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2022 Project Winner Jens Ibsen (Courtsey: SFCM)

Application Deadline Approaching for Emerging Black Composers Project

Held in partnership with the San Francisco Music Conservatory and San Francisco Symphony, the program will receive applications until February 1, 2023


Launched in 2020, the annual Emerging Black Composers Project (EBCP) aims to spotlight emerging Black American composers and is hosted in collaboration with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) and San Francisco Symphony (SFS).

The first-prize winner of the EBCP will receive a $15,000 cash award and the opportunity for a work to be commissioned and receive its world premiere by the SFS and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The winner will also receive mentorship from Salonen, SFCM music director Edwin Outwater, and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, SFS resident conductor of engagement and education.

Now receiving applicants aged 35 and under for its third edition, the EBCP was designed to commission ten works in ten years — a figure likely to increase within that period — and help highlight emerging artists and support their music careers. 

Black American composers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, aged 35 or under, and have completed a degree program in composition or music performance, or have equivalent experience, are encouraged to apply.

Candidates must submit a resume, plus three scores and recordings of past or current compositions that reflect their work. Successful applicants will be notified at the end of April 2023. 

To apply, click here. Applications will close on February 1, 2023.

All applications will be reviewed anonymously by a committee including Bartholomew-Poyser, Outwater, Salonen, Carmen Bradford, Daphne Burt, Blake-Anthony Johnson, Nico Muhly, Valérie Sainte-Agathe, Victor Goines, Jeffrey Zeigler, and 2021 EBCP winner Trevor Weston.


The 2022 winner, Jens Ibsen, will receive his premier with the SFS in November 2023, with a subsequent SFCM workshop in April 2023.

“It's just such a joy to listen to these pieces and to understand, oh, here's what's happening today,” said Bartholomoew-Poyser on the evaluation process. “Last year with Jens Ibsen winning, it was really interesting to see us all independently come to similar conclusions about the applicants. That was really exciting.”

“I focus on a few things when evaluating artists,” Johnson added on the process. “When thinking about launching the career of an ‘emerging artist’ the overarching thoughts and questions I consider are, ‘How will the resources of this specific program that is extremely specific in scope be fully realized maximized by a candidate?’ and ‘How will this candidate who is truly unique and one-of-the-kind push the boundaries of the program?’”

Previous EBCP candidates experiences can be viewed in the video below.

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