Nashville Symphony Now Accepting Submissions for 2nd Annual Composer Lab & Workshop

February 08, 2017
Led by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and Workshop Director Aaron Jay Kernis, program seeks to identify next generation of great American composers
Nashville, Tenn. (February 8, 2017) – Now through April 13, the Nashville Symphony is accepting submissions for the second round of its Composer Lab & Workshop, an initiative created to discover the next generation of outstanding American composers.
The Composer Lab & Workshop was developed and guided by Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, who serves as Workshop Director and Chairman of the Selection Panel. The program aims to provide young composers with the opportunity to develop their talents, gain hands-on experience working with a major American orchestra, and showcase their work for local audiences. The Workshop & Lab is an outgrowth of the Nashville Symphony’s longstanding commitment to promoting and cultivating American music.
Selected participants will have the opportunity to hear their music performed by the Nashville Symphony, receive mentoring and feedback from orchestra professionals, and potentially earn a performance of their work on the Nashville Symphony’s 2018/19 Classical Series.
“Our first Composer Lab & Workshop in 2015 was a huge artistic and popular success,” Guerrero said. “Local audiences responded enthusiastically to hearing these smart, innovative young composers share their music, and the composers in turn were truly gratified for the opportunity to develop their craft through feedback from musicians, industry professionals and audience members. As Music City’s resident orchestra, this program has become another meaningful way for us to fulfill our mission of keeping classical music relevant in the 21st century.”
“I am delighted to continue working with the terrific Nashville Symphony in my role as director of its Composer Lab and Workshop,” said Kernis. “Giancarlo Guerrero and the orchestra’s ongoing dedication to and passion for new American orchestral music has been steadfast, and is reflected in their dynamic programming and award-winning recordings. This effort to shine a light on the next generation of composers takes their commitment to the next bold level, engaging with musical creativity in America by going to its most compelling source. The program will hone young artists’ skills in writing for the most complex and glorious instrument I know: the orchestra. I look forward with pleasure to helping the Nashville Symphony find the most talented composers of our musical future.”
The initiative is open to U.S. residents between the ages of 18 and 33. Works will be adjudicated by a panel of composers and performers, and participants will be announced by June 23, 2017. The selected Composer Lab fellows will travel to Nashville in November 2017 for performances of their music by the Nashville Symphony in an open rehearsal. The fellows will also work with Nashville Symphony staff, conductors, principal players and community partners; will learn from nationally recognized music industry professionals; and will participate in one-on-one mentoring sessions with Kernis.
Participating composers’ works will potentially be selected for a performance during the Symphony’s 2018/19 Aegis Sciences Classical Series. The Symphony will provide airfare, hotel accommodations and a $1,000 stipend for all participants. 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.
The Nashville Symphony is accepting submissions through April 13, 2017. Submitted works must be no longer than 15 minutes in length and scored for a standard symphonic complement and must not have received a performance by a major orchestra with an annual budget greater than $3 million.
More information on the Nashville Symphony’s Composer Lab & Workshop, including a full listing of submission guidelines and eligibility requirements, is available at