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Call for Scores: Twelfth Annual BNMI Commissioning Competition

Opens: November 1, 2023
Deadline: December 31, 2023

The Boston New Music Initiative is pleased to announce its Twelfth Annual 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 12th Annual Competition will be open to any representative work, and the newly commissioned work will be for one or more members of the BNMI core ensemble (fl, cl, vn, vc, pf, perc).

Any composer is eligible except composers currently or formerly on the staff of The Boston New Music Initiative and past commission winners are ineligible to apply. The competition will be adjudicated in a two-round, 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.

Previous Winners:
2014 Panayiotis Kokoras - Ghost Notes
2015 Nicola Straffelini - Labyrinth Song
2016 Travis Alford - Altered States
2017 Lonnie Hevia - After the Rain
2018 Charles Peck - Kindling
2019 Alex Berko - Living in Color 
2020 Andrew Davis - On the Nature of Things (premiere in 2022)
2021 Paul Novak - Prisms and Mirrors
2022 Ania Vu - Strange Birds
2023 Luis Quintana - Grooves and Whispers (Book 2)
2024 Yangfan Xu

We strongly encourage all composers to download and review the BNMI Submission Guide ahead of submitting to this competition.


  1. Number of Entries. There is no limit on the number of works a composer may submit; however, each work should be submitted as a separate entry. Multi-movement works should be submitted as single entries, even if movements are in separate files. (The submission process allows for multiple files per entry.)
  2. Anonymity. All submissions must be anonymous. Scores or other materials with names or other identifying marks will not be considered. Please remove all identifying marks from all materials (except the composer information page, see submission process below) before submitting. Please make sure no metadata including names or identifying marks remain in submitted files. Please do not use a pseudonym or code number, simply remove your name. The best way to completely remove your name from a score is to use the "Redact" option in a pdf reader/editor. 
  3. Membership. Composers wishing to submit scores must become members of BNMI; Whisper In Your Ear Membership is free and Shout It Out Membership is $25 a year. Information on membership benefits can be found here.
  4. File Formats. The only acceptable file formats are:
    • For the score: .pdf
    • For (optional) audio recordings: .mp3 or .m4a
    • For video: .mov or .m4v
    • All other materials: .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .odt, or .pdf
  5. Questions? Please address any questions to Note: Please do NOT send submission materials to this email address as the materials cannot be submitted using this method. When submitting inquiries, please be as generic as possible, and do not include the title of your piece in the query in order to preserve anonymity.

Submission Process

Composers are asked to use our submission portal to upload the following materials (each as separate documents). If this is your first time submitting, please review our submission guide prior to starting the submission process. Please be sure to label your scores, recordings and information sheets with the correct file type during the submission process.

  1. An anonymous PDF file of the score.
  2. A recording of the work (not required but encouraged)
  3. An entry fee for each submission.  The entry fee for this competition is $20 for Whisper In Your Ear Members, and $10 for Shout It Out Members. Membership information can be found here.
  4. An information sheet (make sure this is labeled with the correct file type!) containing the following:
    1. Composer’s contact information (name, phone number, physical mailing address, email address, and website URL, if any)
    2. Composer biography (maximum 300 words), to be used if the composer is selected.  BNMI reserves the right to truncate the composer biography if it exceeds the word limit.

To Apply:

Please click the submit button at the bottom of the page.

We strongly encourage all composers to download and review the BNMI Submission Guide ahead of submitting to this competition.

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 December 31 deadline.
  2. The submission portal is not available without login credentials. Composers who are not existing BNMI members should not attempt to go to the submission portal without submitting a membership application first: in order to create login credentials.
  3. Once your files have been added for all submissions be sure to complete your payment in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Shout It Out members must have dues paid in full in order to receive full membership benefits, including discounts on Calls for Scores and commissioning competitions. For those composers submitting more than one entry, payment should be made only after ALL entries have been completed.
  4. Make sure you have correctly labeled all files with the correct file type. This is how entries are sorted, and incorrect labeling can lead to your entry being voided because anonymity is compromised.
  5. More questions? Please see our submission guide.

Click here to submit.

©#### The Boston New Music Initiative, Inc.
P.O. Box 400420 Cambridge, MA 02140