Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute and Future Classics! Concert Season 2017/2018

November 6 – 11, 2017

The Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute offers a unique week-long intensive immersion into the world of a major American symphony orchestra. Under the guidance of composer and Institute Director, Kevin Puts, up to seven composers will have orchestral works rehearsed and performed by the Minnesota Orchestra and will participate in a series of seminars on musical, career, and professional development topics. All works selected for the Institute will be performed in a public concert conducted by Music Director Osmo Vänskä on Friday, November 10, 2017, 8 pm.

Composers receive consultations with Puts and Music Director Osmo Vänskä before and after the rehearsals.  They also meet with Orchestra members and attend small-group sessions with leading music industry professionals. Composers’ domestic travel and hotel will be provided.

The 15th annual Composer Institute participants are:

Saad Haddad
Saad Haddad
Los Angeles, CA
Andrew Hsu
Andrew Hsu
Fermont, CA
Charles Peck
Charles Peck
Philadelphia, PA
Hilary Purrington
Hilary Purrington
New Haven, CT
Daniel Schlosberg
Daniel Schlosberg
Brooklyn, New York
Peter S. Shin
Peter S. Shin
Kansas City, MO
Nina C. Young
Nina C. Young
New York, NY

“I can’t imagine seven young composers who better represent today’s richly diverse musical landscape,” said Composer Institute Director Kevin Puts. “The “Future Classics” concert on Nov. 10 promises to be an absorbing and deeply moving sonic experience with something for everyone.”

In addition to Puts, other members of the selection committee were Grawemeyer award-winning composer Sebastian Currier, whose brand new work RE-FORMATION was commissioned and will be premiered by Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra on the weekend prior to the Composer Institute (November 2 to 4, 2017); Grammy-winning composer and co-founder of the American Composers Forum Libby Larsen; and acclaimed Wisconsin-born composer Michael Torke, whose music is performed widely by major orchestras and other ensembles worldwide.

In addition to the seven composers chosen to participate in the Composer Institute, the panel named the following composers as alternates: Viet Cuong, Natalie Dietterich, Leanna Primiani and Gity Razaz. In addition, these composers were designated as runners-up: Corey Cunningham, Jonathan Cziner, Paul Frucht, Timothy Page, Benjamin Scheer, Carlos Simon and Alyssa Weinberg. Cited for honorable mention are: Theo Chandler, Yi-Yiing Chen, Chen Yihan, Louis Goldford, Christopher LaRosa, Sky Macklay, Joshua Mastel, Thomas Nazziola, Jules Pegram, Rick Robinson, Will Stackpole and Yiheng Yvonne Wu.


  1. Entries submitted by mail or means other than electronically will not be eligible for consideration.
  2. Each applicant is limited to one submission.
  3. There is no fee to enter the competition.
  4. In addition to the contact information requested, each applicant must submit:
    1. A pdf (up to 20 MB) of one orchestral score of a piece written in the last five years.
    2. An mp3 recording (up to 60 MB) of the same piece, or video footage (up to 500 MB). A midi recording is fine if that’s the only option available.
    3. A current bio/resumé.
    4. A program note and information detailing the complete performance or reading history (if any) of the submitted work, including all dates and names of performing ensembles. Also include names of any other orchestra reading or performance programs you have submitted the work to within the 2017-2018 season.
    5. A complete list (if any) of other orchestral works you have written, with names of works and performing ensembles and dates performed.
  5. One letter of recommendation from a composition teacher or music professional (send to the e-mail address given below).


  • Applicants must be U.S. resident composers at early stages of their careers.
  • Composers who have participated in previous Institutes may not reapply.
  • Previous applicants: Composers awarded Alternate, Runner-Up, and Honorable Mention status in past years may resubmit works previously entered, or they may choose to reapply with a different work. Composers not awarded this status may not submit previously entered works.
  • Only one work per composer will be considered.
  • Submitted works may not have received a performance or a reading by a major orchestra (over $3.6M annual budget). Preference will be given to unperformed works.
  • Works may be up to 15 minutes in length (sections of longer works will be considered).
  • Not eligible are concertos, choral works and works for strings, winds or brass only. Works with electronics will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Only pieces written in the last five years are eligible.
  • Applicants may submit orchestrations of older chamber works as long as the
    orchestration was completed within the past five years.
  • Instrumentation must not exceed: Quadruple winds (doubling can include piccolo, alto flute, English horn, Eflat clarinet, bass clarinet, contra-bassoon), 4 hrn, 4 trpt, 2 trbn, 1 bass trbn, 1 tba, 1 timp, 3 perc, harp, pf/cel (no organ), strings. Works with 4 percussion players will be considered, but if chosen they may have to be reconfigured for 3 players.


Composer participants will be selected by a panel of prominent composers and announced in spring 2017.  Selected composers will need to provide performance materials for chosen works – to include three 11×17 printed copies of your score, as well as score and all instrumental parts in print-ready PDF format. Sample parts should be sent to the MN Orchestra Library by June 1, 2017; with final parts and scores to be received at the Library no later than July 1, 2017.

Additional Information

  • Entries must be submitted electronically via the link below on or before 11:59pm Central on December 12, 2016.
  • https://americancomposersforum.slideroom.com/#/permalink/program/33811
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • Entries submitted by mail or means other than electronically will not be eligible for consideration.
  • One letter of recommendation from a composition teacher or music professional should be sent separately to wlackey@composersforum.org. Please put “(Applicant’s Last Name) – Institute Recommendation” in the subject line. Deadline for letters is 11:59 pm (Central) on December 18, 2016.

2017-18 Season


2016-17 Season

Friday, February 3, 2017

  • Katherine Balch, Leaf Catalogue
  • Michael Boyman, Tightrope Walker
  • Judy BozoneSpilled Orange
  • Michael-Thomas Foumai, Music from the Castle of Heaven
  • Tonia KoStrange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide
  • Phil Taylor, Chiaroscuro
  • Conrad WinslowOld Motion Parade

2015-16 Season

January 29, 2016 Concert

  • Kirsten Broberg, Celestial Dawning
  • Matthew BrowneBarnstorming Season
  • Joshua Cerdenia, Magayon
  • Emily CooleyScroll of the Air
  • Nicholas DiBerardinoAsphodel
  • Michael GilbertsonSinfonia after Vivaldi
  • Anthony VineTransmission

2014-15 Season

January 16, 2015 Concert

  • Kati AgócsPerpetual Summer
  • Eugene BirmanManifesto
  • Texu KimSplash!!
  • Loren LoiaconoStalks, Hounds
  • Evan MeierFire Music
  • Matthew PetersonHyperborea
  • Michael SchachterFreylekhe Tanzen

NOTE: The Composer Institute was on hiatus during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

2011-12 Season

January 6, 2012 Concert

  • Brian Ciach, Collective Uncommon: Seven Orchestral Studies on Medical Oddities
  • Michael R. HollowayRhythm: Theta Beta Theta
  • Adrian KnightManchester
  • Hannah LashGod Music Bug Music
  • Andreia Pinto-CorreriaXantara
  • Shen YiwenFirst Orchestral Essay

2010-11 Season

October 29, 2010 Concert

  • Taylor BrizendineMandragora Officinarum
  • Wang JieSymphony #1
  • Polina NazaykinskayaWinter Bells
  • Clint NeedhamThe Body Electric
  • Ben PhelpsOverture Maximus
  • Narong PrangcharoenNamaskar
  • David WeaverMutatis Mutandis

2009-10 Season

November 21, 2009 Concert

  • Angel LamIn Search of Seasons
  • Spencer TopelIncendio
  • Roger ZareAerodynamics
  • Fernando BuideAntiphones
  • Kathryn SalfelderDessin No. 1
  • Carl SchimmelWoolgatherer’s Chapbook
  • Geoff KnorrShadows of the Infinite

2008-09 Season

November 7, 2008 Concert

  • Antonio Carlos DeFeoFour Portraits: por los ojos de los niños
  • Ted HearnePatriot
  • Wang LuWailing
  • Andrew McManusIdentity
  • Justin MerrittRiver of Blood
  • David SchneiderAutomation
  • Ming-Hsiu YenYun

2007-08 Season

October 26, 2007 Concert

  • Daniel BradshawChaconne
  • Jacob CooperOdradek
  • Trevor Gureckis[Very Large Array]
  • Wes MatthewsTerraces
  • Elliott Miles McKinleyMoments for Grand Orchestra [University of MN Pennock Participant]
  • Xi Wang, Above Light – a conversation with Toru Takemitsu
  • Stephen WilcoxCho – Han

2006-2007 Season

Dec 1, 2006 Concert*

  • Missy MazzoliThese Worlds in Us
  • Stephen GorbosDiaphony
  • Ashley Nail, …At the end of the tunnel [University of MN Pennock Participant]
  • Gregg WramageLa tristesse durera
  • Kurt EricksonToccata for Orchestra
  • Alejandro RuttyTango Loops 2B
  • Dan ViscontiBlack Bend
  • Garrett ByrnesSolace
  • Anna Clyne<<rewind<<

* This was the first year that the Institute included a public concert.

2005-2006 Season

May 9, 2006 Reading Session

  • Norbert Palej, Estampie
  • J. Anthony AllenSunder [University of MN Pennock Participant]
  • Zhou TianThe Palace of Nine Perfections
  • Sean Shepherdsurface tension
  • Matthew FieldsHubble Space Telescope Views

May 11, 2006 Reading Session

  • Ed Martin, Surreal Abundance
  • Reynold TharpCold Horizon
  • Mark DancigersLiquid Song

2004-05 Season

October 28, 2004 Reading Session

  • John ChristianOrfe Strateia
  • Fang ManAqua

October 29, 2004 Reading Session

  • Sheridan SeyfriedSubtle Electric Fire
  • Patrick BurkeMood Swing
  • Rob SmithPush
  • David PlylarClassical Walpurgis Night
  • Andrew NormanSacred Geometry

2003-04 Season

May 3, 2004 Reading Session

  • Gregory HutterElectric Traction
  • Robert PatersonElectric Lines
  • Anthony CheungSymphony No. 1, movements I and III
  • William A. WareDas juengste Kind
  • Philip FriedElements 4

May 4, 2004 Reading Session

  • Michael GatonskaVoyage to the Sun
  • Mark KovalEntropy

2002-03 Season

October 29, 2002 Reading Session

  • Orianna WebbXylem, for Orchestra
  • Todd ColemanCanti Arioso
  • Russell PlattLove Unlimited

October 30, 2002 Reading Session

  • Michael TwomeyBeatitudes: A Suite of Meditations for Orchestra
  • Lu PeiRhapsody No.1, Dance of the Dragon, “Long Wu,” for Orchestra

October 31, 2002 Reading Session

  • Nathan StumpffSubtleties Lost, Prelude and Fugue for Orchestra
  • Erich StemPrelude to Escape
  • Christopher DietzSound, Asleep

2001-02 Season

March 12, 2002 Reading Session

  • Mischa ZupkoCanter into Black
  • Lisa BielawaRoam
  • Keith MurphyAmok

March 13, 2002 Reading Session

  • Michael GatonskaThe Whispering Wind
  • Gordon BeefermanSymphony No. 1

March 14, 2002 Reading Session

  • Anthony CheungSerendipitous Scenes
  • Stacy GarropShadow
  • Stephan ProckGarden Varieties, Four Dance Vignettes

Perfect Pitch, Original incarnation of the Composer Institute

2000-01 Season

November 28, 2000 Reading Session

  • James F. CrowleyThe Piezoelectric Effect
  • Stacy GarropThunderwalker
  • Rich PressleyThen they will look on Me, the one they pierced

November 29, 2000 Reading Session

  • Mei-Fang LinFluorescent Orient
  • Justin Henry RubinSymphonietta I
  • Michael KlingbeilNovember Gales

1999-2000 Season

October 19, 1999 Reading Session

  • Anthony GattoMinnesota Dance
  • Brian J. NelsonSymphony No. 1, In the Beginning Was the Word
  • Justin RubinPassacaglia Tenebrosa
  • Geoffrey GordonMis en scene
  • Paul Paccionesmall, still voices

1998-99 Season

November 10, 1998 Reading Session

  • Erika FoinThree Movements for Orchestra
  • Nathaniel RileyReflections for Orchestra
  • Philip FriedElements for Orchestra
  • Peter LothringerOrigin Unknown
  • Mark WarholOrchestral Suite No. 2
  • Carl WittWork in Progress

1997-98 Season

April 14, 1998 Reading Session

  • Anthony GattoSpleenTongue (and other parts of an opera)
  • David SchoberImpure Elements

April 15, 1998 Reading Session

  • Michael WittgrafA Marriage of Seasons
  • Melissa M. HannahSymphony in One Movement

1996-97 Season

October 23, 1996 Reading Session

  • David SchoberCell 264
  • David Evan ThomasElegy for a Singer
  • Russell PlattLandscape
  • Michael WittgrafEvent
  • Michael Karmon…And the Rhythm Is Just A Little Bit Off…

1995-96 Season

April 29, 1996 Reading Session

  • Carol BarnettOverture to a Greek Drama
  • David Evan ThomasWhen Reason Sleeps, the Sirens Sing
  • Thomas E. FitchUntitled #74: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Paul A. SuskindFantasy-Variations on a Fragment by Schoenberg
  • Keith M. BradshawSymphony No. 1 – Maestoso
  • Randall StokesEdgewood Faire