The Composer Lab & Workshop is open to composers who:

  • Are U.S. citizens or non-citizens lawfully and permanently residing, or studying full-time, in the United States.
  • Are between the ages of 18 and 33 at the time of submission.
  • Have not been selected as past participants of the Composer Lab & Workshop.


Submissions for the Composer Lab & Workshop must meet the following requirements:

  • 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 contrabassoon), 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 (MOLA).
  • Works must not have received a performance by a major orchestra with a budget greater than $3 million annually.



A panel of adjudicators evaluates all submissions. Selected composers will be expected to submit final performance materials to the Nashville Symphony library. The cost of preparing, printing and mailing materials is solely the responsibility of the composer.

Fellows will be invited to visit Nashville to attend the Composer Lab & Workshop. During their stay in Nashville, 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 Workshop Director Aaron Jay Kernis. One or more works may be chosen from the Composer Lab & Workshop to be premiered on the Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series.

The Nashville Symphony will provide airfare, hotel accommodations and a $1,000 stipend for all Composer Lab & Workshop participants.