Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program

Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program provides grants to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music. Grants are provided for the commissioning and performance of new works by American composers. The program supports works scored for 2–10 musicians performing one per part, composed in any of the musical styles associated with contemporary classical music.

The CMA Board of Directors has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization’s work. (Read CMA’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.)

ALAANA (African/Black, Latinx, Asian/South Asian, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American), women, and gender non-conforming composers have historically been under-represented in the Classical Commissioning Program. Since 1983, only one-third of the commissions made through this program have been composed by ALAANA or women composers. Therefore, CMA’s goal is, through the panel review process, to award a majority of the grants to applicants who apply with ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers.

To that end, CMA has created the Composers Equity Project, a database of ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers. We encourage applicants to explore these composers and their work.

Composers will continue to be added to the database throughout the year. ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers are encouraged to submit their information to the Composers Equity Project.


ELIGIBILITY: ENSEMBLES An ensemble is eligible if

• it is a professional group with a commitment to Western European or non-Western contemporary classical music (as demonstrated on a submitted work sample)

• it consists of fixed personnel and instrumentation or is part of a flexible roster or a collective that performs in varying configurations of no more than 10

• in the case of a duo, performs as equal partners, rather than as soloist and accompanist, and consistently publicizes itself as a duo

• the leader/primary member of the ensemble is a US citizen or permanent resident (non-profit status is not required of ensembles)


• must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

• may not have outstanding commitments to this commissioning program, or to New Jazz Works • may be a member of the applicant’s ensemble

• is an individual, not a group

THE COMPOSITION The proposed new work

• must be a new concert-music piece written for 2–10 musicians and scored for one musician per part (a conductor, if used for the performances of the work, is considered one of the 10 musicians)

• must be in the form of a notated score (the composer retains all rights) • must be finished and one digital copy of the score submitted to CMA by September 30, 2022

• must be booked for its premiere by February 1, 2023 (does not need to be premiered by this date) • must be performed at least three times in public in the U.S. or its territories by June 30, 2024

• must be performed exclusively by the commissioned ensemble (including guest artists) through June 30, 2024 • may not include a greater number of guest artists than there are musicians in the applicant ensemble

Visit this link for full guidelines. 


  • Create a free Submittable account or log-in to your existing Submittable account.
  • You may type directly into the online form or draft your responses in an offline document and cut/paste your information into the online application.
  • To save the work you have done on your application, you must click the “Save Draft” button at the bottom of the form before exiting. You may return to your saved application to continue working on it by following the log-in instructions. Submittable maintains your draft for 21 days. CMA recommends that you also save your draft in an offline document as a backup.
  • Prepare your attachments and name them as follows: Applicant Name—Type of Attachment (e.g., ABC Ensemble – Memorandum of Understanding)
  • Upload the required files to the online application.
  • When the application is complete, click “Submit.”
  • CMA will confirm receipt via email.