Now in its sixteenth season, the RED NOTE New Music Festival at Illinois State University is a week-long event which features outstanding performances of contemporary concert music. Highlights of past seasons include appearances by Ensemble Dal Niente, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Del Sol Quartet, Fifth House Ensemble, Iridium Quartet, and loadbang. Featured guest composers have included William Bolcom, Chen Yi, Stephen Hartke, Bright Sheng, Missy Mazzoli, Steven Stucky, Martin Bresnick, and Joan Tower. RED NOTE also holds an annual Composition Competition which brings in entries from around the world.

This year, we are pleased to host featured guest composers George Tsontakis and Melinda Wagner, as well as featured guest ensembles Utari Duo and Momenta Quartet. Together with the Illinois State University music composition faculty, George Tsontakis, Melinda Wagner, and the two guest ensembles will lead a Composition Workshop which is open to all student composers.

Composition Workshop

March 26-March 30, 2023

The RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Workshop will help composers widen their creative perspectives and hone their craft through open rehearsals with guest performers Momenta Quartet and Utari Duo, and seminars with distinguished guest faculty composers George Tsontakis and Melinda Wagner, as well as resident faculty composers Martha Horst, Roy Magnuson, Carl Schimmel, and Alex Stephenson. Invited participants will each compose a 5 to 10-minute piece for one of the guest ensembles. Each composition will be carefully rehearsed during the festival and will be premiered at a formal concert. Each composer will receive a recording of his or her piece. Participants will discuss their compositional ideas, techniques, and aesthetics with the faculty and other fellows. In addition, each student composer will have the opportunity to meet with the faculty composers individually or as part of group lessons or masterclasses. Each day of the festival culminates in an evening concert featuring contemporary music performed by the guest ensembles or members of the School of Music faculty.

Dining and Housing

Dinners will be organized and paid for by the RED NOTE New Music Festival. Workshop participants will be responsible for their other meals, and for their own lodging. Normal, Illinois is a university town with many dining options within walking distance. RED NOTE will assist workshop participants in finding appropriate lodging; options range from staying with one of our student composers at no extra cost, to a room at the Marriott hotel for a discounted rate (within a short walking distance from campus). We will facilitate room shares and transportation to reduce lodging costs.


$350 (due by October 31, 2022)

Refund Policy

We do not offer refunds for our workshop. All fees are non-refundable.

How to Apply

      • Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled as graduate or undergraduate students (anywhere in the world) in spring 2023.
      • The selected applicants must each compose a new work for Momenta Quartet or Utari Duo. (Composers will retain all performance and publication rights to the work composed.)
      • Submit an ANONYMOUS PDF AND audio file (mp3 or MIDI) of your best work for chamber ensemble.
      • The submitted PDF and audio files must be free of names and identifying marks.
      • No application fee is required. However, please note that if you would like to submit your work in the Composition Competition you must submit it again separately via the Composition Competition link on the RED NOTE homepage.
      • SUBMISSION DEADLINE: October 1, 2022.
      • 6-8 selected applicants will be notified by email by October 7, 2022.
      • Score and parts to the new composition must be received by Festival Director Carl Schimmel no later than January 30, 2023. Alternatively, if the composition submitted with your application has not received a previous performance, and is scored for a subset of the available instrumentation, you may request that this piece be rehearsed and premiered in lieu of a new composition.

Apply Now

Please contact Carl Schimmel at [email protected] with any questions.