National Sawdust - New Works Commission Open Call

Deadline: 30 June 2020 17:00

The New Works Commission, as part of the Live@NationalSawdust Digital Discovery Festival, is an open call for 20 new works to be commissioned by emerging composers residing or working in the US. The entire Digital Discovery Festival is fully underwritten by the Alphadyne Foundation.

Twenty (20) commissioned composers will receive the following resources: a short commission of 3 to 5 minutes for $3,000; a performance of their work by either JACK Quartet, full string quartet, or members from the National Sawdust Ensemble in either a solo, duo, or trio combination (Miranda Cuckson, violin, Jeffrey Zeigler, cello, Ian Rosenbaum, marimba, Allison Loggins-Hull, flute, Chris Grymes, clarinet, and Stephen Gosling, piano); mentorship with the judging panel, and musicians; online premieres of the new works at; a recording/film of the live performance; and professional development sessions with the musicians. Neither letters of recommendation nor application fees are required

Eligibility:  To be eligible to apply, all applicants are required to certify that they are residing, or working in the US and  have met two of the following three criteria: 

  • that they have received no prior personal/individual commissions of $7,000 or more; 
  • that there are no major commercially released full album recordings of their work; 
  • that there have been no prior major performances of their work by a professional ensemble in the US, outside of multi-billed concerts, and university setting 

‍Throughout the period leading up to the concert, commissioned composers will take part in a professional development process that mirrors the residency program at National Sawdust. Within these sessions, composers will explore issues ranging from intellectual property rights, improvisation, acoustics, publishing, criticism, and other relevant topics pertaining to their field in conversations directed by leading figures in the field and National Sawdust staff. Composers will be trained by National Sawdust staff to use equipment and skills specific to this new time in terms of digital production, in ways that enhance their compositional process and provide a bridge into their next compositional phase.

‍Previously commissioned composers tell us about the opportunities afforded to them through the commissioning and mentorship process at National Sawdust. The winners of the 2019 Hildegard Composer competition — described by Prestini as a “peer-based mentorship” experience — were inti figgis-vizueta, Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir, and Niloufar Nourbakhsh. The inaugural winners were X. Lee, Kayla Cashetta, and Emma O’Halloran.

‍Deadline:  The deadline for submission is June 30th, 2020, a press release will announce the winners in early August 2020, and the two concerts featuring the 20 commissions will take place online as part of the Digital Discovery Festival in the Fall and Spring.