Bach Two-Part Inventions Competition

J. S. Bach
Two-Part Inventions Competition

This year, we offer you a new opportunity to perform as a soloist with the Sempre Musick Baroque Ensemble.

Created exclusively for Sempre Musick, we present a series of new compositions, built entirely around the Bach Two-Part Inventions.

The Bach Two-Part Inventions are miniature miracles of composition. They offer not only an exercise in contrapuntal keyboard technique, but also present a brilliant entry point into highly sophisticated Baroque musical composition. Their universality spans the musical spectrum, from the talented young pianist, to the world-renowned concert virtuoso.

Each Invention has an ensemble constructed around the original solo part:

  • Solo Piano part: the unchanged (urtext) Two-Part Invention, as originally written by Bach.
  • An additional instrument: a Flute, Oboe, or Violin, complementing the pianist’s unchanged solo part.
  • Continuo part, typically a Cello.
  • A fully realized Harpsichord part.

The original Invention is untouched, while the Solo instrument, Continuo, and Harpsichord are newly composed, drawn from, or suggested by Bach’s thematic, structural, and compositional techniques in the original Invention.

These “reimagined” compositions offer the emerging pianist the opportunity to play in a musical ensemble, without having to learn new music. 


  • Invention No. 1 in C, BWV 772
  • Invention No. 2 in C minor, BWV 773
  • Invention No. 3 in D, BWV 774
  • Invention No. 4 in D minor, BWV 775
  • Invention No. 5 in Eb, BWV 776
  • Invention No. 6 in E, BWV 777
  • Invention No. 7 in E minor, BWV 778
  • Invention No. 8 in F, BWV 779
  • Invention No. 9 in F minor, BWV 780
  • Invention No. 10 in G, BWV 781
  • Invention No. 11 in G minor, BWV 782
  • Invention No. 12 in A, BWV 783
  • Invention No. 13 in A minor, BWV 784
  • Invention No. 14 in Bb, BWV 785
  • Invention No. 15 in B minor, BWV 786

MIDI Sample Audio:
C major, BWV 772


  • Submission consisting of video recording.  
  • Winners will be invited to perform live with the Sempre Musick Baroque ensemble.


  • Open to all ages.
  • International applicants welcome.
  • Repertoire selection: one Bach Two-Part Invention.
  • Memorization is required.
  • Applicants are welcome to apply to multiple Sempre Musick events.

Age Categories

Applicants will be divided by age as of January 1: 
  • Elementary (10 and younger)
  • Junior (11-14)
  • Senior (15-18)
  • Collegiate (19-24)
  • Adult (25 and older)

Deadlines and Dates

  • Application and video submission deadline: April 6
  • Announcement of results: by April 12
  • Recital fee submission deadline: April 15
  • Winners’ Recitals will be held in Andover, MA:
    • May 25, May 26, May 27 (Memorial Day), or June 8
    • Schedule will be determined by May 1, after receipt of recital fees.
    • Participants must be available to perform on any of these dates.


  • Application Fee: $85.
  • Winner’s Recital: performance fee of $185 applies. 
  • Winners’ Recital Fees include:
    • Live rehearsal with the trio ensemble (on the day of the event)
    • Two complimentary tickets to live performance.
  • All fees paid are non-refundable.

Awards and Prizes

  • All contestants will receive an Award Certificate or Certificate of Participation.  
  • First, Second, and Third Place Winners of the Competition will be invited to perform live with the Sempre Musick Baroque Ensemble.
  • Special Award for best performance of Bach Invention. 
  • Additional prizes and awards may be announced!

Winners' Recital

  • Dates for Winners’ Recital will be determined by Sempre Musick and cannot be changed. 
  • No warm-up spaces will be available at the concert venues.
  • Performers: formal attire required. 


  • No repertoire changes are allowed after registration.
  • Decision of the judges is final.
  • Additional details may be added closer to the event.

Sign up to receive occasional email updates about our events:

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.