Deadline: 15 October 2015

The Boston New Music Initiative is pleased to announce its fourth annual Composition Commissioning Competition. The purpose of this competition is to further the mission of The Boston New Music Initiative to maintain an international network of composers, performers, conductors, directors, and champions of music in order to generate new music concerts, compositions, collaborations, and commissions. Incorporated in 2010, the organization aims to advance the careers of its members in the field of new music by serving as a resource for networking, professional development, commissioning, collaboration, and programming.

The 2015 Competition will be open to chamber works (10 performers or less) for any combination of instruments, voices, electronics, or multimedia elements. Any composer is eligible regardless of age, nationality, sex, color, creed, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or veteran status. However, composers currently or formerly on the staff of The Boston New Music Initiative are ineligible and past commission winners are ineligible to apply. The competition will be adjudicated in a two-round process, with the winner(s) being selected by an external panel of composers and music professionals using a blind evaluation process.

The winner of this competition will be awarded a grand prize of at least $1,000 USD, in addition to being engaged to compose a new 8-12 minute work for performance by The Boston New Music Initiative in a future concert season. Pending available budget, the organization may award up to three (3) additional winners from this competition to compose new works for performance by BNMI or select works for Honorable Mention to be performed on a future concert. At least one winner will be named for this competition, and the winner will be strongly encouraged to be in attendance for the premiere performance. The winner of the 2014 competition, Nicola Straffelini, received a $1,000 prize and had his new work, Labyrinth Song, premiered on BNMI’s April 2015 concert, conducted by Artistic Director Patrick Valentino.

Past competition winners:

  • 2013: Panayiotis Kokoras, Ghost Notes (premiered April 2013, Steven Lipsitt, conductor)
  • 2014: Nicola Straffelini, Labyrinth Song (premiered April 2015, Patrick Valentino, conductor)
  • 2015: Travis Alford, TBA (premiere scheduled for April 2016)

To Apply:

  1. Each entry should consist of one (1) anonymous score, in PDF format only, of a representative work bearing similar orchestration (chamber work for 10 players or less) to the proposed commissioned work.
  2. An anonymous recording of the work may be included in .mp3 or .m4a format. Recordings are encouraged but not required. Additionally, an info sheet consisting of a composer’s name and contact information as well as title of their submission, will be requested.
  3. Each entry should be accompanied by an entry fee. The fee for this competition is $10 for current full members and $20 for associate members. Composers wishing to enter who are not members of the organization may join as either associate or full members prior to submitting. Please visit to learn more about membership levels with BNMI.
  4. Composers may submit as many scores as they wish; however, each submitted work must be accompanied by a separate entry fee.
  5. No name or identifying mark should appear anywhere on the submitted scores or recordings. Any submission that does not meet this requirement will be disqualified and the accompanying application fee will not be returned. 
  6. All submissions must be completed online and accompanying fees paid by 11:59 pm on October 15, 2015. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
  7. The winning composer(s) will be notified no later than April 15, 2016. This notification will include a list of available instrumentation for the performance of the new work as well as a tentative date of the performance. The score and parts for the newly composed work will be due sixty (60) days prior to the scheduled performance.
  8. Please address any questions to Note: Please do NOT send submission materials to this email address as the materials will not be received by the judges using this method.

FAQs and Helpful Hints:

  1. Please note that new memberships may take up to 24 hours to be approved (although usually much less). Composers signing up as new members who wish to submit to this competition should be sure to allot enough time for the approval process to complete in order to meet the October 15 deadline.
  2. Once your files have been added for each work, be sure to complete your payment in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Full members must have dues paid in full in order to receive full membership benefits, including discounts on Calls for Scores and commissioning competitions.
  3. Entry Fees are $10 per score for Full BNMI Members, $20 per score for Associate Members. (Composers not currently members of BNMI may join as Associate Members for free.)

©2015 The Boston New Music Initiative, Inc. 
P.O. Box 4541, Salem, MA 01970