Jim Sector over at the Albany Symphony told me about competition kicking off just now, that some of you might be game for:

The Albany Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is proud to announce the orchestra’s first young composer competition: the “Composer to Center Stage” Reading Session. The ASO will hold an open call for scores starting on September 14th, 2009 and ending November 14th, 2009, available nationally to young and emerging composers looking to refine and develop their orchestral craft. From the pool of applicants, three composers will be selected to join the ASO in March 2010 to attend an open forum, hosted by nationally-acclaimed composer John Harbison, and to attend the ASO’s March 26th concert featuring Mr. Harbison’s music. In May, these finalists will be brought back during the orchestra’s annual American Music Festival, where they will have their pieces read by the symphony on May 22nd, meeting again with Mr. Harbison for feedback. An honorarium will be awarded to finalists, and both travel and housing will be provided for their trips to Albany.

A few of the more important rules for this one:

- Applicant must be either a US citizen or non-citizen lawfully and permanently residing, or studying full-time, in the United States.
- There are no age restrictions; however, applicants should be composers at the early stages of their professional careers.
- Each composer may submit only one composition for consideration.
- Only works that will not have been performed or read by a professional orchestra nor received a public performance prior to the reading date are eligible.
- Only works completed within the last five years will be considered.
- Works may be up to 15 minutes in length. Sections of longer works will be considered.
- Instrumentation should not exceed ASO’s standard symphonic complement. Works with instrumentation which exceed the above will be considered only with advance approval.
- Not eligible are concertos, choral works, works with excessive electronic elements.
- Works with Electronic elements are discouraged, but will be considered on a case-bycase basis. For works with electronics, MIDI, and/or digital technologies: include a one page statement describing the rationale for its use, as well as any pertinent production requirements and technical specifications.
- If selected, composers must provide professional, legible orchestral parts and scores prepared according to guidelines established by the Major Orchestral Librarians Association.
- The quality of the score submitted is the primary evaluation criteria. It is therefore in the applicant’s best interest that the score be clear, accurate, and the best representation of the composer’s work.

If you’re interested just contact Mr. Sector at jims@albanysymphony.com, and he can send you the complete application & guidelines.

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