The NCCA, in line with its mission to “encourage the continuing development of a pluralistic culture by the people themselves,” launches the NCCA Composers’ Prize.

ncca composers prize

The NCCA Composers’ Prize is an annual award given to deserving composers for each category.  The award, in the gross amount stipulated for each category, will assist the recipient during the writing stage with a final public premiere of the composition.  The award is good for one year, after which a manuscript of the composition will be submitted to the NCCA for a public world premiere and possible publication.

The NCCA, in line with its mission to “encourage the continuing development of a pluralistic culture by the people themselves,” will be creating the opportunity to have a direct hand in the development and enrichment of the genres in Philippine music literature.  With the cash award, the NCCA Composers’ Prize winners will be freed from the demands of their work and shall be able to focus on the composing of the complete manuscript and public premiere for one year.


The award is open to all Filipino composers, of legal age, except to the officers and members of the NCCA Secretariat and the incumbent Executive Council Members of the NCCA Committee on Music (NCM).


For the NCCA Composers’ Prize competition, the following shall be the requirements in the submission of entries:

2.1 Applicants must submit an accomplished application form, which is available at the NCCA Plan/ Policy Formulation and Programming Division (P/PFPD) or may be downloaded from the NCCA website:; together with the applicant’s curriculum vitae; with a 2-4 page concept paper discussing the rationale and significance of the project, and the initial output of the project which shall be submitted in four (4) printed copies.    The categories and the expected initial output for each category are:

Song cycle

(voice & accompaniment)


One (1) song

(minimum of 3 minutes)

At least five (5) songs

(combined minimum of 12 minutes)

PHP 125,000.00
Chamber music

(minimum of two, maximum of nine instruments with or without voice, may include Philippine indigenous instruments)

One (1) piece

(minimum duration of 5 minutes)

At least three (3) pieces/movements*

(combined minimum of 12 minutes)

PHP 187,500.00
Rondalla Ensemble One (1) piece

(minimum duration of 3 minutes)

At least three (3) pieces/movements*

(combined minimum of 10 minutes)

PHP 187,500.00
Solo instrument

(including solo rondalla and Philippine indigenous instruments)

One (1) piece

(minimum duration of 2 minutes)

At least three (3) pieces/movements*

(combined minimum duration of 8 minutes)

PHP 125,000.00


*An extended single-movement work may be submitted as final output provided that the composer adheres to the designated combined minimum duration of that particular category.

Categories that utilize texts must be written by a Philippine poet/writer and preferably be in any Philippine language though other non-Philippine language may still be accepted.  If the composer is not the author of the text, then the composer is solely responsible to secure copyright clearance especially for texts that are not in the public domain.

All the sample works shall utilize conventional notation.  Non-conventional notation may be employed but there must be an accompanying explanation to such.  Manuscript and concept paper shall not bear the name of the applicant in any of the pages.  All manuscripts received with identifying marks shall be disqualified.

2. 2 Applicants are allowed to apply at most in two (2) categories.

2.3 Applications will be evaluated by an Ad Hoc Screening Committee, the lists of the members of the Screening Committee shall be provided by the Committee on Music.   There will be three members of the Ad-Hoc Screening Committee.

2.4 The Award will be released in two (2) tranches, with the first tranche amounting to 50% of the grant to be given during the Awards Ceremony at the beginning of the composing period and the final tranche or the remaining 50% upon submission of the completed composition.

2.5  The NCCA shall award one (1) recipient for each category.  Each awardee shall be given until 01 December 2016 to submit the completed composition.  The NCCA will allow a maximum extension of six (6) months only with written justification from the awardee.

2.6 Completed manuscript by the composer, which means that it is 100% completed, must be submitted in two forms:  Two (2) hard-bound printed copies and two (2) electronic copies each in Sibelius 6 (or higher) and PDF formats in a USB.  The winning works shall bear the following inscription on each of the printed manuscript and in all press releases:

Winner of the 2016 Composers’ Prize (name of category)
from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts

2.7 The award is non-transferable.  All privileges shall be enjoyed by the recipient himself/herself based on the successful evaluation of the work in progress.  A member from the Ad-Hoc Screening Committee of each category shall be assigned as Consultant to evaluate the succeeding materials to be submitted by the recipient.  Upon submission of the positive evaluation of the Consultant and final approval of the completed manuscript for the final tranche, the corresponding amount shall be released immediately to the composer.

2.8 Deadline of submission of application together with the curriculum vitae of applicant and other requirements shall be on 31 May 2016.   All applications shall be addressed to:

Plan/Policy Formulation and Programming Division
(P/PFPD) – Arts Section
NCCA Building, 633 General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila

Project Development Officer III

2.9 Entries that were not selected shall not be returned and shall be immediately disposed.

2.10 Works may deal with any topic, but those dealing with environmental issues and climate change or other relevant matters for the application year are also welcome.

2.11 The decision of the jury is final and irrevocable.  The NCCA Committee on Music also reserves the right to make any changes deemed necessary to any part of the competition at any time.


3.1 The composer hereby grants NCCA the first option to publish the completed manuscript.  The NCCA will also have the right to produce or authorize to be produced, for staging, telecasting, broadcasting, or cinema or other forms of exhibition any output of the winning manuscripts without any additional performance or broadcasting royalty to the composer for three (3) years beginning 01 December 2016 until 01 December 2019.  Afterwards, such royalties will then have to be collected and paid to the composer.  The NCCA will likewise be allowed to include the completed manuscript in the NCCA Website.  The first option to publish by the NCCA expires one (1) year after completion of the composing project.  After that, publishing rights shall be reverted back to the composer.

3.2 It is understood that the submitted composition has not been awarded any prize from any award-giving body. Any violation of the guidelines shall mean withdrawal of the prize and any amount paid to the recipient shall be returned to the NCCA. The award then will be transferred to an alternate composer who received the next highest vote.


4.1 NCCA shall take care in the expedition of the public world premiere of the approved final compositions within one (1) year after the 01 December 2016 final submission deadline.  The winning composers are highly encouraged to attend the performance but they shall do so at their own expense.

Download the competition guidelines and official entry form