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Symphony Number One Announces Its Second Call For Scores

Guest CChamp

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Symphony Number One is pleased to announce its second Call For Scores. Symphony Number One vigorously promotes the composition and prolific performance of contemporary music by encouraging compositions scored for the same or similar instrumentation as well-established masterworks of the past 500 years. In this way, further performances of new works become more practically feasible to program, bringing these works to a wider audience. To that end, selected composers will be invited to compose a new work for chamber orchestra to be rehearsed, performed, and recorded on concerts of the 2016-2017 season of Symphony Number One.


From the submitted scores, two winners will be selected to compose an extended work for orchestra (25-55 minutes). The two works will be programmed across the two spring concerts of Symphony Number One's next season and the instrumentation will be based on the instrumentation of the extant repertoire on the program. The composer will collaborate with Symphony Number One as to a suitable instrumentation, with the ability to use a subset of available instruments, and some possibility for augmenting the available instrumentation with one or possibly two requested instruments. They will be rehearsed, performed, and recorded live by Symphony Number One. A number of additional opportunities for career advancement may be possible. Recent featured composer Andrew Boss received a lengthy review full of praise in the Baltimore Sun. A substantial opportunity for international exposure for upcoming composer Jonathan Russell, winner of our first Call for Scores, will be announced on or around November 10.


Compositions will be evaluated by a panel of composers, conductors, and other musicians on the basis of artistic merit, craft, and, where applicable, the likelihood that a complete work will be prepared in time. The winners will be expected to deliver a finished work with ample time remaining for the musicians to prepare the work to the highest possible artistic standard (minimum of eight weeks before first rehearsal; delivery date will be no earlier than August 1, 2016 and no later than December 1, 2016. Score and parts may be delivered digitally; the composer may also elect to print, bind, and deliver them at his/her own expense.

Other Opportunities

Symphony Number One actively seeks to establish relationships with many emerging composers. To that end, up to ten additional finalists will be announced and published. Several additional chamber music opportunities may be extended to those finalists for performances of works for 1-8 instruments, including both traditional and non-traditional chamber music instrumentations. Possible opportunities include both the performance of a submitted work and the commission of a new work. In the case of our inaugural season, the panel decided to award honorable mention to the first runner-up composer and program an existing work.

We are currently developing a yet-to-be-announced project which could potentially provide additional commission opportunities to perhaps all of the finalists, though no specific guarantees can be made at this time.

Areas of interest:

  • First and foremost, we look for compositional quality, inventiveness, and potential.
  • Next season, we plan to commission a major work for marimba and chamber orchestra featuring internationally acclaimed marimbist Brian Zator. We will be particularly receptive to composers demonstrating ability to compose for marimba and orchestral instruments. That being the case, it is by no means necessary to submit a work featuring marimba per se.
  • We value the rich diversity of innovative compositional voices from around the world and will be particularly receptive to composers representing unique viewpoints and perspectives from around the world and from personal experience. This could come in a variety of forms, including but not limited geography, ethnicity, and gender. The compositions themselves need not make explicit reference to any of these aspects of perspective to be considered.

There are no restrictions for age or nationality. An honorarium of $200 will be awarded to each of the two winners after the performance and recording of the completed work. No travel money or other expenses will be awarded as a result of being selected as a winner. The winners will be invited to attend their respective performances at their own expense and to receive public recognition during the performances of their respective  works, including the possibility of being included in various media events.

To apply, please submit the following via our online form, available here.

  1. Scores to two (2) works representative of the composer's best work. It is preferred that at  least one of the two submitted works be scored for an orchestra or instrumental ensemble of between 12 and 60 musicians, but no completed applications will be turned away.
  2. Recordings of the two works. (MIDI renderings or similar are perfectly acceptable). These files should automatically stream when the links are accessed. Audio files which must first be downloaded will not be considered. Before submitting, make certain that your links open directly to a music player on two or more devices, including desktop.
  3. A one- or two-page resume (Format: PDF)
  4. A brief narrative biography (Format: PDF; 100-200 words)
  5. Entry fee ($20 or $25) payable online.

Acceptable formats for audio include: mp3, mp4, or any audio or video format natively playable in iTunes© or a modern web browser. All files should be submitted as web addresses (URLs) to a file sharing link from Dropbox©, Google Drive©, etc., links to your personal website, or links to an online streaming video or audio site, such as YouTube© or SoundCloud©. Make certain that all content is configured for public access.

Materials must be received by the competition entry deadline, November 30. Winners will be announced no later than January 20. For updates, follow Symphony Number One on Facebook or Twitter. Online application payment can be received for the $25 Comp-Pass or a $20 one-time entry fee. Symphony Number One will engage in multiple programs to support the development of emerging composers by arranging high-quality performances of new works. In recognition of the goal to serve the needs of composers, the Comp-Pass is a two-year pass entitling a composer to entry into all Call for Scores competitions or other composer submission programs, seminars, workshops, reading sessions, all public concerts, etc., over the course of the next two years (valid through August 2017).

Submitted materials will not be returned. Any additional questions should be directed to info@symphno1.org.

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