Short Liszt Bannerv2-01

Are you ready to put your speed-composing skills to the test?

Take part in Short Liszt: The Two Hour Composing Challenge, our take on the Food Network’s “Chopped”!


In scoring for media, composers are constantly pushed to meet tight deadlines. We created this challenge to simulate the real-world experience of maximizing creativity and delivering a piece of music in a short amount of time. On Sunday, August 16th and 23rd, participants will meet virtually at 10am Pacific Time. Our event host, ASA Board Member Carrin Tanaka, will announce the “secret ingredients” that will guide your writing process. Participants will then have 2 hours to write and produce up to 40 seconds of music!

We’ll meet back at 12:30pm Pacific Time for the listening party and the vote. Composer participants and ASA members will vote LIVE, and the three top winners will be announced! Winners will get to pick from a selection of fantastic prizes, as well as being featured on our website and newsletter. A huge thank you to SteinbergPSP Audioware, and Composer Press for sponsoring this event!

So what are the “secret ingredients?” This is where it gets interesting. It could be a photo to be inspired by, a rhythmic pattern, an audio sample, a melodic motif…or a spicy combination! All parameters must be used in your composition at least once. We’re always astounded by the talent of our community and we know you’ll get creative.

Join us at 12:30pm PT for the listening party and voting! Here is the Zoom link.

PRIZES (August 23rd)

A copy of Steinberg’s Dorico 

Bundle of 15 plugins from PSP Audioware

ASA Philharmonic Membership

1st place: First choice of ONE of the grand prizes above and a feature on our website, socials, YouTube, and newsletter.

2nd place: Second choice of ONE of the grand prizes and a feature on our website, socials, YouTube, and newsletter.

3rd place: Third choice of ONE of the grand prizes and a feature on our website, socials, YouTube, and newsletter.

ALL participants: Your composition will be posted anonymously on our YouTube Channel.


(All times specified in Pacific Time)

10am – Meet on Zoom to receive the “secret ingredients” and answer last minute questions.

10:15am to 12:15pm – Participants compose, orchestrate, and mockup up to 40 seconds of music.

12:15pm – All participants submit their .mp3 on the ASA web site.

12:30pm – Online event to listen to submissions, rate  and vote for each composition, then announce the winners!


  • This event is free, but participants must be an ASA member (sign up here).
  • Participants must have access to Zoom and a way to produce music.
  • Participants must register via the Eventbrite link above.
  • We’re limiting the number of participants. If you sign up and are later unable to participate, please cancel your registration via Eventbrite.
  • Composers must be available during the exact time window of this event, regardless of where they may live in the world. This is not an event that composers can participate in at alternate times. By reserving a ticket, a composer is indicating that they will be available during the time window of this event.
  • “Ingredients,” or musical parameters, will be announced LIVE at 10am on the day of the event. Any necessary files will also be distributed via email.
  • ALL of the given “ingredients” must be used at least once in the final composition. Participants will be required to note the time code of where the “ingredients” are used in the composition.
    • If provided a sample, it must be used at least once but can be manipulated in any way you choose.
    • If provided a motif, it can be used in any key or rhythm
  • Composers must not submit work that was written prior to the event date.
  • Final submission format: .mp3. Composers do not need to submit a full score.
  • Final submission can be up to 40 seconds of music. It should be as complete and well-produced as possible. Don’t feel bad if you write less! Final submissions will be uploaded via our web site. The link will be distributed on the day of the event.
  • The ASA reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.


  • Voting will start on at 12:30pm on the day of the event. Participants and ASA community members will meet on Zoom and the ASA host will play through submissions. After each submission is played, there will be a short amount of time to vote LIVE based on the following criteria:
    • 1. Use of musical “ingredients” – did the composer use them in a creative way?
      2. Composition quality – is it an interesting/effective piece of music?
      3. Production – mix/technical execution
      4. Originality
      5. Mood
  • All participating composers are asked to also partake in the voting process.
  • We ask that all voters arrive on time and judge EVERY entry. Voting will be conducted through a portal on the ASA website. A link will be sent on the day of the event and you will be required to sign in to your account.


Prizes will be provided by Steinberg (Dorico), PSP Audioware, and Composer Press. Stay tuned for more details on how prizes will be awarded.

All Participants: Your composition will be posted on our YouTube Channel.

All composers retain the rights to their own composition. The ASA reserves the right to use submissions on the ASA website, socials, and YouTube channel.