New Works Commission Open Call 2020

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30 June 2020


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 live.nationalsawdust.org; a recording/film of the live performance; and professional development sessions with the musicians. Neither letters of recommendation nor application fees are required.

The roster of judges and mentors include Paola Prestini, composer, Artistic Director, and Co-Founder of National Sawdust; Marcos Balter, composer; Ellen Reid, composer, sound artist and Pulitzer Prize winner; Pamela Z, composer, performer, and Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize Fellow 2019/2020; Steve Smith, writer, and critic; Jeffrey Zeigler, cellist, and Music Director for the National Sawdust Ensemble; and JACK Quartet, string quartet.​ Mentoring responsibilities will be shared, which will give the composers the benefit of the full range of musical experience represented by the pool of judges. Each judge will participate in a streamed public workshop in the Fall. 

‍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. 

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 

For further details on how to submit a proposal for the open call, and to access the application form click here:


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