Thank you to all who submitted works for string quartet to our International Composition Competition! We want to express our admiration and gratitude to all of you for your creativity and enthusiasm! We received a total of 162 submisions, and it wasn't easy to choose the winners! We were completely blown away by the number of outstanding compositions we got to hear, play, and study. In addition to two Winners, we have announced four Honorary Mentions and eleven Finalists!


International Composition Competition Winners

Robert Cohen, composer, winner of New England String Quartet's International Composition Competition


Robert Cohen

String Quartet #2
(A Day in the Life)

David Heuser, composer, winner of New England String Quartet's International Composition Competition


David Heuser

Small Blue Marble



Robert S. Cohen has written music for orchestra, chamber ensemble, dance and theatre. He has been the recipient of many awards and commissions, including a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, an American Music Center Grant, a Meet the Composer Award and several grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and was the selected winner of the 2008 N.Y. Composer's Circle Award.

His Christmas lullaby, Sleep, Little Baby, Sleep, soon to be published by Hal Leonard received performances by over 20 choirs worldwide this past holiday season. Other works include Alzheimer’s Stories for soloists, chorus and large ensemble, a commission from the Susquehanna Valley Chorale, with a libretto by Herschel Garfein (Elmer Gantry) that received its premiere in 2009, was broadcast on PBS's WVIA radio & TV and recently performed by the San Antonio Symphony MasterSingers. Alzheimer’s Stories is published by C.F. Peters. His Of Eternity Considered as a Closed System for soloists, chorus and orchestra based on the poems of Hyam Plutzik received its premiere at Carnegie Hall in 2007 and was performed by the Bulgarian Opera Orchestra and Chorus in Sofia in 2008. Recent works include: Five Nights in Sofia for violin & piano Genesis Part I: Creation & Part IV: Noah for soloists, chorus, brass & percussion; The Mysterious Transformation of Johann B. for clarinet & percussion, Homeland Security Suite for percussion; String Quartet #2; Edison Invents for baritone and orchestra; Sing with Me for soloists, chorus & small ensemble; Into the Light for chorus and small ensemble and the percussion works Da Coyote Gets da Boid, Tiktaalik and An Ant's World all published by HoneyRock Music. Other frequently performed choral works include: Three Spirituals, Before, Christmas Eve, Sprig of Lilac, Ode to a Toad, Ho Hosanna and Peter Quince at the Clavier.

In addition, Bob co-authored the book and composed the score for the 2000 Richard Rodgers Award winning Off-Broadway musical Suburb published by Dramatic Publishing. Bob is a graduate of Brown University where he studied with Ron Nelson; Queens College and did time at Columbia University. He lives in Montclair, NJ with his wife Maryann and two cats: Fred & Ginger.


David Heuser's music has be hailed as "all-American music at its most dynamic and visceral" (Houston Chronicle), "thoughtful, beautiful and wonderfully made" (San Antonio Express-News), and "just the sort of music classical music needs more of" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

David Heuser began composing almost immediately after his first piano lessons at the age of seven, writing short tunes in imitation of the exercises he was studying. He continued to write music throughout his childhood, some for piano, chorus, and wind ensemble, and some for the rock bands he was in. After high school, he attended the Eastman School of Music and then the Indiana University School of Music, where he received his doctorate degree in music composition in 1995. A native of New Jersey, Heuser has resided in San Antonio since 1997. He is a Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio teaching music composition and theory, and electronic music.

Heuser is a storyteller, crafting emotional journeys for listeners, but his stories go beyond words to things only music can speak to. His over 70 compositions range from exuberant orchestral works to intimate chamber pieces.Heuser's music has been performed by various groups and individuals and on festivals and conferences throughout the United States and abroad. He has received commissions from such ensembles as the San Antonio Symphony, the New York Youth Symphony, the SOLI Chamber Ensemble, and the Texas Music Festival Orchestra. Heuser has won the 2007 Columbia Orchestra American Composer Competition, the 2006 Fauxharmonic Orchestra Composition Contest, an American Music Center grant, a grant from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, and, most recently, the 2008 Dallas Wind Symphony Brass Fanfare Competition. His most recent work is a three-act comic opera which premiered in March 2010.

Heuser's music is published by Non Sequitur Music, and works of his can be found on recordings on the Albany, Capstone, and Equilibrium labels. Heuser is a founding member of the Composers Alliance of San Antonio (CASA), and his song O The White Towns can be found on that group's first CD Works by San Antonio Composers Performed by San Antonio Performers.


International Composition Competition Honorary Mentions


String Quartet No.1: A Suite for Strings in 9 Movements


String Quartet No.1: Poor Lazarus


String Quartet No.1: Jewish Folk Fantasies
Spirals (2010)



International Composition Competition Finalists

Jeff McAuley
Four Pieces for String Quartet
Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred String Quartet No.1 "Fallen Angels"
Randolph Partain Pilgrimage
Mike Barnett Music for the Ancient Spirits
Richard Ratner String Quartet No.2
Justin Writer String Quartet No.2 "Oresteia Suite"
Jeremy Beck String Quartet No.2 "Fathers & Sons"
HyeKyung Lee Spheres
Basil Athanasiadis Silhouette
Richard Gruenler String Quartet
Matthew Brown String Quartet No.1 "Metamorphism"