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NY Philharmonic Issues Open Call for Compositions


This just in: The NY Phil is now accepting applications for their upcoming EarShot New Music Readings, to be held next June in conjunction with the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL. The readings will be followed by feedback from New York Philharmonic musicians, music director Alan Gilbert, and mentor composers Christopher Rouse (the Philharmonic's Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence), Steven Mackey, Robert Beaser, and Derek Bermel.

Three of the works will be selected to be performed by the Philharmonic in concert as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL (June 5-7, 2014).

Submissions must be received by December 2, 2013. Additional procedures and guidelines listed below.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or non-citizens lawfully and permanently residing and/or studying full-time in the U.S.

  • There are no age restrictions; however, applicants should be composers at the early stages of their professional careers.

  • Works that have not been previously performed or read by a major professional orchestra (with a budget size of $3.6 million and above) are eligible.

  • Each composer may submit only one composition for consideration.

  • Only works completed after January 1, 2009, will be considered.

  • Compositions must be no more than 12 minutes in length, though a selection or movement from a longer work can be considered. Maximum instrumentation is: Winds: 3*, 3*, 3*, 3; Brass: 4, 3*, 3*, 1; Timpani + 3 Percussion, Harp, Piano; and Strings: 14, 12, 10, 8, 6. (Standard orchestral doublings for the winds and brass are permitted.) Works exceeding the maximum instrumentation require advance approval for consideration.

  • Compositions may not include soloists, electronics, MIDI, digital technology, or sound reinforcement.

  • Do not submit recordings.

  • Submissions may be considered for other eligible EarShot activities during the 2013-14 season if indicated on the application form.

  • The quality of the score submitted is the primary evaluation criterion. It is therefore in the applicant's best interest that the score be clear, accurate, and the best representation of the composer's work. The additional background and educational information is for eligibility and documentation purposes; these materials are not considered in the general review of scores.

  • Emerging American composers who have applied previously for an EarShot Reading are eligible and must submit a new and complete application, including score and all required background information.

  • Incomplete, illegible, or late applications will not be considered.

If Selected

  • Composers must attend reading session on June 3, 2014, and feedback meetings and professional development workshops June 3-4, 2014, in New York City.

  • Composers should also plan on attending the New York Philhmonic's concerts June 5, 6, and 7, 2014, if their work is selected for performance after the Reading. (This will be determined upon the conclusion of the Reading Session.)

  • Composers must provide professional, legible orchestral parts and scores prepared according to guidelines established by the Major Orchestral Librarians Association. Materials must be delivered no later than March 1, 2014.

  • Composers agree to submit photos and a short biography for media purposes, to participate in blogging and social media, to be videotaped/recorded for archival and promotional purposes, and to have their music recorded for archival and study purposes.

How to Apply

Before submitting an application, carefully review the eligibility and submission guidelines above. A complete submission must include the following:

  • A completed submission form 
    You may print and mail your submission: (PDF)
    Or, you may complete your submission online.
  • One bound copy of the score, clearly labeled with the composer's name and title of the work on the cover page. (May be uploaded as a PDF file.)
  • A current resume for the composer including educational background, major teachers, awards, professional affiliations.
  • A list of works, including title, year composed, instrumentation, duration, and performance history. (May be uploaded as a PDF.)
  • One letter of recommendation from an established composer or other music professional, attesting to the applicant's accomplishments and potential as an orchestral composer. The recommendation may be sent under separate cover (or uploaded as a PDF.)
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope suitable for the return of materials. All supporting materials remain the property of American Composers Orchestra. ACO is not responsible for lost scores.
  • Applications must be received by Friday, December 2, 2013.
    This is a receipt deadline, not a postmark deadline.

Please send all materials to:
EarShot - Attn: New York Philharmonic New Music Readings
American Composers Orchestra
244 West 54th Street, Suite 805
New York, NY 10019-5515

For questions or further information:
call: 212-977-8495 ext. 202