California Symphony Composer-in-Residence Program

California Symphony Composer-in-Residence Program 2023-2026
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Applications are now being accepted
California Symphony’s Composer-In-Residence program is designed to give outstanding, emerging, young American composers (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) an opportunity to work with a professional orchestra and conductor for a three-year residency from August 1, 2023, through July 31, 2026.

The residency provides a unique opportunity to create, rehearse, premiere, and record three major orchestra compositions over three consecutive years, one each season. Each season, the composer is provided with a workshop rehearsal and study recordings of their work during the composition process. The composer, conductor, and orchestra become partners in the creation of the work and share their experience as the composition develops.

Since the residency was established in 1991, ten talented Americans have joined the ranks of this program. Previous alumni have won national & international awards, sit on faculty at universities across the country, and continue to compose with their unique musical styles.

The first and second rounds in the selection process are assessed in a blind review process, ensuring that your work will be considered anonymously and without prejudice. Composers from underrepresented backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

We’re eager to hear your work and we invite you to apply for the unique opportunity to build a relationship with one of the premiere Orchestras in the Bay Area.

The resident composer will receive the following:
An honorarium/commission fee of $10,000 for each work
Three world premieres to be performed in the Spring of 2024, 2025, and 2026
Recorded rehearsal readings of each work before it premieres
Accommodations and airfare for two residency weeks each year, for reading rehearsals and world premieres in Walnut Creek, California
Interaction with and constructive feedback from Music Director Donato Cabrera and the Orchestra musicians
Interaction with the Symphony’s Board of Directors and staff
Publicity – reviews and/or interviews for each premiere

The composer will also participate in the following activities:
On-site visits to local schools to inspire and enlighten young people about the art of composing
Pre-concert lectures – where the composer and Music Director discuss the composition in front of an audience prior to the concert
Special receptions and/or cultivation dinners with symphony board members and donors
Assist with the search for a young composer for the next residency
Support concert promotions, including writing guest blogs, providing social media content, and interviews with the press
The Composer-in-Residence appointment with the California Symphony is a competitive and sought-after position. American composers (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) age 40 and under who have completed a degree program in composition or music performance, or have equivalent experience, are encouraged to apply. The selection process will involve two rounds of blind reviews by Music Director, current Young American Composer-in-Residence. The third round reviews will be conducted by a panel of professional in the field.

Materials must be submitted as redacted copies to ensure that any reference to your name does not appear. An applicant number will be assigned to you to ensure anonymity. Complete and submit materials through the application form here. You will be asked to submit links to your materials through Dropbox.

Materials you will need:
Three scores, with names redacted, from within the last three years that represent a cross section of your work (orchestral, chamber and vocal scores are acceptable)
Up to 3 audio recordings of up to 3 original compositions. Recordings must be submitted as MP3s files via a Dropbox link. Links to Youtube and/or Soundcloud recordings will not be accepted.
List of compositions
Resume including professional experience (resume will not be used in the selection process.)
Three professional references with contact information
Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (All candidates are required to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents)
$75.00 non-refundable application fee (online payment)
The application deadline is October 17, 2022, by 11:59PM PST.
All application materials must be complete and submitted by this date to be considered.

Announcement of the winner will be made on or before February 1, 2023.

Please note that by returning a completed application for the Composer-in-Residence program, you are agreeing that you are able to accept the terms listed above and able to sign a contract for the 2023-2026 term.

It is the policy of the California Symphony to provide all persons with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, veteran status, marital status or any characteristic protected by federal, state, and local law. Candidates of ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) communities are encouraged to apply.

For questions about the Young American Composer in Residence program, please contact Eric Barreto at


Deadline 17 October 2022



October 17


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