2015 Call for Scores

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Symphony Number One is the East Coast’s newest chamber orchestra. Conducted by Music Director Jordan Randall Smith, SNO uses a flexible, repertoire-driven instrumentation. It is composed of some of the world’s most gifted musicians, dedicated to preparing and performing substantial new compositions.

Symphony Number One is pleased to announce its 2015 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 the spring 2016 concerts of Symphony Number One.

From the submitted scores, two winners will be selected to compose an extended work for orchestra (25-45 minutes). The two works will be programmed across the two spring concerts of Symphony Number One’s inaugural season and the instrumentation will be based on the instrumentation of the extant repertoire on the program (planned repertoire: John Adams, Chamber Symphony and Boulez, Dérive 2). 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 two requested instruments. They will be rehearsed, performed, and recorded live by Symphony Number One.

Compositions will be evaluated by a panel of composers, performers, and conductors 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 three weeks before first rehearsal; delivery date will be no earlier than February 15). Score and parts may be delivered digitally or the composer may elect to print, bind, and deliver them at his/her own expense.

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.  

There are no restrictions for age or nationality. An honorarium of $150 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)

  • 3. A one- or two-page resume (Format: PDF)

  • 4. A brief narrative biography (Format: PDF; 100-200 words)

  • 5. Entry fee ($25) payable via Kickstarter Comp-Pass (payment before April 25)

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, May 15. Winners will be announced no later than June 15. For updates, follow Symphony Number one on Facebook or Twitter. Application payment should be received before April 25 via the $25 Comp-Pass on the Symphony Number One Kickstarter. 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 Calls for Scores 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).

Alternatively, composers may elect to send materials by mail (electronic method preferred; online entry form still required):

Symphony Number One

℅ Nicholas Bentz, Executive Director

Peabody Institute, Unger Lounge Box 13

Baltimore, MD 21202

Submitted materials will not be returned. Any additional questions should be directed to the Director of Artistic Operations, Sean Meyers, at [email protected].