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Call for Submissions: Nashville Symphony Composer Lab & Workshop

The Nashville Symphony Composer Lab & Workshop will provide emerging young composers with the opportunity to develop their talents and gain hands-on experience working with a major American orchestra. Selected participants will travel to Nashville in October 2015 to hear their music performed by the GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony and receive mentoring and feedback from Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, Workshop Director Aaron Jay Kernis and other orchestra professionals. Participants will also potentially earn a performance of their work during the Nashville Symphony’s 2016/17 Classical Series.

Nashville Symphony Composer Lab & Workshop is supported by founding sponsor BMI.

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The Composer Lab & Workshop is open to composers who are:

U.S. citizens or non-citizens lawfully residing in the U.S.

Between the ages of 18 and 33 at the time of submission


Only one composition per applicant may be entered. Compositions must have been written in the last three years.

Works may not exceed 15 minutes in length.

Works must be scored for a standard symphonic complement.

Instrumentation may not exceed:

3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 3 oboes (3rd doubling English Horn), 3 clarinets (3rd doubling bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3rd doubling contra bassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, 1 timpani, 3 percussion, 1 harp, 1 piano/celeste and strings.

Concertos, choral works, works with electronic elements, works with organ, and works solely for strings, winds or brass are not eligible.

Part preparation must adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association.

Works must not have received a performance by a major orchestra with a budget greater than $3 million annually.


Must be received by May 15, 2015.

Must include two scores that are bound and legible, preferably at 11x17 size.

Scores must be labeled with composer’s name, email address and home address.

Recordings are encouraged but not required.

Must include a short bio or résumé.

Must include a statement listing performances (if any), including date(s) of performance and name(s) of performers, and detailing other orchestra reading programs (if any) to which the work has been submitted.

Must include stamped, self-addressed envelope if composer wishes for materials to be returned.

Submissions can be mailed to:

Maiken Knudsen

Nashville Symphony

1 Symphony Place

Nashville, TN 37201

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A panel of adjudicators will evaluate all submissions and announce the first-ever class of Nashville Symphony Composer Lab fellows by July 1, 2015.

Selected composers will be expected to submit final performance materials to the Nashville Symphony library by July 31, 2015. The cost of preparing materials is solely the responsibility of the composer.

The Composer Lab & Workshop will take place October 4-8, 2015, at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The Nashville Symphony will provide airfare, hotel accommodations and a $1,000 stipend for all selected composers.

During their stay, participants will have the opportunity to meet with Nashville Symphony staff, conductors, principal players, community partners and music industry professionals. Fellows will also receive mentoring from Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and Workshop Director Aaron Jay Kernis. One or more works from the Composer Lab & Workshop may be chosen to be premiered on the Nashville Symphony’s 2016/17 Classical Series.

In collaboration with Copland House — the award-winning creative center for American music based at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home near New York City — one participating composer may also be selected for a coveted Copland House Residency Award or a fellowship at Copland House’s CULTIVATE emerging composers institute.

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