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September 5, 2011

Neuchâtel International Choral Festival 2012 (14th edition)

The Neuchâtel International Choral Festival (NICF) is an international competition featuring numerous non-professional choral groups from different countries. The restriction “non-professional” does not apply to choir conductors.

The 2012 festival will take place from Tuesday August 7th to Sunday August 12th.

All participating choirs will be expected to arrive by 3 pm on Tuesday August 7th (evening meal payable by the participants). All the choirs will depart before 10 am on Sunday August 12th.

The competitions, concerts and other events will take place from Wednesday August 8th to Saturday August 11th 2012.

Terms of the competition
The contest is open to the following categories:


Vocal ensemble
Mixed voice choir

II Equal voice choir
Female voices
Male voices

III Children’s choir

A choir may only participate in one category.

Each choir will be required to present four programmes

1. Three polyphonic Renaissance pieces – in competition

2. Four modern and Romantic pieces – in competition

3. Part of a public evening concert in Neuchatel

4. Part of a concert in the region

In addition all the choirs will take part in a Gala Concert on the final evening of the Festival.

Each group must present 3 imposed pieces and 4 chosen pieces before the jury:

In the morning, at the Collégiale (Collegiate church),three polyphonic Renaissance works; the obligatory piece together with two chosen works, one sacred and one profane.

The duration of the two chosen Renaissance pieces must be between 3 to 5 minutes each.
In the afternoon, at the Temple du Bas: one work composed after 2000 by a composer from the choir’s country of origin; one piece from the Romantic period; one imposed piece, and one chosen piece.

In the afternoon, the duration of the pieces must be between 3 to 7 minutes each, not exceeding 22 minutes in all, including the NICF imposed piece (See the entry form).

All pieces will be presented a capella

NICF imposed pieces


Mixed vocal ensemble
Mixed voice choir

8-16 participants
17-36 participants

17-36 participants
17-36 participants

17-36 participants (up to 16 years of age on August 1st 2012)

II Equal voice choir
Female voices
Male voices

Pater noster de Jacob Handl
Edition free on
There is sweet music, Edward Elgar
Ed. Novello and company New York

Duo seraphim T. L. de Victoria
Ed. free on
Arc en ciel de André Ducret
Annie Bank Music Publishers, Amstelveen

The 14e Neuchatel International Choral Festival, Switzerland

Competition regulations, general conditions

III Children’s choir

Au joli jeu du pousse avant, Cl. Janequin
Edition free on
Salve Regina de Miklos Kocsar
(Kodaly institut, Kecskemet, 1996) KZZPI 09

In addition to the competition performances, the choirs must present an evening concert open to the public. Each choir must present a seventeen to twenty minute programme, different from the competition entry, consisting of at least three traditional or folk music pieces from their country of origin (instrumental accompaniment is permitted and a piano will be at your disposal).

In addition to the three events organised for the competition, your choir must also give an evening “friendly concert” in a village or town in the region. You are invited to prepare a 40-minute programme of songs from your repertoir. Works prepared for the competition may also be included.

The jury
The jury is composed of three recognised international choral music personalities, with a broad experience in international competitions.

The jury allocates marks on

• Vocal quality
• Technical and artistic performance
• Interpretation
• Charisma
• The jury may at its own discretion withhold a prize.

The jury may or may not award a prize, according to the quality of the performances.

The prizes awarded by the jury are:

• In each category :

- Jury prizes

• For the categories as a whole
- The NICF Grand Prize
- Special jury prize
- Public prize
- Prize for the best performance of the work of sacred music
(sung in the morning at the Collégiale)

After the evening concerts performed by all of the competing choirs, the public will vote by means of a special ballot form. The choir with the best average mark will be awarded the Public Prize.

Special terms

During the festival, the organisation committee reserves the right to organise additional choral events in Neuchâtel and the surrounding area. Participation is compulsory for all choirs in accordance with the instructions which will be communicated to them at the beginning of the Festival. The organising committee also reserves the right to record or broadcast by radio and television, in Switzerland or abroad, competition performances, concerts or other Festival events, without financial reward of any kind.

Terms of entry

The entry form must be submitted to the NICF secretariat before December 31st 2011 and must comprise

• A biography of the choir
• Two recent photos of the choir
• A CD recording including three musical pieces of different sorts and styles e.g.

One work from the Renaissance or the Romantic period. One contemporary work. One traditional or folk song
1st prize 1’500 €
2nd prize 1’200 €
3rd prize
800 €

1’800 €
500 €
1’500 €
600 €

The 14e Neuchatel International Choral Festival, Switzerland

Competition regulations, general conditions

The selection committee will examine the entries received, select the choirs and notify them of their participation or non-participation in the 2012 Festival by January 31st 2012 at the latest.

The entry fee is € 250 per choir, payable on acceptance of the choir at the 2012 festival. This payment must be made by February 29th 2012 at the latest, and is not refunded in the event of withdrawal from the competition.

Competition regulations, general terms

The NICF assumes the cost of meals, accommodation and transport for the duration of the Festival; that is from Tuesday August 7th at 3 pm ( (evening meal not organised by the comitee and at the charge of participants) to Sunday morning August 12th (breakfast included). For each group, these services are offered to the choir members, the conductor, one (or maximum two) accompanying musician(s), and one or two chauffeurs if the distance warrants it and if the choir travels by coach.

Any accompanying person other than those mentioned above must pay the sum of € 400. This sum represents the cost of accommodation, meals and presence at the competitions and concerts for the duration of the festival.

The total cost of the journey to and from Neuchâtel (meals, accommodation, transport) is payable by the participants up to their arrival on Tuesday August 7th at 3 pm and from their departure on Sunday August 12th at 10 am.

Download application forms at the web site:

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