National Music Competitions 2008


2008 National Music Competitions



New Challenges for Contestants to Achieve Excellence


Budding music talent will have more showcase opportunities with an expanded range of repertoire and competition categories in the traditional music competitions this year. Entering their sixth editions, the biennial National Indian Music Competition (NIMC) and National Chinese Music Competition (NCMC) have implemented new initiatives to further spur the level of musical excellence. Total cash prizes for both competitions amount to over $90,000.


The NCMC is launching a new Percussion Ensemble Category for percussionists to hit the stage.  The Competition also features a Combined Instrumental Ensemble Category, and a Solo Section comprising Junior, Youth and Open Categories for eight different instruments – dizi, erhu, guzheng, pipa, sheng, suona, yangqin, and zhongruan.


Young talent in Indian music are encouraged to attain higher levels of artistry with three changes introduced this year. Participants in the NIMC are required to prepare five music pieces, instead of three, to encourage them to be musically versatile. Accompaniment is now compulsory for all solo categories in the Final Round to allow participants to perform and develop their ensemble skills in an actual performance situation. In addition, personal tala-keepers (rhythm keepers) will no longer be permitted to encourage greater maturity and independence in the participants. The NIMC consists of an Open Ensemble Category, and a Solo Section with Intermediate and Open Categories for seven instruments, namely: the Carnatic vocal, violin, veena, flute, sitar, mridangam, and tabla.


Organised by the National Arts Council, both competitions provide strategic national platforms to develop aspiring Indian and Chinese musicians aged 30 and below. The competitions also aim to raise the musical standards in Singapore and provide an opportunity for young talent to perform in a competitive setting before an international jury. Since the competitions’ inauguration in 1998, these prestigious competitions have seen increasing interest from the music community. In 2006, the NIMC had five times the number of entries received ten years ago (18 entries in 1998 and 94 entries in 2006). The number of entries for NCMC also grew from 122 in 1998 to 265 in 2006.


Backed with the meaningful exposure from these competitions, some past participants have gone on to perform in India or pursue further music studies in China. Similarly, participants this year can look forward to growing artistically as they learn and interact with acclaimed local and international music professionals.


Registration closes on 6 June 2008 for the NIMC, and 1 August 2008 for the NCMC. For registration details, please visit the NAC website (


Annex 1:          Fact Sheet on 2008 National Indian Music Competition


Annex 2:          Fact Sheet on 2008 National Chinese Music Competition