Inaugural EuroStrings Composition Competition Winner 2018-19


We are pleased to announce Nicolas Kahn (France) is the winner of the first EuroStrings Composition Competition.  

His prize-winning work, a set of miniatures, is entitled Les Arcanes. Sergio Assad, a EuroStrings ambassador and member of the competition jury, describes them as appealing ‘directly to our subconsciousness as classical guitarists. This set of miniatures echoes sounds that are embedded in our memories.’

As the winner, Kahn receives a cash prize of 1500€, an HD video recording and publishing on the EuroStrings channel by EuroStrings Editions.

The winning work will be played in the US and Asia by the winner of the EuroStrings Guitar Competition 2018/19, be performed in a minimum of 6 countries across Europe, be premiered at the Musikverein, Vienna during the International Guitar Festival Rust in Austria on 18th April, and be the set piece in the final of the 2nd EuroStrings Guitar Competition in London as part of the International Guitar, Foundation’s Guitar Summit (18th – 21stJuly 2019).

The jury consisted of Sergio Assad, Nina Šenk, Stephen Goss, Brian Head and David Pavlovits. The competition received 57 entries from 22 countries around the globe. The competition was set up to encourage new repertoire for the classical guitar and to promote emerging composers of any age whose works have not yet gained international recognition.  The compositions submitted from the other finalists and semi-finalists will also be published by EuroStrings Editions.

The finalists from the competition are: Mykhailo Chedryk (Ukraine) and Georgi Dimitrov (USA/Bulgaria). The semi-finalists are: Mickael Luis (Netherlands), Lukáš Sommer (Czech Republic), Rafael Marino Arcaro (UK), Fotis Koutsothodoros (Greece), Mauro Godoy Villalobos (Sweden), Daniele Fabio (Italy), Maja Matić (Netherlands), Matic Smolnikar (Slovenia).


We are proud to announce that for the purpose of EuroStrings Composition Contest, an objective and anonymous voting platform has been created. It is a secure, cloud-based, mobile-friendly and easy to use app. It is currently being developed for use by any competition/festival to ensure a fair voting system for competitors.


Guitar player, teacher and composer, Nicolas Kahn received his Bachelor of Music from Sorbonne University (music and musicology) and his Master’s degree (musicology) from the EHESS Paris, where he worked on the creative process in music.

He studied classical guitar with James Szura at the Metz Conservatory of Music and Gerard Abiton at the Orléans Conservatory of music. He gained degrees in solo and ensemble performance with distinction as well as a teacher’s diploma. During his studies, he attended masterclasses with guitarists such as Atanas Ourkouzounov, Roberto Aussel and Claudio Marcotulli.

With his Kantiga Alteli ensemble (voice, guitar, violin and percussion) Nicolas Kahn released an EP in 2013 and a full album in 2017. The ensemble gives concerts around France and Europe and won the international Den Bosch Toonzaal prize in Amsterdam.

As a composer, his works have been published by leading publisher ‘Les productions d’Oz’ in Quebec. Based in Paris, he divides his time between teaching, performing and composition.


‘Les Arcanes appeals directly to our subconsciousness as classical guitarists. This set of miniatures echoes sounds that are embedded in our memories.’ – Sergio Assad

‘Nicolas Kahn creates a beautiful atmosphere and, more importantly, a sublime fusion of diverse musical elements throughout these miniatures.’ – Nina Šenk

‘In Les Arcanes, Nicolas Khan successfully harmonises imagination, technique, and idiom in equal measure. He achieves an impressive balance between craft and ideas, tradition and subversion.’ – Stephen Goss

‘Les Arcanes creates a vivid imaginary landscape and allows the performer unusual agency in constructing the form.’ – Brian Head

‘The 1st EuroStrings Composition Contest had a very high professional level, with a unanimous decision of the jury for the winner, Les Arcanes by Nicolas Khan.’ – David Pavlovits

Nicolas Kahn - Eurostrings Composition Contest Winner 2019