Composer Lab 2020

Deadline: 9 December 2019 17:00

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra & Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland would like to invite composers to submit applications for Composer Lab 2020.

Composer Lab is a professional development initiative aimed at composers who have had limited opportunities to write for symphony orchestra or large scale ensemble. This project provides the participant composers with a creative and open environment in which to deepen their understanding of writing for the forces of a symphony orchestra. Now in its fifth year, Composer Lab 2020 marks a significant milestone in its development.

On the completion of the project, all works will receive a public performance by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in a radio and online broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm in Autumn 2020. In 2019, the new works developed through the Composer Lab project received their premiere performance in a live radio broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm’s Blue of the Night , presented by Bernard Clarke. This radio event was awarded Silver in the category of Irish
Music Programme or Initiative at the recent 2019 IMRO Awards.
All applicants for Composer Lab 2020 will receive equal opportunity irrespective of gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the traveller community.

What happens in Composer Lab?

  • A maximum of four composers will be selected to take part with three places reserved for composers represented by CMC and the additional one place available for another composer who was born or is resident on the Island of Ireland.
  • Selected composers will be expected to prepare a 6 – 8 minute work for symphony orchestra ( / / tmp+3 / hp / str). This may also include electronics. (The implementation of electronics will be the responsibility of the participant composer. Please ensure that you can provide any additional equipment necessary to facilitate the performance of your work).
  • This work-in-progress will be the focus of a preparatory meeting with Composer Lab mentor David Fennessy at the Contemporary Music Centre in February 2020.
  • This work-in-progress will then be the focus of a workshop with RTÉ NSO section principals (or section leaders) on 18 May 2020.
  • Following this, the work-in-progress will be the focus of an intensive public workshop with the RTÉ NSO, conductor Gavin Maloney and mentor David Fennessy Late July 2020.
  • Revisions of the work-in-progress will be discussed in a further meeting with the mentor composer David Fennessy based on the learning from the public workshop with the RTÉ NSO.
  • On subsequent completion of the revisions, the revised scores and parts will be due for submission by Mid September 2020 (a delivery date to be advised).
  • The new works developed through Composer Lab will be premiered by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in a radio broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm and streamed online in late October 2020.

Would you like to apply for Composer Lab?

The RTÉ NSO and CMC are now seeking applications for this initiative. In order to make a submission, composers must submit the following by email to by 5pm on Monday, 9th December 2019, with the subject heading ‘Composer Lab 2020’ :

  1. A short proposal outlining details of the piece you intend to write, how it relates to your existing working practice and how composer lab will enable you to realise your artistic intentions and develop your skills.
  2. Two recent completed scores in pdf format (not excerpts).
  3. A link to a recording of a performance or electronic realisation of each score.
  4. C.V. to include details of past professional performances

Composers chosen to participate will be informed in mid-January 2020.

For additional application and submission details see attached pdfPDF iconcomposer_lab_2020_call.pdf

For further information, please contact: Keith Fennell, Production Coordinator at the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland at or on 01- 673 1922