Emory University Symphony Orchestra

Call for Compositions

Deadline for submission: August 15, 2021

Decision announcement: September 15, 2021

Emory University and the Emory University Symphony Orchestra (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) are excited to announce a commissioning opportunity for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) female-identifying composers.

The selected composer will receive 3500 USD to create a new work for symphony orchestra (that has not yet been performed or published) of approximately ten minutes in total duration. This amount includes both a 2000 USD commission fee as well as a 1500 USD to defray travel and related costs. The selected composer will be responsible for arranging their own travel for two (2) trips to Atlanta, Georgia, for workshops and the premiere.

A collaborative process is important for this project. Therefore, the orchestra will be available to read short passages, excerpts, and provide recordings and feedback during the fall. The composer and conductor will devise a process-oriented timeline for the fall.

The selected composer must commit to travel to Atlanta, Georgia, twice in 2022. First, for three consecutive days (tbd) to workshop the score in January, 2022, and again from April 21-24, 2022, for final rehearsals and the premiere.*

The selected composer must also submit scores and parts no later than January 5, 2022, with revisions due by February 10, 2022.*

*All dates are subject to pandemic-related changes.

Apart from the commission fee and travel allowance, the selected composer will receive:

  • Two preliminary workshop rehearsals with a full, conducted symphony orchestra to facilitate revision
  • The opportunity to work directly with a conducted symphony orchestra in multiple rehearsals in preparation for the premiere
  • A premiere performance in Atlanta’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts for a live audience
  • A professional-quality recording (audio and video) of the premiere performance

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Any BIPOC female-identifying composer
  • Composers of any age and at any stage of their career, from student to professional, are all encouraged to apply
  • Scores will be judged, in part, relative to the career stage of the composer. Extensive experience writing for symphony orchestra is not required.

To apply, please submit the following items by August 15, 2021:

1- Two to three (2-3) compositions for consideration. These compositions may be any genre or instrumentation – with one of these compositions employing traditional notation and a notated score (submitted as a .pdf file). Recordings of your compositions shared as URLs will also be accepted, but are not required.

2- We want to learn about what motivates you artistically. Please submit either a written statement (up to 500 words) or a video URL (not more than 5 minutes in duration) that describes your creative voice, discusses your work,  your artistic goals, and what you would like to accomplish in this project.

Jury: Emory University faculty

Please upload materials – as one file – here.

Please name your file as: First_Last_Materials

Questions? Please contact:

Dr. Paul Bhasin
Director of Orchestral Studies
Director of Undergraduate Research
Emory University Department of Music
+1 (404) 727-9451

No application fee required.