Following a long and difficult deliberation during which adjudicators examined many highly qualified pieces, we are very happy to announce that the winner of the 16th Annual John Eaton Memorial Competition is Palette for string quartet, by composer Will Stackpole. Mr. Stackpole’s work for string quartet was chosen from a field of outstanding finalist works, each worthy of recognition in their own right. However, we felt that Mr. Stackpole’s work best embodied the spirit of the competition and the New York Composers Circle.

The winning work will receive a performance on one of our concerts (soon to be announced) and Mr. Stackpole will receive a free one-year membership in the New York Composers Circle.

Because the competition garnered so many excellent works, we have also chosen two pieces as runners up. Orientalism for string quartet, by composer Sami Seif, and Struttura Assente, for string trio, by composer Kurt Nelson have been awarded honorable mentions and each composer will receive a free one-year membership in the New York Composers Circle. The great difficulty in naming these two runners up is a further reflection of the long deliberations undergone while reviewing this year’s competition entrants; there were a few other works not at all far behind the position.

Congratulations to all of the entrants in this year's competition. We look forward to next year’s edition of the John Eaton Memorial Competition, which will open on January 1, 2024.

Please direct any questions regarding the competition or application process in an email to Hubert Howe, Executive Director at


2023: Will Stackpole, Palette for string quartet

  • Honorable Mention: Sami Seif, Orientalism for string quartet
  • Honorable Mention: Kurt Nelson, Struttura Assente for string trio

2022: Patrick Andrew Thompson, Moments Sweep Past for soprano, cello, and piano

2021: No prize awarded

2020: Jeffrey Niederhoffer, Picking Up Where I Left Off for violin and piano

2019: Cheng Jin Koh, Ecstasy for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano

2018: Gilad Cohen, Three Goat Blues for string quartet

2017: Andrey Komanetsky, for String Quartet in Five Movements

2016: No prize awarded

2015: Ross Griffey, Tied by a Chance Bond Together, for violin and piano

2014: Vladimir Del Orbe, Contextual Enigma forclarinet, double bass, and piano

  • Honorable Mention: José Beviá, Trio No. 3 for Violin, Cello, and Piano
  • Honorable Mention: Jonathan Bingham, Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano

2013: Eric Segerstrom, Two Poems, for piano trio

  • Honorable Mention: David Brooks, 'Metamorphosis’ Variations, for prepared piano

2012: Jesse Diener-Bennett, Ninth for Two, for flute and violin

2011: Max Giteck Duykers, Glass Blue Cleft, for string quartet

2010: Scott D. Miller, Polychrome Stride, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano

2009: Elizabeth Lim, Wafting, for string quartet

2008: Co-winners Robert S. Cohen, The Mysterious Transformation of Johann B., for clarinet and 6 percussionists; Brian Fennelly "Sigol” for Two for two cellos

2007: Dana Dimitri Richardson, Ballade, for piano

  • Honorable Mention: Steve Cohen, Serenade for String Quartet
  • Honorable Mention: Marc-Antonio Consoli, Tre per Due for flute, clarinet, and piano
  • Honorable Mention: Alex Temple, Her Name Was Renée for clarinet, percussion, double bass, and piano