Vienna Summer Music Festival

Instrumental Composition

Dates: June 26 – July 10

A major highlight of this festival is our participants having their music performed by world class contemporary performers such as PHACE, Irvine Arditti, icarus Quartet, and loadbang. ​

Composition students will take private composition lessons with Viennese and international composers and attend lectures/masterclasses on contemporary music and advanced theory topics.

Amongst the guest faculty, prominent composers such as Lei Liang, Pierluigi Billone, Beat Furrer, Oliver Weber, Ulrich Drechsler, Reinhard Fuchs, Clemens Gadenstätter, and other visiting guests will join the festival.

​Participants will be given a choice amongst our three guest ensembles, who will perform one piece.  The instrumentation icarus Quartet consists of two pianists and two percussionists. PHACE, a professional contemporary music ensemble residing in Vienna, offers any combination of instruments including: flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, viola, cello, and double bass.  All ensembles will perform the new pieces at the VSMF: Contemporary Music Concerts.

Students will also work with Irvine Arditti, from the Arditti Quartet, who will workshop and record selected student pieces for solo violin or string quartet.

Tuition: 3,750 EUR

Includes: housing, private lessons, facilities, faculty, masterclasses, visiting guests, cultural excursions, ensemble hires


Private Lessons

Composition students will receive private composition lessons with prominent Viennese composers. All participants will work on a project that will be developed during their stay in Vienna and presented for a discussion amongst their peers and faculty.


Composers are obliged to attend all rehearsals of their compositions and are expected to work closely with the ensemble and music director in order to ensure a successful performance of their work.


Composers will have the opportunity to have their works critiqued by visiting guest artists. Master Classes will be conducted with visiting guest artists and are open to all festival participants to observe.


Seminars will be given by our visiting guest faculty on their particular area of research and will consist of advanced topics in composition and compositional processes chosen by the professors.

Application Instructions

Applicants for the Composers Forum should submit two original scores that best represent their skill as a composer; there are no stylistic restrictions.

All application materials including YouTube links, audio files, and scores should be submitted via a single link to an approved file sharing site such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or iCloud, or by mail to For questions regarding submitting via file sharing visit the application section of the FAQ page.

Scores should be submitted in PDF format, and recordings of these works should be submitted in MP3 or MIDI files. Files names should include the applicant’s first and last name, program of interest, and the creation date of the score and recording.(Example: Emily Brown_Composition Forum_08/18.MP3)

All applicants should receive an initial response in 3-5 business days.

An application fee of $35 is required for submission.


Scholarships are available, and will be awarded up to €1,500 to select applicants. For those applicants that are interested in applying for scholarship, a brief scholarship application essay of no more than 500 words answering the question, “What are your career goals, and how would a scholarship to the Vienna Summer Music Festival help you achieve those goals?”, and a list of references should be sent in addition to application materials. The subject line should contain the applicant’s first and last name, program of interest, and the text “Scholarship Essay.” Interested applicants will receive scholarship funds based upon their submitted audition materials and essay.

Scholarship Application Requirements:

1) 500 word Scholarship Essay answering, “What are your career goals, and how would a scholarship to the Vienna Summer Music Festival help you achieve those goals?”

2) A list of two to three references (please include contact information)

All scholarship application materials should be emailed to

Instrumental Composition Deadline: March 15, 2022