Goethe: Clavigo - music theatre workshop for young composers

2024.02.12. - 2024.02.15.

Workshop for young composers

Budapest, 12-15 February 2024

Goethe: Clavigo

music theatre workshop for young composers

12-15 February 2024, Budapest, Hungary


The Peter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation announces a workshop for composers between 12-15 February 2024, in Budapest (Hungary). The Foundation is aiming to help young composers to produce a contemporary chamber opera based on Goethe’s play, Clavigo, and give an insight of how an opera can unfold from the very first ideas of a libretto to the very last beat of a premiere.

The chamber opera will be composed to a string quartet and 4 singers. The participating 16 composers will work on their selected scenes with Robert HP Platz, Peter Eötvös and Gregory Vajda, after which phase 8 selected composers can work on their scenes, constantly corresponding with the professors, and send the completed 50% of their full score to the Foundation. Then the fellow professors will select 4 composers to finalize their scenes and send it to production. The complete chamber opera will be presented at Budapest Music Center, then will be followed by two-three other venues.

Selected composers will have the opportunity to fine tune their compositions with the professors and the collaborating 4 singers and string quartet, they’ll also have the possibility to make compositional adjustments with the guidance of the guidance of Robert HP Platz, Peter Eötvös and Gregory Vajda.

Focus of the workshop: contemporary chamber opera written for four singers and a string quartet.

Duration of each final scene: 10-15 minutes

Duration of the complete piece (4 scenes): ca. 50-60 minutes

The call is open for all nationalities. The course is suitable for composer students and young professional composers under 40 years.

Libretto: The language of the chamber opera is German. For the application at least 50% of this short excerpt must be composed for voices and string quartet. (ca. 5 Minutes) They types of voices are free of choice, they will be finalized during the course:

“Marie: Mein Herz! Mein Herz!
Ach! Luft! Luft!
(fällt zurück)

Sophie: Verlaß uns nicht, Gott im Himmel! Hülfe!
Sie ist tot!
Das war ihr Schicksal! Sie hat’s geendet.

Straße vor dem Hause Maries. Nacht. Tore sind offen, davor Fackeln. Clavigo auf dem Weg nach Hause.

Clavigo: Fackeln dort?
Mariens Wohnung! Eine Leiche! Mir fährt ein Todesschauer durch alle Glieder. Tot! Marie tot!
Erbarm dich meiner, Gott im Himmel, ich habe sie nicht getötet!

Sie tragen Maries Leichnahm, unter Beaumarchais und Sophies Begleitung.

Clavigo: Haltet!

Beaumarchais: Wer untersteht sich, den ehrwürdigen Zug zu stören?
(erkennt Clavigo)
Elender! Ist deiner Schandtaten kein Ende? Ist dein Opfer im Sarge nicht sicher vor dir?

Beaumarchais greift nach seinem Degen und stößt ihn gegen Clavigos Brust.”

The whole libretto, and its translation is provided on the following link:

CLAVIGO librettos - link


ROBERT HP PLATZ, conductor/composer (Germany) / 1st phase

PETER EÖTVÖS, conductor/composer (Hungary/Germany)

GREGORY VAJDA, conductor/composer (Hungary/USA)

SUSANNE BLUMENTHAL, conductor (Germany) / 2nd phase


  1. Preparatory phase - 12-15 February 2024

For the first preparatory phase the young composers should apply with a small excerpt written on the provided libretto part until 22nd December 2023. 16 applicants will be selected until 31st December 2023, and can take part in the workshop from 13-15 February 2024 in Budapest at Budapest Music Center. Composers who will not be chosen could attend the rehearsals as observers.

12 February 2024, 18:00 – mustMEET Robert HP Platz – public meeting at BMC Library

13-15 February 2024 – workshop with Robert HP Platz, Peter Eötvös and Gregory Vajda

After the workshop the professors make a selection, keep 8 composers to work further on the piece, and in this period they will have the opportunity to discuss constantly with all professors (online consultations) and can send the 50% of their full score until 30th May 2024.

According to these scores, the professors will select the 4 final composers till 31st May 2024. Each selected composer gets to finish 1 selected scene. They must provide the final full score until 30th August 2024, the professors will check and possibly advise corrections in the scores until 2nd September 2024. The finalized score will be given to the singers and the string quartet until 10th September 2024.

  1. Production phase - 02-07 December 2024

The complete chamber opera will be rehearsed and staged at Budapest Music Center. Composers will attend all rehearsals and work with Susanne Blumenthal, Peter Eötvös, Gregory Vajda, the 4 singers and the string quartet.

The planned premiere date is 07 December 2024.

The Foundation will provide travel and accommodation for the 4 selected composers for the production phase in Budapest, and to take part in all other performances planned in Berlin and in Köln.


- online application form

- the full score written on the excerpt provided above

- curriculum vitae and photo of the applicant

Application can only be completed via eotvosmusicfoundation.org. We accept one score per applicant. The score can be uploaded at the last button (Own Pieces: Ensemble or Chamber Piece.)


Budapest Music Center (1093 Budapest, Mátyás u. 8.) www.bmc.hu

Application deadline: 22 December 2023. - NEW DEADLINE: 15 JANUARY 2024

Confirmation of acceptance will be sent until 31 December 2023. - NEW DATE: 17 JANUARY 2024

We kindly ask selected composers to get back to us right after the confirmation of their status so in any case of change we can select other candidates from the waiting list.


Those who are not selected as active participants, are also welcome as observers during the masterclass if they wish to visit. Please indicate the observer option after the confirmation of your status. You can also come only as an observer, please choose this option in the online application form. Concerning the unique program, we highly recommend to consider this opportunity as well. Observers can attend all rehearsals, the public meeting, and the closing concert.


Selected composer participants: 500 €

(to be paid until 15 January 2024)- new date 20 January 2024

Observers: 100 € (to be paid until 05 February 2024)

by bank transfer to the following account:

Peter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation

Bank name: K&H Bank Budapest

IBAN: HU76 1020 1006 6019 4912 0000 0000


Partial attendance gives no right for fee reduction. We accept only bank transfer.

Please note: the contribution for the 1st phase does not include accommodation, meals and travel costs. Upon request, we can help to find private or hotel accommodation within walking distance of the venue. Our hotel partner is Ibis Centrum in Budapest, and we highly recommend their service.

For the production phase there is no participation fee. The 4 composers selected after the first phase will be invited to Budapest Music Center and their travel, accommodation will be covered by the Foundation. Only those who have applied to the 1st phase could be invited to the production phase. Non selected participants can attend the 2nd phase as observers, no fee applies.

The rehearsals will be recorded in part on video and a short professional documentary film will be available online after the course.


Active participants will receive diploma, observers will receive attendance certificate, signed by all professors.


We are thankful for the support of the Budapest Music Center.