The Competition will take place from the 12th – 14th October 2017

Rules of the Competition

The Rules of the 2017 Competition are now available on-line
and can be downloaded using the following link: RULES 2017


  1. The Competition is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland and IPUT plc and supported by RTÉ lyric fm
  2. The Patrons are: Jane Carty, Dearbhla Collins, Eamonn Lawlor and John Rowden .
  3. The  Semi-Final and  Final of the Competition will take place in the Freemasons’ Hall, 17 Molesworth  Street, Dublin 2, from 12th-14th October 2017, before an International Jury, chaired by Jane Carty.
  4. Competitors selected by their Colleges will perform at the Semi-Finals and four of these will then be chosen by the Jury to go on to the Final.
  5. The Semi-Finals on Thursday 12th October 2017 and the Final on Saturday 14th October 2017  are open to the public.
  6. The Competition is open to instrumentalists in the following categories :
    • Keyboard ( piano, organ, harpsichord and classical accordion )
    • Strings ( violin, viola, cello, double-bass, concert harp, classical guitar )
    • Woodwind ( flute, recorder, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon )
    • Brass ( French Horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, euphonium )

(If any Competitor is in doubt as to whether a particular instrument from any of these groups of musical families but not specifically detailed here, is acceptable or not, they must contact the Artistic Director, Jane Carty, who will give a ruling on the matter)

  1. The Prizes are as follows :

Presented by the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland

        1st Prize :  € 5,000 , 2nd Prize:  € 3,000, 3rd Prize:   € 1,500 , 4th Prize:   € 1,250

Presented by Joseph Brennan ( in memory of his parents, Charles and Ursula)

The Brennan Prize: €1,000 for the most promising Competitor in the Competition

Presented by Mary Beattie (in memory of her late husband John Vallery)

The John Vallery Memorial Prize €1,000, for the best performance by a string player in the Competition.

  1. Competitors must be full time students for the college year 2016-2017, pursuing a Degree in Music Performance at Undergraduate, Post Graduate or Doctoral Level, or a Post Graduate Diploma in Music Performance,  at the following Music Institutions  in Ireland:
    • The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin
    • The DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin
    • The CIT Cork School of Music, Cork
    • The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick (MA  in Classical String Performance )
    • The Dundalk Institute of Technology, Centre for Research in Music (MA in Music Performance)
    • Faculty of Music & Sonic Arts, Queens University, Belfast
  1. If a registered student of one of the above Colleges for the academic year 2016-2017 is attending a College/University outside Ireland for the year on an Erasmus exchange, they are eligible to compete as they remain registered students of their respective Colleges. However visiting students on an Erasmus exchange from countries outside Ireland are not eligible, as they remain registered students with their own Colleges and are only attending courses in the respective Irish College.
  2. Students who have graduated from any of the above colleges with a Primary, Post Primary or Doctoral Degree in Music Performance, or a Post Graduate Diploma in Music Performance, and are full time students at Colleges anywhere outside Ireland  for the 2016-2017 College Year, studying for  a Post Graduate or Doctoral Degree in Music Performance,  or a Post Graduate Diploma in Music Performance are eligible to compete.
  3. The age limit for the Competition is not more than 27 years of age on 1st October 2017
  4. The format for the Competition is that each of the above Colleges will, at the end of the College Year 2016-2017, choose students to put forward for the Semi-Finals of the Competition on 12th October 2017. The Music Colleges named in (8) above may each enter up to a maximum of four Semi-Finalists. The criteria and method of choosing their students for entry is to be decided solely by each of the Colleges, EXCEPT that a college may not enter more than one Semi-Finalist in any one year where the Semi-Finalist is making their second appearance in the competition
  5. The Closing Date for the submission by the Colleges of the names of the students chosen by the Colleges to go forward to the Semi-Finals of the Competition is 4:00pm on Friday, 30th June 2017. Completed entry forms (with biographies and pictures) must be received at Freemasons’ Hall by that date and time
  6. The names and details of each of the students must be submitted by the College on the Competition Entry Form and the Entry Form must be signed by each student, and the relevant College Authority
  7. For the Semi-Final of the Competition each student must present a 20 minute recital programme of their own choice from the classical repertoire, from any period of time. This programme will be repeated in the Final, EXCEPT EITHER one new piece must be substituted in the Final for one of the pieces performed in the Semi-Final OR ELSE one additional piece must be  added on to the programme performed in the Semi-Final. The duration of the Recital for the Final will be 30 minutes.

NB: If a Competitor chooses their additional piece from a set of pieces such as Preludes, Scherzi, Studies etc, by Bach, Debussy, Chopin or other composers, please note that each    such piece from the set counts as ONE piece. Two, three or more pieces from a set cannot be arbitrarily grouped together and submitted as one piece. An exception of course is a movement/s from a Sonata or suchlike piece. If any Competitor is in doubt as to the eligibility of a piece they must contact the  Artistic Director, Jane Carty (contact details at the end of these Rules), who will give a written ruling on the matter).

  1. There will be penalties for programmes which are unacceptably over time.
  2. The official accompanist for the Competition is Dearbhla Brosnan:
  3. Those using the official accompanist will have a rehearsal with her in a rehearsal room at Freemasons Hall, and in addition, a short acoustic rehearsal in the Main Hall itself both for the Semi-Final and the Final.
  4. Competitors may bring their own accompanist if they so wish but they must pay any fee and expenses for this accompanist themselves.
  5. Pianists will have a full rehearsal in the Main Hall on the piano on which they will be performing for both the Semi-Final and the Final.
  6. Competitors not using the official accompanist, or not needing an accompanist, will be offered a short acoustic rehearsal in the Main Hall itself. If they wish to avail of facilities for a private rehearsal as well, in a rehearsal room in Freemasons Hall, for the Semi-Final or Final, they may request this on their entry form.
  7. There is no entry fee for the Competition.
  8. Students who live outside Dublin, and those who are studying abroad and whose family home is not in Dublin, will be offered, subject to availability, free accommodation with host families, for the duration of the Competition.
  9. Possible future concert and/or broadcasting engagements will be offered to the First Prizewinner and other Prizewinners.
  10. First Prize winners of the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition are not eligible to compete again in the Competition, and no Competitor is eligible to compete more than twice in the Competition
  11. The final arbiters in respect of any interpretation of these Rules shall be the Artistic Director and the General Administrator
  12. Rights to any Competition performance, whether broadcast, televised, recorded or filmed, in any manner whatsoever , belong exclusively to The Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland, and no fee  is, or shall be deemed, payable to the Competitor or the College or any other person or firm in respect of  these Competition performances or any broadcasts, recordings, transmissions or films, and the right to reproduce, or licence  any broadcasts, recordings, transmissions or films belongs exclusively to the Sponsors
  13. The postal address and other contact details for the Competition are

Music Competition , Freemasons’ Hall, 17 Molesworth Street,  Dublin 2

General Administrator Direct Telephone: Shane Cusack  or John Keeley : +353 (0)87 799 3621

General Administrator Direct email :

Artistic Director Direct Telephone: Jane Carty:  +353 (0)87 972 5429

Artistic Director Direct E-Mail:


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