Classical Commissioning Program

Application Deadline: 04/29/18


Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program provides grants to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music. Grants are provided for the commissioning and performance of new works by American composers. The program supports works scored for 2–10 musicians performing one per part, composed in any of the musical styles associated with contemporary classical music.


The CMA Board of Directors has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization's work. CMA seeks to fulfill its vision for the future, where people of all races, religions, genders, and abilities are able to fully participate in the performance, presentation, and enjoyment of the many styles of small ensemble music. (Read CMA's Statement of Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.)


ALAANA (African/Black, Latinx, Asian/South Asian, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American), women, and gender non-conforming composers have historically been under-represented in the Classical Commissioning Program. Since 1983, only 70 of the 205 commissions made through this program have been composed by ALAANA or women composers. Therefore, CMA’s goal in this program is, through the panel review process, to award a majority of the grants to applicants who apply with ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers.


To that end, CMA is creating the Composers Equity Project, a database of ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers, updated on March 15, 2018. In order for ensembles to have adequate time to explore these composers and their work before the Classical Commissioning Program's application deadline of April 29, this will be the final update.


Composers will continue to be added throughout the year, even after this particular deadline has passed. ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers are encouraged to contact CMA to be included in the future.


Commissions are funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional program support is provided by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Amphion Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University,
and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund


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Guidelines (pdf)

FAQs (pdf)

2018 Composers Equity Project

Grant Application Workshop Presentation (pdf)

2018 Grant Application Workshop Schedule (pdf)

Recent Panelists (pdf)

Grant Recipients


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