Nashville Symphony Welcomes Five Rising Composers to Music City Next Month for the Third Composer Lab & Workshop

Public invited to hear ‘classics of the future’ at free open rehearsal on September 4

Nashville, Tenn. (August 5, 2019) – The Nashville Symphony has selected five promising young composers from across the country to participate in the third edition of its Composer Lab & Workshop, a unique initiative designed to discover and cultivate the next generation of great American composers.

The five composers – Jack Frerer, SiHyun Uhm, Brian Raphael Nabors, Niloufar Nourbakhsh and Jared Miller – will be in Nashville on September 3-5 to take part in the comprehensive program, led by Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. During their three-day visit to Nashville, each composer will showcase their music and gain firsthand insights into working with a major American orchestra.

The centerpiece of the program will be an open rehearsal at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4, when the Nashville Symphony will perform works by all five Composer Lab & Workshop participants at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Admission is free and open to the public, but a ticket is required for entry. Tickets are available at

“If we want classical music to remain relevant to current and future audiences, we have a duty to open up opportunities for the next generation of musicians and composers,” Guerrero said. “This conviction is at the heart of the Nashville Symphony’s mission and vision, and the Composer Lab & Workshop is a direct outgrowth of that commitment. The five composers who will be visiting Nashville represent the diverse voices and experiences of our country and our world today. We are thrilled not only to provide them with opportunities for growth, but also to learn from them about how together we can shape the future of our art form.”

The Symphony issued a nationwide call for submissions earlier this year for the third edition of the program, which is open to American-based composers between the ages of 18 and 35, and more than 200 scores were submitted. The five finalists were selected by a panel consisting of Guerrero, Kernis (who serves as the Composer Lab’s workshop director), Nashville Symphony musicians and staff and members of the Belmont University faculty. 

One of the most comprehensive programs of its kind anywhere in the United States, the Composer Lab & Workshop will immerse the five participants in an intensive, hands-on learning experience with workshop sessions covering key aspects of composing, performing and music industry practices, including:

  • Reading sessions with the Nashville Symphony;
  • Individual mentoring sessions with Guerrero, Kernis, composers Gabriela Lena Frank and Kip Winger, and Copland House Artistic & Executive Director Michael Boriskin;
  • A “Business Essentials for Composers” briefing led by Jim Kendrick of ASCAP, covering copyrights, licenses, contracts and negotiations, commissions, publishing and more;
  • A performing rights seminar led by Deirdre Chadwick, Executive Director of BMI Classical
  • Group meetings with Nashville Symphony musicians to sharpen instrumental writing.

As an added enhancement, Guerrero may select one or more of the composers’ works to be performed on a future Nashville Symphony program.

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, a fellowship at Copland House’s CULTIVATE emerging composers institute, or a performance by the Music from Copland House ensemble.

The open rehearsal on September 4 is free and open to the public. Visit to reserve tickets and learn more about each of the participating composers.