Call for Scores: a new piece for ballet on the theme of 'Broken Relationships’

The Music Biennale Zagreb (MBZ) opens its 33rd edition at the Croatian National Theatre with a new ballet. With this call for scores, MBZ and the Croatian Composers' Society (HDS) are looking for music for the new ballet piece for chamber ensemble (and electronics - optional) inspired by the theme of the festival: Broken Relationships. Following this call for scores, a call for a choreographer will also be launched. The winners of the two calls will realize the project in coordination with the MBZ artistic team and Massimiliano Volpini, the director of the Ballet of the Croatian National Theatre.


Necessary documentation

  • Curriculum vitae of the composer (please be sure to include e-mail and contact address)
  • Composer's portfolio in the form of two recent compositions not older than 5 years (recording + score - a sketch can be included for digital compositions)
  • a proposal for a new ballet piece on the theme of "Broken Relationships" (no longer than two A4 pages), questioning any aspect of the concept of "Broken Relationships" in a free form

*You can find out more about the theme itself in the last paragraph.


Who can apply?

  • All adult composers, regardless of age or nationality
  • Applications can be made individually or in a team with a choreographer
  • If applying as a team, please include the choreographer's CV and portfolio in addition to the documents mentioned above. In this case, the project description should include both the compositional and the choreographic concepts. In the case of a joint application, the jury reserves the right to select both authors or only the composer


Competition conditions

  • The winner undertakes to write a new original work in a duration of 20 minutes
  • Instrumentation: chamber orchestra - the exact line-up TBA
  • The use of electronics is possible upon prior consultation with the MBZ artistic team
  • MBZ/HDS will reward the selected work with a sum of € 6,000
  • MBZ/HDS will also cover travel costs of up to 300 € and accommodation during the final rehearsals and the premiere (3 to 5 nights, depending on the needs of the production)
  • During the stay in Zagreb, the artist is expected to work on the composition with the assigned choreographer, the HNK ballet ensemble, the orchestra, the MBZ artistic direction and the rest of the MBZ/HDS team
  • By applying to the competition, authors accept all terms and conditions of this call
  • The author is not entitled to unilaterally withdraw the selected composition
  • Applications that do not meet the above terms and conditions will be disqualified


The selected author or authors will transfer the following rights to MBZ/HDS

  • The right of first public performance
  • The permanent right to record, publish and distribute audio and video recordings of performances
  • The perpetual right to broadcast via radio, television and other digital media
  • All other rights remain with the author as per Croatian Copyright Act

The prize money will be paid to the author or authors after the submission of the score in digital form as per the contract.

All decisions of the jury are final and cannot be appealed.

For further information, you can contact us at


Jury and deadlines:

  • The jury consists of the renowned Croatian composer Sara Glojnarić, the ballet director Massimiliano Volpini and the artistic directors of the MBZ: Tomislav Oliver, Ivan Josip Skender and Davor Vincze
  • The application deadline is January 15th, 2024
  • The results of the call will be published on the MBZ website by mid-February 2024
  • Applications only in digital form, by sending an application with all the listed documents to:


*2025 festival theme: Broken Relationships

The 33rd edition of the MBZ is inspired by the Upper Town Museum of Broken Relationships: The Museum of Broken Relationships is a physical and virtual space that collects, preserves and exhibits personal objects and stories of symbolic emotional value. The museum is an ever-growing collection of objects, reminders of past relationships, accompanied by personal but anonymous stories of their donors. In contrast to destructive self-help guides for coping with grief and loss, the museum offers the opportunity to creatively overcome an emotional breakdown - by participating in the museum's universal collection. The Museum of Broken Relationships is an original art project conceived in 2006 by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić. Since then, the museum has taken thousands of people on a journey around the world, questioning the human understanding of heritage. In 2010, the museum was awarded the EMYA Kenneth Hudson Award for the most innovative and daring museum project in Europe.

Starting from an emotional understanding of this term, the festival extends it to cultural, social and political issues. Consequently, the theme of 'broken relationships' can also be understood as a broken link between different cultural actors, a broken connection with neglected architectural and cultural heritage in the city, a broken relationship between artists abroad and their home countries, but of course also beyond. Applicants can take inspiration from the above ideas in their proposal for a new work for the MBZ or question the idea of disruption, dissolution or reconnection in a completely free way. We look forward to reading your proposals.