Zodiac Music Academy & Festival – 9th Season

Working with living composers, commissioning new works and performing contemporary music is an integral part of a successful musical career.  The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival selects five young composers each year to participate in its composition program. This composition course will not only provide private instruction, composition seminars and performance opportunities, but more importantly allow both composers and instrumentalists to collaborate on their own terms, explore, and influence the direction of music together.

The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival composition course is lead by award-winning composer Andrew List – a long-time collaborator of the Zodiac Trio.

Each composer will be paired with an assigned chamber ensemble from the festival roster and commissioned to write an eight-minute work, which will be premiered at one of the festival’s public concerts. Ample rehearsal time will be given for each composer’s work. It is our goal that these composer/performer collaborations will create lasting friendships that will continue beyond the festival.

All participants will meet for a daily composition seminar, where a variety of pertinent topics important to composers and seminal musical works will be discussed. In addition, each composer will receive three one-hour private lessons with Mr. List and have daily access to a working studio and piano.

Additionally, all composition students are welcome to participate in all the seminars and clinics offered by the Festival during the session, and are invited to join chamber ensembles (instrumental proficiency permitting), to allow for a larger scope of musical experience.

Chamber Music Ensemble Collaboration

Each composer will collaborate with a chamber music ensemble (or students musician), as they work together to prepare the commissioned work for performance.

Daily Composition Seminars
Composition students will meet with Mr. List every morning as a group to discuss a myriad of topics and review works in progress as a group
Three One-Hour Lessons
Each student will receive private instruction in the form of three one-hour lessons
Performance of Commissioned Work
Participating composers will be commissioned to write an 8-minute work, which will be performed at the end of the Festival.
Composer/Performance Seminars with the Zodiac Trio and Attending Faculty
Throughout its career, the Zodiac Trio has commissioned over a dozen works, working with composers such as Andrew List and Richard Danielpour, have instigated numerous call for score projects, and have had over 100 works written for them in all. As part of the educational aspect of the Zodiac Trio’s career, the ensemble often works with student composers at various Universities across the United States, presenting clinics and seminars on the Performer-Composer relationship. In this seminar, the Zodiac Trio will discuss these collaborations in detail with the participating composers, in an informal and personal setting.

Additionally, the composer seminar will be visited regularly by attending faculty to discuss their instruments and their experiences working with composers.


The students will be provided dormitory-style lodging, in a new, state-of-the-art lycée, equipped with a basketball court, a soccer court and other facilities, while still being in the heart of a medieval village. Each room offer an en-suite shower and bathroom.  The building faces the mountains, offering stunning views.

Three meals are provided daily. The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival works with a local restaurant that will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving local French specialties. (Vegetarian options available).
Ample practice rooms will be available for individual practice throughout the day.

Audition Requirements

Each applicant must submit an audio sample in order to be considered for acceptance.

The sample must consist of at least two separate works of any style,  showcasing the applicant’s technical ability and musical expression, and must not exceed 30 minutes.  You must submit these electronically via our online application below.

Composition Students

Composition Students ONLY: Prospective students should submit a minimum of two PDF scores of works of their choosing via the online application, along with links to a recording (this could be audio or video. MIDI is acceptable).

Age Eligibility


Health Insurance

Accepted applicants must submit proof of health insurance, signifying coverage while in France (to be submitted after receiving acceptance confirmation.

Tuition and Fees

The all-inclusive fee is $2,550 USD, which includes:

  • Tuition

  • Dorm-style accommodations

  • Board (three meals per day)

  • Transportation from and to the Nice International Airport

  • Excursion to Nice

  • All Festival activities (seminars, masterclasses, etc.)

Work Study Financial Aid

Some limited amount of financial aid is available.  Please note the following:

  • Scholarships carry mandatory work-study.  Students receiving financial aid will fill such positions as audio/video recording, social media management, concert management, reception managers, page-turning, etc.

If you are interested in work study, please indicate so on your application.  In order to be considered for financial aid (which carries mandatory work study), an applicant must submit a letter detailing the circumstances on which your demand is made, and any experience you may have with the positions listed above.

Payment Schedule

To help alleviate any risk due to a possible cancellation caused by the current situation, NO DEPOSIT OR PAYMENT will be due until June 1, 2021.

The complete payment altered payment schedule is as follows:

June 1st, 2021 – First 50% of the tuition is due

July 1st, 2021- Second 50% payment is due

Interest-free extended payment plans are also available for those who would find them beneficial.

Other Information:​

  • The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival reserves the right to re-assign students to another professor, should the professor of their choice become unavailable.

  • Although the Academy & Festival will strive to provide supervision of its students to the best of its ability, it is not responsible for the supervision of minors.


We are remaining hopeful in the face of some recent positive developments in the global struggle with the pandemic, and are planning to cautiously proceed with our planned season this summer.

In order to relieve some of the concerns from potential applicants, we are making the following changes:

  • No Application Fee required to apply

  • Acceptance decisions are made, and applicants notified, within a week after the application is received

  • No Deposit Required when accepted.  

  • First Payment due on June 1st, 2021

  • Extended Payment Plans available, interest free.