Bent Frequency presents: Underscore–a call for scores

Co-Artistic Directors, Jan Berry Baker and Stuart Gerber

[email protected]

For our 20th anniversary 2023-2024 season Bent Frequency (BF) is excited to announce our third annual Underscore_a call for scores. We are looking for submissions of the most groundbreaking, compelling, and captivating chamber music celebrating a diversity of compositional voices. We will program music by up to six composers from this call AND commit to working towards a long-term collaboration with at least one of the winners.

BF is committed to knocking down long-established institutional and financial barriers often associated with calls for scores. BF seeks to amplify music by composers of diverse backgrounds, styles, and career stages. Underscore is FREE and open to ANYONE.


All selected composers (up to six!) will receive:

  • A high-quality audio and video recording of the live performance
  • A stipend to assist with travel expenses to attend the performance in Atlanta

One composer will receive:

  • The “Underscore” commission

BF is dedicated to forging long-term collaborations with composers and commits to partnering with one of the selected composers to secure funding for a future commission.


Submission details:

  • NO application fee
  • Open to composers of all ages, nationalities, career stages, and backgrounds
  • Composers traditionally underrepresented in classical contemporary music are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Composers should submit a single work that both best represents their practice and fits within Bent Frequency’s instrumentation
  • Winning submissions will be performed on BF’s Underscore concert
  • Submitted work may be of any length
  • Pieces written in the last 15 years are preferred
  • Published or unpublished works may be submitted
  • Previously performed works are permitted
  • Submitted work must use the listed instrumentation below or any subset (including solos) or be written for unspecified/open instrumentation (works using additional instrumentation will not be accepted)
  • Electroacoustic works, including pieces with video, are permitted
  • Submitted work must be an original composition (no arrangements will be accepted)
  • Co-created works may be submitted


Underscore instrumentation:

The submitted work may use any of these instruments or any subset therein, OR be written for unspecified instrumentation:

  • flute (1-doubling piccolo and/or alto) (1)
  • clarinet (1-doubling eb and/or bass) (1)
  • saxophone (1–doubling SATB)
  • violin (1)
  • viola (1)
  • cello (1)
  • piano (1)
  • percussion (1)


Featured review panel:

Complete biographies of our distinguished review panel available above at link


Adjudication process:

  • Round 1 – review panel will review all scores and excerpted (1-2 min.) recordings (if included) anonymously (All identification markings from the score and file names MUST be removed)
  • Round 2 –the review panel will be provided full application information for all finalists and will review the complete recording (if included) and score
  • Up to six winners will be chosen by the three independent judges


  • Application deadline is October 1, 2023 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Winning works will be announced by December 15, 2023
  • Composers of the selected pieces will be invited to Atlanta to attend the dress rehearsal and concert in person in Atlanta on Sunday, March 3, 2024, 2:00pm EST
  • “Underscore Commission” winner announced by September 1, 2024