VIII Fernando Rielo International Prize for Sacred Music

The goal of this competition is to promote contemporary sacred music by inviting composers to express their deep spiritual experience or the human experience of transcendence. The language of sacred music is the expression of the intimate relation of man with the Supreme Being, as Fernando Rielo, the Founder of the Prize states:

“Sacred music is the mystical feeling of the human spirit that expresses its filial communication with God, invoked in the most majestic harmony that can be produced by the communicative technique of musical language.

Good taste, which is the synthesis of truth, goodness and beauty, leads the artist to confess his mystical union with God through talent or musical practice. The sacred character of music is only possible by virtue of the constitutively mystical condition of the human being.

Great sacred music is not confined to music for worship or liturgy. Expressed through refined technique, it is the greatest charismatic evocation that the highest spiritual values of the human being can offer to our inner sensitivity.”


1.- The Fernando Rielo Foundation announces the VIII Fernando Rielo International Prize for Sacred Music, to be awarded publicly in November, 2019, with the performance of the submissions of the finalists.

2.- The Competition is open to composers of every country, with no age restriction.

3.- Works submitted for the Prize must be written for mixed choir and chamber orchestra, with a minimum scoring for string orchestra: 5 first violins, 4 second violins, 3 violas, 2 celli and 1 bass. To the aforementioned may be freely added: 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 French horn, 1 trumpet and 1 trombone.

4.- The text to be set is that of the Beatitudes. In English: “How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage. Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied. Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God. Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God. Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. ·Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Mt 5, 3-12). In Latín (according to the complete oficial text of the edition Novi Testamenti Biblia Greca et Latina): “Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum cælorum. Beati mites, quoniam ipsi possidebunt terram. Beati qui lugent, quoniam ipsi consolabuntur. Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt justitiam, quoniam ipsi saturabuntur. Beati misericordes, quoniam ipsi misericordiam consequentur. Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. Beati pacifici, quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur. Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter justitiam, quoniam ipsorum est regnum cælorum. Beati estis cum maledixerint vobis et persecuti vos fuerint et dixerint omne malum adversum vos mentientes, propter me; gaudete, et exsultate, quoniam merces vestra copiosa est in cælis.” Or in the translation of this same text in the language chosen by the composer.

5.- The score submitted must be of 10 to 15 minutes’ duration. It must be: original, unpublished, never before performed in public and never presented to any other competition. The score must be clearly legible and on paper. Participants must send five (5) copies of the complete score.

6.- To ensure complete anonymity of the composer submitting a work, in the heading of the score must be a clearly written motto. Submitted together with the score, there must be a sealed envelope on which is written the same motto, and in which is contained the following information about the participant: Name, date of birth, nationality, mailing address, telephone number, email address, curriculum vitae and a recent photograph. Any indication on the outside of the said envelope that might reveal the identity of the composer will be grounds for immediate disqualification.

7.- Participation in the Prize competition is free. The score and the sealed envelope must reach the office of the Prize by March 30, 2019, at the latest. The address is:
Premio Internacional de Música Sacra “Fernando Rielo” C/ Goya 20, 4º izda. interior 28001 Madrid – Spain

8.- The Jury will consist of musicians of recognized national and international prestige. The decision of the Jury shall be by absolute majority and shall be supreme and final. Submission of a work for this Prize implies complete acceptance of these Rules by the contestant.

9.- The Jury may choose up to four compositions as finalists. Once chosen, the sealed envelopes will be opened, revealing the personal data of the finalists, who will be informed immediately of their status. The finalists agree to send, within three weeks’ time thereafter: a choral score with piano reduction and perfectly legible corresponding parts for each orchestral instrument with rehearsal markings in precise correspondence to the score, to be used in rehearsals prior to the public concert in which the finalists’ works shall be performed. The Jury shall announce the winner of the Prize immediately following the concert.

10.- The Prize offered by the Fernando Rielo Foundation consists of 5,000 euros. The Jury may give honorable mention to any of the remaining finalists’ works. The Foundation reserves the right to withhold the prize if no suitable work is submitted. The results of the competition shall be published in the media and on the web site of the Foundation.

11.- The public concert of the finalists’ compositions may be recorded live. This entails the finalists’ implicit authorization of the production of a compact disc of said recording and promotional diffusion thereof. In all written references to the finalists’ compositions, statement should be made of the honor received by the VIII Fernando Rielo International Prize for Musica Sacra.

12.- The scores of all works that are not chosen will be destroyed, or they may be picked up personally by their composers or duly authorized representatives, within three months following the awarding of the Prize.

13.- The personal data of participants will be entered into the Foundation’s archives for the purpose of providing them with information about future editions of the prize and other of its related cultural events. Participants may exercise at any time their right to be removed from our database by sending an email requesting same to, with the word “BAJA” in the subject line.

14.- Participation in the competition implies full acceptance of these rules. The Court of Madrid shall be the competent authority to decide any dispute that may arise, and the original Spanish text of these rules shall be the only one considered official. For all specific matters related to the competition and the Prize not explicitly stated in these rules, the Spanish Civil Code and Spanish law shall be in effect.


Telephone: (+34) 91 575 40 91 E-mail: Web page:

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