Terms and conditions of participation

The Béla Bartók 29th International Choir Competition is open to both amateur and professional choirs. Choirs may enter the competition in maximum two categories, moreover are welcome to participate in the accompanying folklore festival.
Singers who might be members of several choirs are only allowed to sing in one ensemble in each category of the contest.

Choirs may enter the competition in the following categories, with the number of members and age-limits indicated below:

CategoryAge limitNumber of members
Children’s ChoirsMaximum age limit: 15 years*
(born after 8th July 2005)
max. 50 singers
Youth ChoirsMaximum age limit: 21 years*
(born after 8th July 1999)
Youth equal voices: max. 50 singers
Youth mixed choirs: max. 50 singers
Equal Voices
(Female and Male Choirs)
In case of Female Choirs, the minimum age: 18
(born before July 8th 2002)
max. 40 singers
Vocal Ensembles,
Chamber choirs
Vocal ensembles: max. 12 singers
Chamber choirs: 16 – 24 singers
Mixed Choirsmin. 25
max. 50 singers

*10% of the number of singers in a choir may be 1 year older at the most

The Artistic Committee reserves the right to cancel any of the categories in case of fewer than three entries in the category.

Rules and Regulations

Only “a cappella” works may be presented at the competition. The use of an untuned percussion instrument is allowed in one piece in each round of the competition as long as it can be considered as an integral part of a given piece and its use is indicated in the score submitted. Even in such cases a previous approval from the Artistic Committee is also required. (The competition for the Grand Prize is an exception to this rule. See Chapter 5 of the Competition Announcement)
The competition consists of a semi-final and a final round. In each round, competitors must present one compulsory piece and a selection of optional works (free choice). In both the semi-finals and the finals the competing choirs must start their programme by performing the compulsory work, followed by the optional pieces. (For time limits of the programme see Chapter 3.3)