Musica Sacra International Internationaler Kammerchor-Wettbewerb Marktoberdorf Chor- und Musikverband Achordas Allgemeiner Cäcilien-Verband für Deutschland Arbeitskreis Musik in der Jugend e.V. Chorverband in der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland Internationaler Arbeitskreis für Musik e.V. Pueri Cantores Verband Deutscher KonzertChöre e.V. Musica International
Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Chorverbände e.V.
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Application information

The Festivals of the Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Chorverbände e.V. (BDC) in Marktoberdorf e.V. invites chamber choirs from all over the world to apply for the 15th International Chamber Choir Competition held from 7th - 12th June 2019.

Please find the application information and the application form here.


The International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf is generously supported by:

The German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture & Media
Bavarian Ministry for Science and the Arts
Regional District Ostallgäu, Town Marktoberdorf
Goethe-Institut e.V. – Federal Foreign Office
and many others


The International Chamber Choir Competition Markt­oberdorf is intended to bring together the world’s best choirs in order to provide them with the opportunity, not only to compare with each other but also to discuss choral literature from the individual countries, interpretation, styles, voice-training and techniques. The main aim here is an international meeting with music as the central theme.


A committee made up of representatives of the BDC and other experts is responsible for the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf. It also selects the choirs, the jury members and the compulsory pieces and awards the prizes in cooperation with the head of the jury.

In case of conflict, the German version of the competition rules will be the relevant version.

Categories 2019

A Mixed choirs
B Popular choir music

 A choir should not have less than 16 and not more than 32 singers.

Tentative schedule

Friday, 7th June 2019

Arrival of the choirs
Opening concert

Saturday, 8th June 2019

1st round competition
Concerts in the region

Sunday, 9th June 2019

2nd round competition
Concerts in the region

Monday, 10th June 2019

Singing in church services, Coachings,
Concerts in the region

Tuesday, 11th June 2019

Announcement of the results, Prize-giving ceremony,
Final concerts

Wednesday, 12th June 2019     

Departure of the choirs

(subject to changes)












Competition Programme / Time limits

The competition consists of two competition rounds.

Competition - 1st round
In the 1st round, the competition programme may only include „a cappella“ works. A maximum of 3 necessary percussion instruments can be permitted by the committee on written request including a copy of the score. In the 1st round of the competition, the total duration of the performance, from the beginning of the first piece until the end of the last piece – not just the singing time! – must be between 15 and 20 minutes. The performance time will not be interrupted by applause. For Category A, choirs will be expected to perform one compulsory work. Choirs in Category B will be expected to perform a new arrangement of their own on a title which will be given. 

The Virtual Choral Library „Musica International“ ( may help in finding literature.


Category A – 1st round competition
Within the time limit, each choir in Category A has to perform at least one work in each of the following styles:

  1. Renaissance / Early Baroque
  2. 19th / 20th century (romanticism / impressionism)
  3. 20th / 21st century (composed after 1950)

Renaissance / Early Baroque will be covered by the compulsory work. The presentation of the works of each style should have a length of minimum 3 minutes and maximum 4 minutes. The choir has complete freedom in its choice of additional works within the maximum performance time of 20 minutes (including the compulsory work). It is allowed to reduce the number of singers up to 50% maximum for renaissance and baroque repertoire (minimum 16 persons) – however the solo singing of an individual voice is not permitted. A maximum of one work written by the choir’s conductor is admitted.

Compulsary work Category A:  Johann Hermann Schein: Die mit Tränen säen (from: Israelsbrünnlein)
Binding edition: Carus-Verlag;


Category B – 1st round competition
Within the time limit, each choir in Category B has to perform at least one work in each of the following styles:

  1. compulsory work (new, own arrangement of the piece “Girl Talk”)
  2. a work in Latin style
  3. a rubato ballad

The choir is allowed to complete its performance with other works such as gospel, barbershop, swing, Latin or popular music, within the maximum performance time of 20 minutes (including the compulsory work).

Compulsary work Category B: Neal Hefti / Bobby Troup : "Girl Talk"
Every choir performs its own arrangement of this piece.


Competition 2nd round
In the 2nd round of the competition, the choirs in each category may choose freely a programme of 10 minutes performing time. This may also include instrumental accompaniment and dance.

Technical assistance in Category B

The competition equipment provided for this category will be a PA-system, solo microphones, a microphone for beatboxing and a bass amplifier. No other equipment will be allowed. Choirs may bring their own solo microphones and microphones for beatboxing.



The jury in each category consists of five expert adjudicators. The assessment will be based on the following aspects:
a) technical performance: intonation, rhythm, phrasing, accuracy in respect to the written text, pronunciation
b) artistic performance: timing, agogics, dynamic flexibility, text-interpretation, faithful interpretation of style, choral sound, programme form
The results of both competition rounds will be assessed at a ratio of 2:1 ( 1st round : 2nd round) for the final result.
The decisions of the jury are final and may not be legally challenged.

The members of the jury are not allowed to reveal details of their assessments or the content of the discussions. A diploma showing the level of achievement reached will be given to each participating choir.




Each category will be endowed with three prizes. The Committee of the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf reserves the right, in consultation with the jury, to share as well as to change the amounts of the prizes.
       1st prize 3.500 euro
       2nd prize 2.500 euro
       3rd prize 1.500 euro

The jury may award special prizes. The special prizes will be announced on the website on a later date.

Coaching by the jury members

The choirs will have the possibility to receive coaching (one hour) with a jury member. This will take place after the competition.

Rules and conditions

Only choirs which have been officially admitted to the competition can participate. To be admitted, they have to fulfill the following conditions:

  1. The members of the choir must be amateurs, i.e. the majority do not earn their living by singing. 
  2. Choirs from music academies and conservatories are allowed to participate. 
  3. All participating choirs are obliged to be present in Marktoberdorf during the entire period from 7th - 12th June 2017 and to participate in the concerts, joint activities and final events. With their application, the choirs agree to the rules and conditions of the competition, to recordings and broadcasts in sound and television as well as any other sound or visual recordings (and any copies thereof) being made in connection with the competition. By accepting the rules and conditions the choir surrenders all rights resulting from such recordings to the organizers. 
  4. Choirs which won a first prize at the 15th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf 2017 are excluded from taking part. 
  5. Conductors and others interested in attending the International Master Class for Choral Conductors following the competition must apply by 30th April 2019.

Admission / selection

The Committee of the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf is responsible for the admission of choirs to the competition. Applications for admission require the following documents:

  1. A short CV (continous text) of the choir and of the conductor as well as 3 digital printable photos (min. 300 dpi) each of the choir and the conductor
  2. A list of the choir’s repertoire
  3. A list of important concerts performed at home and abroad
  4. A list of any previous participations and successes in competitions and festivals
  5. A CD or audio file (mp3...) with a-cappella recordings of the choir in the last 2 years (live; about 30 mins.; with a list of titles, composers and composers’ dates of the pieces).
    The recording must contain at least one work in each of the following styles in Category A
    • Renaissance / baroque
    • 19th / 20th Century (romanticism / impressionism)
    • 20th / 21st Century (composed after 1950)
    The recording must contain at least one work in each of the following styles in Category B:
    • a work in swing
    • a work in Latin-Style
    • a rubato-ballad
  6. The online-application has to be completed (
  7. The planned competition programme incl. times
  8. Proposals for one or more concert programmes of about 25 minutes length (sacred and/or secular and/or folklore, the latter in national costume if possible), with or without instruments.

Accommodation / Meals

All meals for the choirs (max. 32 singers and 1 conductor) as well as accommodation in rooms with several beds or in host-families in Marktoberdorf or its surrounding area are provided free of charge for the duration of the competition (June 7 - 12, 2019). The costs for additional singers or other accompaniyng persons have to be borne by the choirs (flat charge).

Participating fee

Participating choirs have to pay a participating fee of 50 Euro per person. Choirs has to submit the number of participants as well as a list of names of all singers and the conductor by 15th February 2019. Afterwards the choirs will receive an invoice of the amount to be paid within 14 days. Choirs from countries that are grouped in the category "medium human development" or "low human development" of the UNDP Human Development Report 2016 may pay a reduced fee.

Travelling expenses

The cost as well as the organization of the journey to and from Marktoberdorf must be borne by the choirs.

Special programme

As the aim of the event is not only to compete, each choir is expected to perform in extra concerts (e.g. a sacred and a folklore-concert) with a programme of approx. 25 minutes in Marktoberdorf or the surrounding area, together with two other participating choirs.  All choirs are also cordially invited to participate in singing at church services on Whit Monday. Eventually follow-up concerts after the competitionmwill be organized.

The choirs have the opportunity to make an excursion to see the wonderful churches and castles (e.g. Neuschwanstein) of the region. We gladly assist choirs with organizing this (e.g. transportion, tickets...). The costs for an excursion have to be covered by the choirs themselves.