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The American Composers Forum is pleased to announce the 2019 McKnight Visiting Composers Residency Program. This program is made possible by the generous support of The McKnight Foundation.

2019 Participants

2019 panelists were composers Gavin Chuck (Chicago, IL), Elainie Lillios (Bowling Green OH), and Gilda Lyons (Rhinebeck, NY)

Sergio Barer
Sergio Barer
Danny Clay
Danny Clay
Sergia Barer photo by KI Concerts; Danny Clay photo by John Fisher


Program Description

  • The American Composers Forum will select up to two composers to design and produce their own residencies in Minnesota.
  • Visiting composers should expect to spend approximately 40 days in Minnesota, working on projects with a Minnesota ensemble and/or community—or communities—of their choosing.
  • Visiting composers are expected to complete their projects within 18 months of receiving the award.
  • This is not a commissioning program, although new work may be part of the residency. In keeping with the Forum’s commitment to promoting awareness and understanding of living composers, this program encourages interaction with a variety of venues which will help promote composers’ role in society.

Selection Criteria

The American Composers Forum encourages applicants from the full range of musical styles, and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists whose work demonstrates strong artistic merit. Accordingly, awards for our programs will represent, as far as possible, artists and projects that are diverse in genre, gender, race, ethnicity and geography.

Panelists will assess the:

  • Creative potential, imagination, and effectiveness of the proposed project.
  • Consistent high quality of applicant’s previous work.
  • Anticipated value of the residency project for the composer’s career and ensemble and/or designated community.

Specific partner organizations do not have to be identified at the time of application, although that is strongly encouraged. The panel is more interested in project designs that are promising while still being feasible. Selected composers will be asked to develop their plans prior to beginning the residency.


Up to two residencies of $10,000 will be awarded. All funds are distributed directly to the selected composer across four installments. Awards are subject to state and federal income tax guidelines.

Review the complete guidelines and download them here.


  • Composers working in any style are encouraged to apply.
  • You must be living outside Minnesota.
  • You must have a US Social Security Number or US Tax ID.
  • You are not staff, board, or immediate family of the McKnight Foundation or the American Composers Forum.
  • You may not be enrolled full-time in an academic program.
  • Recipients of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 McKnight Visiting Composer Residency and/or McKnight Fellowships in any discipline are not eligible.
  • Composers do not have to be members of the American Composers Forum to apply.


A panel of three composers from outside Minnesota chosen for their familiarity with diverse genres of new music will review applications and, in consultation with ACF staff, will select residency recipients.


The panel’s decision will be announced in mid June, 2019. Results will be posted on ACF’s website and applicants will be notified by email. After the 2019 McKnight Fellowships for Composers and Visiting Composer Residencies are announced, all applicants will have the opportunity to setup a phone appointment with ACF’s vice president of programs for feedback from the panelists.



William Lackey, ACF VP of Programs, will conduct five 60-minute 2019 McKnight Visiting Composers Residency Application Workshops online to go over the application process. These sessions will be offered online via Zoom. Zoom video tutorials can be found here:

Information Session Dates and Times

Tuesday, January 29:            10:30 – 11:30 AM CST           Register HERE for this date.

Thursday, February 7:           3:30 – 4:30 PM CST               Register HERE for this date.

Saturday, February 16:          9:30 – 10:30 AM CST             Register HERE for this date.

Monday, February 25:           1:30 – 2:30 PM CST               Register HERE for this date.

Saturday, March 9:                4:00 – 5:00 PM CST               Register HERE for this date.

If you are not able to participate in one of the online session you are welcome to schedule one-on-one meeting in person at the ACF office or over the phone, with William Lackey about their application before completing it online. To schedule a meeting, please call 651.251.2833 or e-mail

2018 Participants

Anthony R. Green Photo by: Colin Conces
Anthony R. Green
Photo by: Colin Conces
Volker Goetze
Volker Goetze

2017 Participants

Paul Giess of Philadelphia, PA
Paul Giess
Philadelphia, PA
Kristin Norderval of New York, NY
Kristin Norderval
New York, NY

2016 Participants

2016 McKnight Visiting Composer Wang Jie
Wang Jie
New York, NY
2016 McKnight Visiting Composer Peter Michael Von Der Nahmer Copy
Peter Michael Von Der Nahmer
Ozone Park, NY

2015:  Clarice Assad and Wayne Horvitz
Panelists: David Dzubay, Aruán Ortiz, Zeena Parkins

2014:  Robin Eschner and Pamela Z
Panelists: Amir ElSaffar, Stacy Garrop, and Daniel Trueman

2013:  Chris Coyle and Jin Hi Kim
Panelists: Anne LeBaron, Nicole Mitchell, Sven-David Sandstrom

2012:  Hugh Livingston and Charles Peck
Panelists: Nancy Galbraith, Graham Reynolds, Huang Ruo

2011:  William J. Lackey, Kanniks Kannikeswaran
Panelists: Linda Dusman, J.D. Parran, Jack Perla

2010: Ellen Fullman, David James Nielsen
Panelists: Fernando Benadon, David Conte, Mary Jane Leach

2009: Eve Beglarian, Ryan Ingebritsen
Panelists: Derek Bermel, Jennifer Bilfield, Newman Baker

2008: Jeff Herriot, William Neil
Panelists: Mark Applebaum, Margaret Leng-Tan, David Stock

2007: Billy Fox, Evan Solot
Panelists: Susie Ibarra, Matthew Levy, Steven Stucky

2006: Sidiki Conde, Stuart Hyatt
Panelists: Milford Graves, Belinda Reynolds, Neil Rolnick

2005: Todd Hammes, Susan Haugh
Panelists: Eleanor Hovda, Robert Moran, Roger Kleier

2004: Michelle Nagai, Ushio Torikai
Panelists: Jason Hwang, Alex Shapiro, Kevin Stahlheim

2003: Oliver Lake, John Morton
Panelists: Fred Frith, Anthony deMare, Ileana Perez Velazquez

2002: Steven Rosenthal, Janek Schaefer
Panelists: Joel Chadabe, Melissa Hui, David Cleary

2001: Kenny Endo, Annie Gosfield & Roger Kleier
Panelists: Chinary Ung, Eve Beglarian, Philip Bimstein

2000: Fred Ho, Beth Custer
Panelists: Bill Brooks, Tamar Diesendruck, Adolphus Hailstork

1999: Brenda Hutchinson, Susan Rawcliffe
Panelists: Ellen Christi, Allen Strange, Regina Baiocchi

1998: Ron George, Richard Johnson
Panelists: John Duffy, Fred Ho, Judith Shatin

1997: Ermir Dergjini, Pamela Z
Panelists: Sebastian Currier, Anne Deane, Gustavo Matamoros

1996: Brent Michael Davids, David Revill
Panelists: Orlando Garcia, James Tenney, Augusta Reed Thomas

1995: William Banfield, Dan Senn
Panelists: Warren Burt, Fran Richard, Lois Vierk