Classical Commissioning Program
Chamber Music America, the national network of ensemble music professionals provides grants through the Classical Commissioning Program to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music.
Grants are provided for the commissioning and performance of new works by American composers.
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.
Commission fees range from $5,000 to $20,000. Applicants must be Chamber Music America members at the Organization level. The new composition must be performed by the ensemble a minimum of three times in the U.S.
Composers Equity Project
Since 1983, only 80 of the 229 commissions made through CMA’s Classical Commissioning program have been composed by women or ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) composers.
The Board of Directors of Chamber Music America has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization’s work. (Please read CMA’s Statement of Commitment.) CMA’s goal in this program is, through the panel review process, to award a majority of the grants to applicants who apply with women and ALAANA composers.
In the 2019 cycle, 12 of the 13 grants were made to ensembles commissioning new works from women and ALAANA composers. See the 2019 grants press release for the awardees.
Composers George Lewis, Tyshawn Sorey, Jessie Montgomery and Trevor Weston received commissions in 2019 grant cycle. Other commissioned composers from recent rounds include Alvin Singleton, Billy Childs, David Sanford, Valerie Coleman and Jeff Scott.
CMA has created the Composers Equity Project, a database of ALAANA, women and gender non-conforming composers that is accessible on CMA’s website. Applicants are encouraged to use this resource and become familiar with potential composers for a commission.
Composers will continue to be added to this list regularly. ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers who wish to be included in future versions of this list may submit their information to CMA.
Classical Commissioning Deadline
The Classical Commissioning deadline is Friday, April 3, 2020 at 9:00 PM (Eastern). Applications must be submitted online.
Click here for program information.
Please contact Susan Dadian, program director, CMA Classical/Contemporary for further information.
CMA’s Classical Commissioning Program grants are made possible by generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.