international solo & ensemble competition 2024

About isec

Welcome to the International Solo & Ensemble Competition 2024, 6th Season – ushering in the post-Covid Era with resounding harmony! As seasoned organizers of successful music competitions, Hitmaker recognizes the pressing need for expanded opportunities for musicians to exhibit their talents on a global scale. At Hitmaker, we firmly believe that musicians not only refine their skills through practice but also deserve the opportunity to perform before distinguished judges who hail from renowned conservatories worldwide.

Join us at the International Solo & Ensemble Competition 2024, 6th Season, and become a part of an unparalleled platform that celebrates the artistry and fervor of music, offering a global spotlight for musicians to illuminate their talents. Prepare to showcase your skills, glean insights from industry luminaries, and bask in the inspirational power of music as we navigate the post-Covid Era together.

As the International Solo & Ensemble Competition returns for its 6th Season in 2024, the excitement is palpable! Our esteemed panel of judges, drawn from prestigious music conservatories and professional orchestras worldwide, including the Netherlands, the United States, China, Australia, Singapore, and Germany, is prepared to witness remarkable performances from talented musicians across the globe.

Prepare to showcase your skills and compete for top honors in this prestigious international competition. Stay tuned for further updates on the 6th International Solo & Ensemble Competition as we embark on another thrilling musical journey together!

At the International Solo & Ensemble Competition (ISEC) 2024, we remain steadfast in our belief that competitions are instrumental in uncovering and nurturing young artistic talents. Our mission persists: to champion and elevate youth arts education by furnishing aspiring music professionals and enthusiasts with an unparalleled platform to unveil their extraordinary talents. ISEC transcends mere competition; it evolves into a vibrant forum for musical exchange and enlightenment. Here, musicians from every corner of the globe converge to share their fervor for music, forge connections with fellow artists, and revel in the exhilaration of competing on a global stage. Through ISEC, we endeavor to ignite, invigorate, and embolden young musicians to surpass the limits of their artistic prowess and scale unprecedented heights of excellence.

Join us at ISEC 2024 and become a part of a transformative voyage that exalts the potency of music, nurtures artistic evolution, and etches indelible memories. Whether you grace the stage as a soloist or part of an ensemble, ISEC offers an unparalleled opportunity to unveil your talents, glean insights from esteemed judges, and unite with fellow musicians who share your passion for music. Prepare to embark on an extraordinary musical odyssey at ISEC 2024, where dreams take flight, talents blossom, and artistic brilliance shines brightly!


Unlock the transformative power of music with the International Solo & Ensemble Competition (ISEC) 2024. As we journey into a new season, our theme, ‘Inspire Through Sound, Embrace the Symphony of Diversity,’ resonates at the heart of our mission.

At ISEC 2024, we celebrate the unique voices and talents of musicians from every corner of the globe. Our platform serves as a harmonious convergence of cultures, genres, and styles, fostering a rich tapestry of musical expression. As participants, you’ll experience the joy of sharing your artistry while embracing the diverse perspectives and traditions that enrich our global community.

Guided by our esteemed panel of judges, comprised of distinguished musicians and educators who embody our theme, you’ll receive more than just feedback; you’ll be empowered to embrace your individuality and push the boundaries of creativity. Their collective wisdom and expertise serve as a catalyst for growth, inspiring you to reach new heights of excellence.

Join us at ISEC 2024 and become part of a symphony where every note, every voice, contributes to a harmonious whole. Let us inspire through sound and embrace the beauty of our collective diversity. Together, let’s create music that transcends boundaries and touches the soul.”

Prof Zuo Jun

ISEC Chairman
YST Conservatory of Music, NUS

Prof Zhu Wen

ISEC Vice Chair
Australian Institute of Music


Lead Adjudicator
Piano Professor & Steinway artist

Alexander Souptel

Lead Adjudicator
Former Leader Violinist of The Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Zhang Jinmin

Leader Adjudicator
Head of Woodwinds of YST Conservatory of Music, NUS

Darrell Ang

Artistic Director of Sichuan Symphony Orchestra

Dr Hardy Mertens

Tilburg Fontys University of the Arts

Yang Xinan

Violinist at Hubei Symphony Orchestra


Deputy Principal & Violin Specialist Instructor at Sichuan

Igor Budinstein

Viola Principal/Conductor of the German Symphony Orchestra

Ian Bofinger

Executive Dean of Australian Academy of Music & Performing Arts

Dr Wojciech W Wisniewski

Australian Institute of Music

Ma Yue

Lecturer at YST Conservatory of Music, NUS

Jason Guo

Cello Professor at Sichuan Conservatory of Music

About the Competition

How to start?

Choosing the right category is an important first step when applying for the 2024 International Solo & Ensemble Competition (ISEC) organized by Hitmaker. Here’s a simple process flow to help candidates select the appropriate category

Knowing your instrument (Solo Category)

Western Instruments:

Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass (Bass), Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn

Chinese Instruments:

Pipa, Zhongruan, Erhu, Dizi, Sanxian, Guzheng, Guqin, Suona


Ethnic Vocal Technique, Bel Canto Vocal Technique, Musical Theater Excerpt

Note: No percussion instruments.

Important note:

  1. If the original composition of the solo performance piece has accompaniment, then the accompaniment must be performed together (accompaniment instruments can be piano, accordion, or guitar, excluding recorded accompaniment) to maintain musical integrity. If the original composition is an unaccompanied piece, then accompaniment is not required.
  2. If the original composition of the solo vocal performance piece has accompaniment, then the accompaniment must be performed together (accompaniment instruments can be piano or recorded accompaniment) to present the musical integrity. If the original composition is an unaccompanied piece, then accompaniment is not required.
Choose the right level

Consider your skill level

The Solo Category is divided into Advanced and Amateur levels. You may consider applying for the Advanced level if you have extensive experience and training in classical music. The Amateur level may be more suitable if you are relatively new to classical music or still developing your skills.

Ensemble Category (Terms & Conditions)

Any form of concerto is not allowed in this category. Non-professional groups and professional groups will compete separately.

Note: Professional learners refer to full-time students studying in domestic professional music institutions, including all art colleges and departments of universities, with a group size of 2-8 people. Homophonic ensembles (unison) are not considered as ensembles. If there is one professional student in the ensemble, it will be classified as a professional group.

Piano Four Hands/Six Hands

This category can be performed on one piano or two pianos. If there is one professional student in the ensemble, it will be classified as a professional group. The average age must not exceed 23 years old.

Chamber Music

Any combination of instruments other than those listed in the current competition’s ensemble categories can be registered as chamber music, with a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 18 performers.

(There should be no conductor or vocalists in the chamber music ensemble, and no more than 4 participants playing traditional Chinese instruments.)

Ensemble performances of the same voice parts (unison) cannot be counted as chamber music. If there are six professional students in the ensemble, it will be classified as a professional group.

Determine Your Age Group

Competition participants are grouped into six categories based on age, labelled A to E. Groups B to E are further divided into Professional and Amateur subcategories.

Knowing your Age Group

Note: The age is determined based on the Gregorian calendar.



Date of Birth

(based on the Gregorian calendar)

A1 born fter 2018 6 and below
A2 2014 – 2017 7 – 9
B (Advanced/Amateur) 2012 – 2013 10 – 12
C (Advanced/Amateur) 2009 – 2011 13 – 15
D (Advanced/Amateur) 2006 – 2008 16 – 18
E (Advanced/Amateur) N/A No Age Limit
Ensemble | Things to Note

The Ensemble category is divided into Professional and Amateur groups for competition. If there is a professional player in the chamber group, they will be classified into the Professional group for the competition.

For Advanced Level

  • Group B-D: Students from music colleges and affiliated high schools of art colleges
  • Group E: College students, graduate students, and young teachers from music colleges and art colleges
  • Open Group: Adhering to the belief that love for music knows no boundaries, this competition has a special Open Group for music enthusiasts to participate without age restrictions. The other categories remain unchanged. Music lovers of all ages are encouraged to actively sign up for participation!

Important Notice for Participants
*Please Read and Observe the Rules and Regulations of the competition at all time

Dear Participants,

We are excited to have you participate in our upcoming competition! To ensure a fair and transparent competition for everyone, we kindly remind you to carefully read and thoroughly observe the rules and regulations set forth by the organizers.

As the competition progresses, it is important to note that the organizers reserve the right to make subjective changes to the rules and regulations, if deemed necessary for the smooth running of the competition. These changes will be communicated through official channels, and it is your responsibility as a participant to stay updated with any updates or modifications.

We highly appreciate your cooperation in adhering to the rules and regulations, as they are designed to ensure a level playing field for all participants. Please make sure to familiarize yourself with the guidelines and requirements, and follow them diligently throughout the competition.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We wish you the best of luck in the competition!

Competition Stages & Important Dates

The ISEC 2024 is divided into two stages, the preliminary round and the final round.

The preliminary round will be held on various competition sites internationally. Preliminary competition venues are located at designated ISEC partner centres, supported by local co-organisers worldwide. The finals will be held in Singapore.

Preliminary Round Schedule

  • Preliminary Stage: April 20, 2024 – May 10, 2024 (Please refer to the local organisers for the exact timing of your selected competition venue)
  • Application deadline for Preliminary Stage: Registration April 1, 2024
  • Announcement of Preliminary Round Results: Within 7 days after the end of the regional competition.
  • For the final round, qualified contestants will be recommended to participate in the Singapore final, including award ceremonies, master classes, master concerts, environmental protection lectures, and other activities.

 Final Stage

  • Venue: Singapore
  • Date: July 28, 2024 – July 31, 2024
  • Deadline for Final Round Registration: July 10, 2024


  1. Please follow the latest updates on the competition’s progress and final round arrangements through this WeChat official account.
  2. Please refer to and observe our official channels to get updated information regarding competition regulations and any unavoidable changes.
Repertoire Requirements and Performance Time
  1. Participants are required to perform or sing two pieces of music from different eras (complete works or movements) or choose repertoires from different genres or from different ethnic. It is strongly recommended to use original sheet music for the competition to ensure accuracy and authenticity.

  2. Repertoire for the competition should be from different genres and time periods, and should not include film music except for popular singing. 

  3. Repertoires used for grading examinations are allowed i.e. ABRSM, LCM, Trinity, or other equivalent examinations internationally. Composers who span two different eras will be categorized based on their compositional style, to ensure fair judging.

  4. For adapted classical music pieces will be categorized based on the era of the original composer, unless they are widely known to be arranged by a specific composer, in which case they will be categorized based on the age of the arranger.

  5. When registering repertoire, participants need to provide complete and accurate information, including the composer’s name, the title of the piece, the key, the opus number, and the full name of the movement. It is highly recommended to provide the original title of the piece in the original language to avoid confusion.

  6. Changes to repertoire and participant information will not be allowed after the registration deadline for each regional competition, hence participants should double-check and confirm their repertoire before the deadline.

  7. Partial performances of repertoire will not be accepted, and judges may request a specific part of the repertoire to be performed if the selected repertoire or movement is too long. If the repertoire performed by a participant does not meet the competition requirements, a deduction of 5 points will be applied according to the rules and regulations.

  8. Participants who qualify for the finals can repeat their repertoire from the preliminary round during the finals, allowing them to showcase their best performance.

  9. It is important to note that the actual performance time for repertoire in all age groups must not be less than the minimum performance time requirement, as a deduction of 3 points will be applied for performances that fall short of this requirement. Participants should carefully manage their performance time to ensure compliance with the rules.

Age Group




Solo & Ensemble 

(Amateur )



A – C

Two pieces from different time periods (complete works or movements)

2 – 8 minutes

D – E

Two pieces from different time periods (complete works or movements)

6 – 10 minutes







B – E

Two pieces from different time periods (complete works or movements)

8 – 15 minutes

Repertoire Period

According to the composition period, the repertoire is classified as follows: For all solo and ensemble (chamber music) categories, except for saxophone, Chinese music, and vocal categories, applicants are required to perform at least two pieces from different periods (complete works or movements) based on the classification of composition period, or one Chinese piece and one Western piece.

  • Renaissance and Early Baroque (before 1650) e.g. Couperin, Monteverdi
  • Baroque period (up to 1750) e.g. Handel, Bach, Vivaldi
  • Classical period (1750-1820) e.g. Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn
  • Romantic period (1820-1910) e.g. Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Debussy, Brahms, Chopin, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, etc.
  • 20/21st Century Modernism (post-1910 works) e.g. Hindemith, Stravinsky, Bartok, Kodaly, Martinu, Shostakovich, Britten, Khachaturian, Kabalevsky, Prokofiev, Ligeti, Copland, Prangcharoen, Krenek, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Schnittke, Szymanowski, Lutoslawski, Kancheli, Aho, Berg, Cage, Kurtág, Berio, Brouwer, Crumb, Rihm, Unsuk Chin, Penderecki, Zimmerman, etc.
  • Chinese works
Prize (For Advanced Category Only)

Solo Category

  • 1st Prize (1 winner) – S$2000 cash prize
  • 2nd Prize (2 winners) – S$500 cash prize per person
  • 3rd Prize (3 winners) – S$300 cash prize per person


The top scorer has the privilege to perform at the award ceremony and collaborate with a chosen orchestra as a soloist (timing to be determined by the orchestra). Please follow our WeChat notification for more notifications. 

Ensemble Category 

  • 1st Prize (1 group) – S$2000 cash prize
  • 2nd Prize (2 groups) – S$500 cash prize per group
  • 3rd Prize (3 groups) – S$300 cash prize per group 

Excellent Performance Award


  1. The competition organizing committee has established a comprehensive award system based on a rigorous and fair scoring mechanism to encourage and guide young musicians and allow more children to enjoy the joy of competition.
  2. All winners will receive a preliminary round certificate issued by the organizing committee without quantity limitation.
  3. Teachers of Gold with Honours and Gold Award winners will be awarded the “Outstanding Mentor Award” certificate.
  4. Each age group must have at least three competing contestants; otherwise, the champion of this category will be considered invalid.
Registration and payment method


  • Singapore: $120/person
  • China: ¥680/person/item


  • Singapore: $120/group
  • China: ¥680/person/item


  • Singapore: $180/person (follow last year)
  • China: $1000 SGD (include one accompanist person)


  • 2 people: S$180 per person
  • 3 people: S$300
  • 4 people: S$350
  • 5 people: S$400
  • 6-10 people: S$450
  • 11-19 people: S$600
  • 20 people or more: S$800 for a group


  • 1 – 10 persons: $1000 SGD/person (includes one accompanying person)
  • 11 – 15 persons: $800 SGD/person (includes one accompanying person)
  • 16 – 20 persons: $700 SGD/person (includes one accompanying person)

Observation Ticket:

  • $500 SGD/person (full access)
  • $200 SGD/person/day

When registering to participate in two or more categories, in addition to the first category fee, each subsequent category only incurs a fee of $180 SGD. The competition committee provides a 30-minute piano concerto practice. It is recommended that participating players prepare their own piano concerto teachers for better competition results. If additional piano concerto practice is required from the competition committee, it is $60 SGD for 30 minutes. Please request in advance from the committee during registration if needed. If you wish to schedule a one-on-one master class with a judge, please indicate which judge you would like to arrange the class with during registration. The fee for the class is $250 SGD for 45 minutes. Note: Registration for the final round and related fees are in Singapore dollars. The final round includes competitions, awards ceremonies, master classes, master concerts, art research, public welfare environmental lectures, love charity donation certificates, and other activities. For specific registration methods, payment methods, and detailed event arrangements for the final round, please pay attention to the official notices from the competition later on.

Notices & Provisions

Important Notes:

1. Participants must strictly comply with all regulations of these regulations and must not engage in fraudulent or other unethical activities. Violators will have their participation qualifications and awards revoked by the organizing committee.

2. Winners who receive official invitations from the event must participate in all activities of the various stages.

3. For preliminary rounds, except for piano, participants of other instrumental categories must prepare their instruments and have no right to request instruments from the organizing committee. For the finals (if coming to Singapore), the organizing committee may provide cello and double bass rental, and the participants will bear the rental cost.

4. To ensure the competition’s transparency, participants agree to have their competition results, name, age, and registered categories publicly disclosed on the competition’s official website. The competition will be open to the public throughout the entire process.


1. Participants agree to grant the event organizer an exclusive and free-of-charge license to use their performances in various rounds of the competition, award concerts, post-competition series concerts, as well as their images and photos in various activities organized by the host, co-organizer, sponsor, and partner of this competition; the radio stations, TV stations, online media, and photography agencies responsible for the promotion of the competition; as well as the producers and publishers of audio and video recordings for the purpose of promotion, photography, audio and video recording, broadcasting, internet transmission of information, as well as the production, exhibition, and global publication of audio and video albums and brochures related to the competition. The copyright of the audio and video products and other derivative products resulting therefrom shall be owned by the main organizer, and no further remuneration shall be paid to the participating contestants.

2. The organizing committee of ISEC strongly recommends that participating contestants purchase personal and property damage insurance. The organizing committee shall not be held responsible for any loss of property or personal injury of participating contestants, any physical, material, or mental damage caused to others, or any physical, material, or mental damage caused by accompanying personnel to themselves or others.

3. In case of issues not specified in this provision, the final decision will be made based on the opinion of the ISEC Organising Committee and shall not be disputed.

4. It is the responsibility of each participant to comply with the regulations of the competition. Applicants who apply for registration are deemed to have agreed to all the contents of this chapter and promised to abide by them. Otherwise, a candidate will be considered revoked.

5. Suppose a participating contestant is found to have violated the relevant regulations of the ISEC provisions, their participation and prize qualification will be cancelled, and the award certificate will be revoked. All expenses incurred shall not be refunded.

6. The organizing committee shall not be held responsible for any force majeure events that cause the competition to be unable to proceed.

7. Refund policy: If a participant is unable to participate in the competition due to their own personal reasons and requires a refund, the following rules will be followed:

For the preliminary rounds, the registration fee is non-refundable.

For the final rounds:

Before July 21st, the registration fee is non-refundable, and 90% of the final round fee is refundable;

Before July 31st, the registration fee is non-refundable, and 50% of the final round fee is refundable;

After August 1st, all fees are non-refundable.



  1. Bank Transfer
    • Bank Name: OCBC Bank
    • Account Name: Hitmaker Records Private Limited
    • Account Number: 595-141-326-001
  2. PAYNOW (Singapore only): 202122500N

STRIPE Payment (For Preliminary Stage Payment Only): VISA & MASTERCARD, WeChat & Alipay (Please click on the link or scan QR Code below)

Preliminary Stage: STRIPE Payment Link:

Preliminary Stage QR Code:


For payment issues, please proceed to contact:

ISEC 2024 Finals | Competition Venue

Competition venue: Alliance Française de Singapour

Address: 1 Sarkies Rd, Singapore 258130



Age Group (Select one only)

Declaration (Tick all to proceed)


In this competition, the registration fee for each finalist includes a charitable donation to a charity organization. The global organizer of the competition will, on behalf of each participant in the final round, donate a portion of the registration fee to charity from each finalist’s registration fee.

Together, let’s contribute to the well-being of the blue planet and the future of children!

Note: Each finalist will receive the following love charity donation certificate based on the competition certificate.

Love Charity Donation Certificate 1 – Marine Conservation Charity Organization
Love Charity Donation Certificate 2 – Children’s Aid Charity Organization


  1. The global organizer of the competition will, on behalf of each finalist, donate a portion of the finalist’s registration fee to charity.
  2. The competition organizer also encourages individuals interested in making charitable donations to contribute love donations. The proceeds raised will also be used entirely for charitable donations to charitable organizations. The organizing committee will update relevant arrangements later on.