Program Summary

  • Private lessons: Participants receive one-on-one private composition lessons with the resident faculty and Composer-In-Residence. Additional lessons may also be available, time permitting, with any of our visiting composers and guest artists.
  • Masterclasses & Workshops: Daily workshops and masterclasses are led by the each of the composition faculty, the Composer-In-Residence, visiting composers, guest artists, and performers. These sessions focus on variety of topics, ranging from issues of craft, to professional career planning, and much more.
  • Performance:  Each participant is invited to submit one work of up to five (5) minutes in length for the resident ensemble. All works will be premiered on an Alba Music Festival Wet Ink concert. Furthermore, one participant will receive a commission to compose a new work as part of a future concert season with the ensemble, and all participants will be considered for reprise performances of their music by the ensemble during future concert seasons.
  • Professional Recording:  Each participant will receive a professional, edited, 24-bit recording of their work as part of a dedicated recording session at the conclusion of the week. These recordings may be freely used for any purpose with the exception of a commercial release.
  • VIP Access: Participants will have complimentary, reserved seating at the evening Alba Music Festival concerts, as well as invitations to select, special events. We also include a complimentary tour of an area winery, complete with a wine tasting hosted by a local sommelier.
  • Future Opportunities: All alumni of the Alba Composition Program are eligible to apply for a paid commission to compose a new work for a premiere as part of a  future Alba Festival. In 2017, the first Alba Alumni Commission was awarded to 2016 alumnus, Jonathan Posthuma. Awards have since been given to Benjamin Webster, Jesse Edwards,  Nicky Sohn, and Badie Khaleghian.

A Typical Day in Alba

Each day in Alba is filled with music and fellowship. Mornings consist of rehearsals and/or private composition lessons with the faculty. Typically we break for lunch at noon, followed by a mid-afternoon composition masterclass/workshop held in the Alba Campus Center. Afterward there is time for additional private lessons, rehearsals, or simply rest. Alba Music Festival afternoon concerts are usually scheduled at 5:30 pm, followed by a break for an evening meal. At 9:00 pm, the Alba Music Festival evening concert usually takes place, often followed by socializing over wine and/or a late dinner (and, of course, gelato!).

Your Music: A Concert Performance

Program participants will be invited to submit one work, either pre-existing or newly composed, in any compositional style, of up to five (5) minutes for the resident ensemble. Works may be composed for the entire group, or for a subset, and all works will performed on one of the Alba Music Festival concerts dedicated to the work of living composers.

Your Music: A Professional Recording

One of the most valuable things for a composer is a high-quality recording. Thus, as part of the program, each participant will have their work professionally recorded in a dedicated session. These sessions will be coordinated in consultation with the program participants, the musicians, resident faculty, and the Composer-in-Residence. Each participant will receive an edited, twenty-four (24) bit stereo master of their music approximately one month after the completion of the festival. In addition, the unedited ProTools session files may be made available on request. These recordings may be used for any purpose with the exception of a commercial release (this could be arranged on separate agreement with the ensemble).

Private Composition Lessons

All participants will receive private, one-on-one, lessons with each member of the resident composition faculty and the Composer-in-Residence. Time permitting, additional lessons may also be available with any of the guest and visiting composers.

Daily Masterclasses and Workshops

Masterclasses and workshops, hosted by the resident composition faculty, the Composer-in-Residence, and guest composers, will be held each day in the music classroom of the Alba Campus Center. All classes and workshops will be topic based, ranging from elements of compositional craft to career issues. Example topics include contemporary counterpoint, orchestration, electronic and electroacoustic music, spectralism, performance practice, improvisation, promotion, publishing, copyright, recording, music industry, and academic career advice.

Electronic and Electroacoustic Music Production Day Camp

We partnered with Slam Academy and faculty member J Anthony Allen to offer an intensive electronic and electroacoustic music production mini-camp. featuring creative production tools Ableton LiveMax4Live, and Max/MSP. This is an optional add-on for accepted composition fellows at a substantially discounted rate or may be elected as a standalone package for anyone. Seats, however, are limited.

Housing, Meals, and Transportation

If desired, we are able to offer a discounted housing and meal package as an option. Participants are not required to enroll in this plan and we are happy to assist those who wish to make their own arrangements. We are also happy to arrange a discounted private car/van shuttle service from major city airports and railway stations. Torino (Turin) is the most often used gateway for arriving and departing by air or rail. Turin is located about an hour and fifteen minutes from Alba by car. However, both Milan and Genova are also possible points of arrival and departure, each about two and a half hours drive from Alba.  Participants who take advantage of the housing/meal package will have one round-trip transfer provided (to/from Turin). 


Composition masterclasses and workshops are held in a recently remodeled classroom located in an important historical building. This building, known as the Alba Campus Center, also houses the administrative offices of the festival. During the day, participants will have access to this building, which contains several practice rooms with pianos, computers, and free high-speed WiFi. Private lessons are held in the campus center, or in one of the practice rooms or rehearsal spaces of the local music school which, houses a recently remodeled multipurpose hall named after Beppe Fenoglio, a famous 20th century Italian author and native of the region.

Tuition and Fees

  • 2023 Tuition: €2,390

​​This fee includes all elements of the program except travel, meals, and accommodation. An all-inclusive meal and accommodation plan is available (see below).
The tuition will be payable in three installments:

  • Refundable Deposit: €500 (due on acceptance to the program)
  • February 15, 2023:  First Installment: €990
  • March 15, 2023: Final Installment: €900  (less financial aid awards)

Additional Options

This package includes nine (9) nights of accommodation in Alba, single occupancy, from May 27 through June 5 and eight (8) days of meals from May 28 to June 4. This plan also includes one round trip airpot/railway transfer from Turin (TRN). Details may be found here.

A two day intensive mini camp covering basic through advanced topics in electronic and electroacoustic music production with four progressive class sessions and breakouts. The camp takes place before the start of the composition program on May 26 and 27. The all-inclusive price includes four meal tickets (lunch and dinner each day), and two nights of accommodations (single occupancy) in Alba. High speed WiFi access and demo versions of Ableton and Max/MSP will be available on both Macintosh and Windows platforms. A special coupon code for continuing online study through Slam Academy will also be provided for future online instruction. NOTE: Participants must bring their own laptop computer.

We also offer a special plan for those who wish to attend the festival, and take part in the masterclasses and Alba Festival concerts, but do not need or want private lessons, a performance or recording. Auditors will have access to the Alba Campus Center, priority seating at evening concerts, have access to the wine tasting and runout concerts. Auditors do not qualify for financial aid. No application is required but space is limited.

This same benefits as an auditor with the addition of private lessons with each of the program faculty. No application is required but space is limited.


Refund Policy:​ All payments made to the program are fully refundable if a request to withdraw from the program has been made on, or before January 15, 2023. After this date, all payments received towards the program are non-refundable due to the advanced preparation and commitments made on the behalf of the participant. An exception to this would be: If unforeseen circumstances (i.e. “Act of God”, natural or otherwise) cause the festival and/or the composition program to be postponed or canceled. All funds paid toward the program would be refunded in full to the participants.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to students who are enrolled at least part-time in a college or university music program. While we would love to fund every applicant fully, at this time our program is primarily tuition driven, with additional support from our partner institutions and, most recently, the William Thomas McKinley Foundation for American Music. Most years, our awards will range from $100 to $1000. In addition, an assistantship will be available for students of current composition faculty and/or who are studying music full-time at one of our partner institutions. The assistantships come with nominal duties that may include assisting the program director with administrative and technical work (recording concerts, etc.). If you are interested and eligible in one or more of these awards, you will be asked to submit, after receipt of your application, a letter of recommendation from a current or former composition teacher, and a copy of your most recent course enrollment/registration to verify academic status.
​Our awards bear the name of four late American composers: David Stock (undergraduate award), a prolific composer and tireless supporter and advocate of fellow composers, especially those who were young and in the emerging stages of a career, Leslie Bassett (graduate award), a Pulitzer-prize winning composer who was a beloved teacher and mentor for a number of generations of composers at the University of Michigan, Julia Perry, a mid-twentieth century musical pioneer, and William Thomas McKinley (alumni commission), a formidable jazz pianist and prolific composer of nearly 500 works, who was a highly respected and loved teacher of composition and jazz at the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Chicago.
The David Stock Award (Undergraduate)
  • Open to students currently enrolled at least part-time in undergraduate music study at an accredited US-based institution (college or university). More than one may be awarded, pending available funds.
  • Award: Up to $500

The Julia Perry Award

  • Open to any woman/BIPOC identifying applicant currently studying at least part-time at an accredited US-based institution (college or university). More than one may be awarded, pending available funds. This award may be combined with other awards as well.
  • Award: Up to $1000

The Leslie Bassett Award (Graduate)

  • Open to students currently enrolled at least part-time in graduate music study at an accredited US-based institution (college or university). More than one may be awarded, pending available funds.
  • ​Award: Up to $1000

The ALBA Festival Assistantship

  • Open to all applicants who are currently studying with one of the composition faculty or composer-in-residence. This also includes students who are currently enrolled at least full time in music at one of the associated partner institutions.
  • Award: Up to $500

The William Thomas McKinley Alumni Commission

  • A yearly commission for a new work to be premiered at the Alba Festival, awarded to one of the past composition fellows.
  • Award: Commission to compose a new work. Variable each year.