International Rostrum of Composers

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The International Rostrum of Composers (IRC) is organized by the International Music Council with the financial assistance of participating radio networks. It is an international forum of representatives of broadcasting organizations who come together for the purpose of exchanging and broadcasting contemporary art music. Until 2002, its annual sessions were held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, except for the 2000 edition which was held in Amsterdam at the generous invitation of Muziek Groep Nederland and the Gaudeamus Foundation. Since 2003, a rotation system has been put in place with the Rostrum traveling around Europe every second year while the other year, its is hosted by Radio France. Starting from 2010 the Rostrum is travelling around Europe by invitation of National Radio Brodcasters. 

The IRC was initiated in 1954 with the participation of four European radio organizations

  • French Radio and Television
  • Hessischer Rundfunk (Radio Frankfurt)
  • Belgian Radio and Television
  • Swiss Radio and Television


Currently, over 30 national radio networks participate in the Rostrum presenting some 60 works composed within the five years preceding the Rostrum. After the listening sessions, the assembly of delegates selects and recommends the most important works in two categories: general and "young composers". These and other works will be presented in concerts and broadcast after the Rostrum by the participating and other interested radio stations.
Moreover, all works presented at the IRC are made available by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to its wide network of members and associate members via satellite. These dissemination schemes ensure excellent international coverage for the composers.

IRC tapes, scores and notes are deposited at the Music Centre The Netherlands in Amsterdam.

The IRC is the prototype for all other IMC Rostra.

Until 2014 the International Music Council offered the Guy Huot Bursary for young composers to the composer whose work has been selected in the "under 30" category, and the UNESCO Picasso-Miro Medal to the composer selected in the general category as well as to the producers of both selected works.

Starting from 2015, in the framework of the Rostrum+ project, the International Music Council offers the Guy Hout bursary for a commission in cooperation with Radio France to the composer selected in the General Category.

For the composer selected in the Under-30 category, the International Music Council offers a commission with a short composer in residence program in cooperation with the Swedish Radio.

Both composers receive also Frozen, encrypted sounds, a special sculpture generated by the music itself.

Frozen, encrypted sounds is the result of a cooperation between the International Music council and the architecture studio HyBreed.

The last session (64th) was hosted by Conservatorio Vincenzo Bellini in Palermo, Italy May 16-20 2017.

Delegates' Corner

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