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Chamber Music America: Classical Commissioning Program

Deadline: April 5, 2019

Chamber Music America’s (CMA’s) Classical Commissioning Program provides grants for the commissioning and performance of new works by American composers to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music. The program supports works scored for 2–10 musicians performing one per part, composed in any of the musical styles associated with contemporary classical music.

The proposed new work (the composition) must be:

  • A new concert-music piece written for 2–10 musicians and scored for one musician per part (a conductor, if used for the performances of the work, is considered one of the 10 musicians)
  • In the form of a notated score (the composer retains all rights)
  • Finished and two copies of the score–one in print and one digital–submitted to CMA by September 30, 2020
  • Booked for its premiere by February 1, 2021
  • Performed at least three times in public in the U.S. or its territories by June 30, 2021
  • Performed exclusively by the commissioned ensemble (including guest artists) through June 30, 2022

Amount: Grants range from $5,000-$20,000, depending on the length of the musical piece and the size of the ensemble. Additionally, each ensemble member receives a $1,000 honorarium for rehearsing the new piece, and grantees receive up to $1,000 to support copying costs.

Eligibility: Presenters and ensembles that are based in the U.S. or its territories and that are CMA organization-level members. Specifically:

An ensemble is eligible if it:

  • Is a professional group with a commitment to Western European or non-Western contemporary classical music (as demonstrated on a submitted work sample)
  • Consists of “fixed” personnel and instrumentation or is part of a flexible roster or a collective that performs in varying configurations of no more than 10
  • In the case of a duo, performs as equal partners, rather than as soloist and accompanist, and consistently publicizes itself as a duo
  • Has 501(c)(3) status, or the leader/primary member of the ensemble is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

A presenter is eligible if it:

  • Is a 501(c)(3) organization or otherwise eligible for charitable contributions for federal income, estate, and gift-tax purposes
  • Presents classical, contemporary, other music genres, and/or multi-disciplinary performing arts programs

Presenters and ensembles must be:

  • Based in the U.S. or its territories
  • CMA organization-level members

Additionally, the composer:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • May not have outstanding commitments to this commissioning program, or to CMA’s New Jazz Works
  • May be a member of the applicant’s ensemble
  • Is an individual, not a group

Note: ALAANA (African/Black, Latinx, Asian/South Asian, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American), women, and gender non-conforming composers have historically been under-represented in the Classical Commissioning Program. Since 1983, only one-third of the commissions made through this program have been composed by ALAANA or women composers. Therefore, CMA’s goal is, through the panel review process, to award a majority of the grants to applicants who apply with ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers.

Link: http://www.chamber-music.org/programs/classical/grants

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