The competition has been organised by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) and the University of St Andrews.
Entrants have been asked to set their music to one of three selected poems by the acclaimed writer – An Autumn Day, Dogs and Wolves or Under Sail.
Up to three winning pieces will be selected and performed by the St Andrews Chamber Orchestra, three SCO soloists and soprano Lesley Jane Rogers.
The final date for submission of the pieces is November 30th 2010 and winners will see their work performed as part of a StAnza – Scotland’s international poetry festival – concert at St Andrews’ Byre Theatre on March 20th next year.
Commenting on the event, StAnza’s festival director Eleanor Livingstone said that the collaboration and competition would act as an opportunity to introduce the work of Sorley MacLean to a new audience.
Elsewhere, Lucy Lowe, of the SCO, was quick to highlight the positives of the orchestra’s involvement.
“New music is an integral part of the SCO’s concert programming and education work, providing a platform for both emerging and established composers,” she said.
“This competition not only gives young composers the opportunity to showcase their skills but also the chance to hear their music performed by professional musicians.”