Deadline: March 1, 2021

The new Composer-in-Residence will be announced by April 1, 2021


Applicants for the Composer-in-Residence Program must be between 20 and 28 years of age as of March 1, 2021, and must be a US citizen or permanent resident (green card holder).


Applicants must submit the following to

  • A completed application form, downloadable here
  • Scores and recordings of three original compositions (PDFs and audio links)
  • A résumé or bio
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or professional musicians specifically describing your potential for a career as a composer. Recommenders should email their letters directly to
  • A $40 application fee – those requesting financial assistance may write to to have the application fee waived.

Additional materials and an interview may be requested as we proceed through the selection process.

Repertoire Requirements

  • A work for solo piano, or for solo instrument/voice + piano
  • A work for chamber ensemble
  • An additional work of your choice

Selection Process

Applications are reviewed by a panel of distinguished proponents of contemporary music, including YCA alumni, professional musicians, and composers.


Commissions: Over the course of three years, the new Composer-in-Residence receives three commissions totaling $18,000 ($6,000 each).

  • Debut Commission 1 & 2: Each of your first two commissions are written for a current YCA artist. During the composition process, you will work closely with the artist to bring your piece to life, and the artist will premiere your work on their YCA debut concerts. Premieres will be augmented by warm-up concerts and post-premiere performances.
  • YCA Alumni Commission: Your third commission is written for (and in collaboration with) an alumnus/alumna of Young Concert Artists. After the initial premiere performances, YCA will secure 1-3 additional artists (of same instrumentation) from within the YCA family to learn and perform your work, thereby ensuring multiple performances.

Management Services: The most unique component of YCA’s Composer-in-Residence Program is that each composer joins the YCA roster with a minimum three-year comprehensive management contract. YCA’s managers:

  • Promote each composer’s career through their connections with the industry’s managers, concert presenters, conductors of major orchestras, and financial supporters, as well as YCA’s long-standing reputation for discovering and furthering the careers of extraordinary young artists.
  • Develop opportunities for performances of existing works and new commissions, as well as participation at residency programs with orchestras and new music institutions nationwide.
  • Provide a full package of publicity materials and services, travel arrangements, extensive professional development and educational residency experience.
  • Support ongoing career guidance through a mentorship with a YCA alumnus/alumna.

Notable Accomplishments by YCA Composers

The talents of YCA’s composers have been recognized with numerous prizes and accomplishments including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 Career Advancement Award, a GRAMMY Award, The Grawemeyer Award for Music, a Pulitzer Prize, a Heinz Medal in the Humanities, four Rome Prizes, two Berlin Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the first Benjamin H. Danks Commission from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, five Charles Ives Fellowships, over twenty ASCAP awards, numerous BMI prizes, a Koussevitsky Prize and many prestigious commissions from renowned performers such as Evelyn Glennie, Yo-Yo Ma, Anne Akiko Meyers, and Jeremy Denk, and from orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Amarillo Symphony, the Mobile Symphony, the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


The YCA Composer Program was founded 28 years ago by YCA’s Alumni Association to discover and support exciting young composers and to provide opportunities for collaboration with excellent performers. Since the inception of the program, YCA has brought 11 exceptional composers to public attention: Dan Coleman, Kevin Puts, Kenji Bunch, Mason Bates, Daniel Kellogg, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Andrew Norman, Chris Rogerson, David Hertzberg, Tonia Ko, Katherine Balch, and most recently, Saad Haddad.

YCA Contact

Erol Gurol, Director of Programs & Auditions
Young Concert Artists, 1776 Broadway, Suite 1500, New York, NY 10019

(212) 307-6656