • Group II Age 14 to 18
  • Group III Age 19 to 25
  • Group IV Age 26 and older

Amateur Group

Amateur category: ensembles whose participants average age is 19 and above and consisting of students whose major is other than music or individuals whose primary occupation is not music. These groups will be judged separately from the above categories.

ICMEC Awards and the Ceremony

These are examples from the 2016 competition. 

2016 Gold Medal Winning Ensemble will receive a cash award of $2,000 and will be invited to perform in 2017-2018 Concert Series in New England.

2016 Silver Medal Winning Ensemble will receive a cash award of $1,000 and will be invited to perform in 2017-2018 Concert Series in New England.

2016 Bronze Medal Winning Ensemble will receive a cash award of $500. This prize is named in memory of the late Harriet Ruth Stormier Carey, M.D.

2016 Special Amateur Prize of $500 will be awarded for the best ensemble in that category.

The Award Ceremony will follow the 2016 ICMEC final competition round at Jordan Hall of the New England Conservatory in Boston. The ICMEC final round participants will receive 2016 ICMEC Laureate Certificates. The 2016 ICMEC gold, silver and bronze medal recipients will receive medals and cash prizes.

Selection process

Preliminary Round

Each competing chamber ensemble must submit an unedited good sound quality DVD or a digital file [mp3] or YouTube video of their audition piece together with an application form and entrance fee of $90 per person by Date to be announced.

Second Round

Ensembles that pass the preliminary submission round will be invited to participate in a second round live audition in Boston, MA on date to be determined.

Participants will compete in their age groups and categories. The best performing ensembles regardless of 2020 ICMEC Laureate Certificate and will participate in the final round of 2020 ICMEC competition.

Final Round

The 2020 ICMEC final round will be held at Jordan Hall of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston on date to be determined. The finalists will compete for the 2020 ICMEC Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals and the best Amateur Ensemble award. This round is open to public and entrance is free of charge.

The decisions of the judges are final.



The repertoire for the recording must be a composition of one or several movements or a group of compositions not exceeding 30 minutes. It is advisable to present repertoire, which will showcase different styles.

The repertoire for the second round of the ICMEC can be different from the initial submission but has to be the same as the Final Round and cannot exceed 20 minutes.

FAQ about the repertoire

Are transcriptions allowed?
Yes, they are, unless it is a concerto for solo instrument and orchestra. Concerto transcriptions ARE NOT allowed.

Can we play different short pieces?
Yes, you can, however the time allowed is 30 minutes for the DVD/MP3 file and 20 minutes for live audition.

Are excerpts from a single movement allowed?

No, only whole movements are allowed.

Will my DVD and a fee will be returned to me?
No, the DVD are not going to be returned and the is fee non-refundable.