Opportunities for Composers

Whether you’ve just found your creative voice or are challenging yourself to push into new artistic territory, ACO offers you a range of opportunities to be heard on a national stage. From comprehensive reading sessions with topflight performers to special programs and major festivals, we’re here to help you launch, maintain and sustain your artistic career.

We encourage composers of all backgrounds to apply and are interested in supporting voices underrepresented in the orchestral repertoire today.

See our recent Call for Scores

Click on the program to learn more:

  • EarShot – The nation’s first program that identifies and promotes emerging composers and then showcases them in Readings hosted by major national orchestras.
  • Women Composers Reading and Commission Program – offered in partnership with the League of American Orchestras, this program supports women composers in the EarShot readings program and provides three women with a $15,000 orchestra commission and orchestra premiere each year.
  • Underwood New Music Reading & Commission – Gives emerging composers the rare opportunity to work with an orchestra through public readings, professional development workshops and feedback sessions with conductors, musicians and mentor composers. One participating composer receives a $15,000 commission and future performance by ACO.
  • Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute – Brings together jazz composers at various stages in their careers chosen from a national pool of applicants, to explore the challenges of writing for the symphony orchestra.

We recommend visiting our general submission guidelines. Unsolicited score submissions are welcome, and if your music catches our attention, we’ll make sure the world hears from you too.

Our programs offer:

  • Your piece rehearsed and performed by a professional orchestra
  • An archival recording of the performance
  • Mentor composers throughout the residency to guide the process and offer feedback
  • Professional development seminars and networking opportunities
  • National exposure supported by ACO partners New Music USA, American Composers Forum and the League of American Orchestras
  • Travel and accommodations